Welcome to my first post on liftoffoversteer, I thought it might be a good idea to start with where the hot hatch fascination began back in 2004. Being brought up in a VW loving family, it was somewhat inevitable that I would end up with a Wolfsburg export as my first car and during my teenage years, ideas ranged from Beetles to MK3 Golfs and everything in between. Eventually the choices were narrowed down to MK1 & MK2 Golfs due to a mix of practicality and affordability. For me though, the MK1 has always been the pick of the bunch and much to my delight, it was even possible to insure a GTI for a very reasonable price!
So in August 2004 a Mars Red 1982 1.6 GTI was sourced through a local garage. As it turned out, this particular Golf wasn’t in great condition and the NOS kit that was fitted pointed to the fact that it might have had a hard life (sadly the NOS was removed before I ever got to drive it). Things didn’t improve over the coming months, whilst I learnt to drive in an abysmal 1.5 diesel Clio, the Golf sat on the yard and frequently refused to start. When I passed my test in December the Golf was in the garage for some repairs so I had to wait a few days before getting to drive it but from that very first drive I was hooked!
I loved everything about the Golf, the looks, the noise, the handling, the smell – it was perfect! However, my time with the Golf was not an easy one, it’s faults continued and it found new an inventive ways to break down on what felt like a weekly basis, many of these faults were intermittent which made them even more difficult to trace. For the first few months of 2005 my AA membership proved very useful but the frequent breakdowns became tiresome and I had to face the fact that the car was ultimately a bit of a dog! The problem was I had fallen in love with the car! Despite its worst efforts I still loved driving the Golf and couldn’t bear to part with it, but nor I could I afford to keep it running. The decision was taken to take it off the road and 7 years later that is where it remains, looking like this:
I still can’t bring myself to sell the Golf, it kicked off my love of the hot hatch genre and provided me with some of my most memorable months of motoring, I just wish I could drive it now that I have a bit more experience under my belt. I hope that one day I will be in a position to restore the car to its former glory and re-live my time with what is arguably the original and the best hot hatchback.
Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll follow the progress of liftoffoversteer over the coming months.