March 29, 2019 | Issue 2

Mk1 Golf GTI - What makes a 'hot hatch' hero

Richard Farrington, Parts Service Executive at TPS Bournemouth, is our latest contributor to choose a Volkswagen Group Icon, selecting the original ‘hot hatch hero’, the Mk1 Golf.

For the Insider blog, Richard discusses what makes his Mk1 Golf GTI such an icon in his eyes.

Richard says: “I have been in love with the Mk1 Golf GTI since I first saw one aged six at my dad’s work. I remember that first time seeing the Golf so vividly. It was just everything about it, the shape, the styling, it just looked so different from anything else at the time.”

Given his childhood love affair with the Mk1 Golf GTI, as Richard grew into adulthood it seemed inevitable what his first car would be, or so it seemed.

Richard says: “Apart from a Mazda 323, which I had in the early days after passing my test, I have owned nothing but Golf GTIs. I currently have three and just about enough space for them all. Even if I wanted another one it wouldn’t be possible.”

While all three cars hold a place in Richard’s affections, his pride and joy remains his original Mk1 Golf GTI - a labour of love for which he has invested hours upon hours of work in order to transform it into the stunning centrepiece of his collection.

Richard adds: “I have spent so much time and effort getting the Mk1 Golf GTI to where I want it to be. When I first got the car, I spent about a year sourcing all the original parts which needed replacing. I have also completely rebuilt the engine. Basically whatever the car needs it gets.”

Given his dedication to the car, it’s a good thing that Richard has an understanding spouse who shares his passion for Golfs. In fact it’s such a shared love for the Mk1 Golf GTI, that the car even played a starring role in the couple’s wedding.

Richard said: “The Mk1 Golf GTI was our wedding car and it took us to both our wedding and the honeymoon. For two petrolheads it was perfect and we continue to enjoy the car together by taking it to various car shows in the UK.

“It always gets a great reaction at the shows and has won loads of awards. It’s just so recognisable and people just love it.”

It is indeed much loved and is what makes the Mk1 Golf GTI such an original hot hatch hero. As Richard says of his own Mk1 Golf GTI “ it just puts a smile on my face”, a sentiment that all petrolheads will truly agree with.