1991 VOLKSWAGEN Golf GTI Mk1 Cabriolet

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1991 VOLKSWAGEN Golf GTI Mk1 Cabriolet


VW’s Golf GTI needs no introduction, a car that many claim to be the genesis of the ‘hot hatch’ genre we all know and love, a car that handled with precision, went like a sports car and was still able to swallow up four people and the weekly food shop with ease. Hot hatches have been customer favourites since their inception with many manufacturers bringing their own interpretation of the genre to market with mostly huge successes. VW’s Golf however is one of the main competitors that people continually debate was the original inception of the beloved platform type.

VW, as well as many other manufacturers decided to play with the formula for the hot hatch after seeing success on the forecourts and the hungry demand for cars such as this. One such experimentation resulted in a cabriolet, presented to VW management as early as 1976, the cabriolet was sold from 1980 to 1994 with a reinforced body, a roll over bar and a high level of trim. The Golf cabriolet was produced entirely in the Karmann factory after it was Wilhelm Karmann who proposed the idea initially to VW, the cabriolet’s featured Clipper body kits as standard and GTI version was introduced in late 1983.

The Vehicle

This GTI cabriolet has been in the same family for the last 15 years with the current owners having the car for the past 12 and their nephew owning the car for 3 years prior. During this time, it has been used as a second car seeing limited mileage as mainly a summer/weekend car. Despite this, it has been regularly serviced by the same local VW specialist, MOT’d every year with any replacement parts being changed as and when they are needed so the car is ready to go anytime. The car has even been used in film work to tell the story of the local theatre (Lyric theatre) in Carmarthen. The owners have now decided to downsize on their responsibilities and would like to see the car go to an enthusiast who can give the car the care and mileage it needs.

On the Outside

The exterior of the cabriolet is in reasonable condition and for its 30 years on the road it has expected wear and tear. There is the odd scratch and mark here and there, but the body is still straight and we’re sure after an intensive cut and polish the paintwork would come up a treat. The wheels have some curbing and some lacquer peel and look as though they might benefit from refurbishing, but they are straight, and the tyres hold air, whilst also still having plenty of tread left.

All the trim round the car is present and looks to be in good condition, the side skirts, bumpers and wheel arches of the Clipper body kit are all free from damage except the front bumper which has some grazes on the corners. The glass is in good condition though with no stone chips being seen on the photoshoot and no damage or fading to the rear heater window.

All electricals are reported to be working on the outside of the car and the electric roof retracting mechanism is all in order as well, the hood went down and up with ease. There is the odd mark here and there on the hood with the main parts being photographed in the gallery below.

On the Inside

The blue-on-blue colour scheme is extended into the cabin with the blue fabric check pattern on the seats. The interior is in good condition with less than expected wear on all major touch points. The front seats are comfortable and hold their shape with the seat bolsters looking to have held up well over the lifetime of the car. There is some minor wear on the driver’s external seat bolster but as this is the one part of the car that sees the most movement then it shows how well these interiors were put together.

The backs of the front seats are wrapped in blue leather and have barely a mark on them indicating the rear seats have not seen many passengers. There are some minor wear marks over the backs of the rear seats where the Velcro straps for the hood cover have been applied. The steering wheel and gear knob are in good condition with the steering wheel not having any nicks or deep scratches from what we can see. The gear knob is the iconic golf ball style and has more wear than the steering wheel but is still in good condition. The roll bar looks to be sturdy, and the dashboard is free from fading and cracking. In the boot the carpet is intact and the original spare wheel is present underneath, the original jack is present also and comes in its plastic casing.


The underside of the body has some surface rust from years of salted roads but again in a nod to how well these cars we’re built in the Karmann factory, none of it seems to be structural and with the car passing its MOT’s with no advisories for corrosion it’s safe to assume it’s all in order underneath for now. Underneath the bonnet then and the engine is a durable little unit, being a 1.8L four pot with a DX engine number it has been taken care of and fired up ‘on the button’ when we were photographing the car. It idled nicely and engaged gear without any worrying crunching or grinding noises. The frame in the bay is also in good condition with no visible signs of any accidents with bent chassis legs or rusted suspension mounting points.

History Highlights

With the car being taken care of by a local VW specialist, it has been in good hands during its last 15 years of life, the paperwork present shows some key works completed, summarised below. The service book also has some stamps for services but they don’t show every year, however the same garage has done the MOT and services for the past 15 years so it would be easy to get the stamps back dated.

- New timing belt, service items – 2002

- Immobiliser Cat 2 – 2002

- Clutch cable, battery, shock absorbers – 2003

- Distributor cap, rotor arm, HT leads, check and reset timing belt – 2004

- Service and alignment by VW dealer – 2007

- Water pipe, plastic outlet, new antifreeze – 2020

- NS front coil spring - 2022

What We Think

This is a good honest little car that embodies everything that was great about the GTI with the added benefit of miles and miles of headroom. Needing to go to an enthusiast that will drive and enjoy the car for what it is, will surely result in another 30 happy years of motoring for the little Golf, we’re sure it’ll find the right home here on The Market.

We estimate this car to reach between £7,000 - £9,000 in auction.

Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located in Laugharne, South Wales, United Kingdom. To arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

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BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we always encourage bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using basic cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen (Caveat Emptor) and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, a return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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George Phillips

  • Location: Laugharne, South Wales, United Kingdom
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 94348
  • Chassis Number: WVWZZZ15ZMK009278
  • Engine: 1781
  • Gearbox: manual
  • Steering position: RHD
  • Colour: Blue
  • Interior: Blue
  • Estimated Price: £7,000 - £9,000

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