1982 Volkswagen Golf MK1 1.3CL

Highlights


  • Only 78,912 miles in 40 years
  • Four owners from new
  • Original book pack with fully stamped service book
  • Unrestored original condition
  • Near museum-quality interior
  • Current registered keeper since January 2009

The Appeal


First introduced in Germany in July 1974, UK buyers had to wait until October before they could get their hands on the Giugiaro-designed two-box Golf. With sharp angular styling and the chunky C-pillar that would become a key feature in the design of all future Golfs, it was an instant classic.

By the 1980s it was offered in C, CL, GL and GTI model versions, with the CL featuring a polished grille surround, together with matching trim around the windscreen as well as a higher level of upholstery. CL models were only sold from 1981 to 1983.

This particular 1.3-litre CL is a low mileage survivor car in astonishing condition. It not only has its original book pack and a full-stamped up service history booklet, but still sports its original dealer plates. Its original unrestored Mars Red paintwork looks incredible straight for its age. The interior is in time-warp condition having been preserved by a set of thick seat covers and hasn’t suffered UV damage like so many have.



The History and Paperwork


  • MoT until April 2023
  • Comprehensive service history stamps

First registered by Park West Motor Co. Ltd a VW dealer in Ilford on 1 October 1982, this Mars Red CL still sports its original number plates with the supplying dealer branding on them. The book pack includes the original blue plastic service wallet and all the original books, with over 17 stamps in its original service history booklet.

The car was based around the Essex area and was serviced by Abridge, the main VW dealer, until 1988, before being serviced in the same garage around up until 2001 when it had covered just 53,135 miles.

The third owner was an older gentleman who is thought to have kept the car for around 20 years. He carefully maintained it and used thick velour seat covers which clearly did an excellent job of preserving the interior trim.

The fourth owner was a VW enthusiast who also owned a Beetle and bought it to replace a Mk 1 Golf GTI. A change of job meant that he had to work in London and the car was kept garaged at his parents' house until they wanted the space back and it was subsequently sold. Invoices show various minor cosmetic jobs were carried out over this time including repainting the original steel wheels and replacing windscreen trims.

It has a valid MoT until 10 April 2023.



The Interior


  • Incredibly preserved biscuit coloured interior
  • Original unrestored condition

The wow-factor to this survivor car is its incredible interior. Unlike most Mk 1 Golfs, no holes have been cut in either the doorcards or the rear parcel shelf for speakers. This one is as Wolfsburg intended and there are no marks or rips on the doorcards at all, while the colour looks like new.

Thick rubbery mats have protected the original beige carpet and underneath the driver’s mat there are no holes in the trim. All the carpeting is taut and neat.

The biscuit-coloured trim has always been protected by covers and this gives it a really vibrant colour with no UV damage to the upper edges of it. The driver’s seat is nearly perfect, with next to no wear on the side bolster and base. The only tiny negative is a small pinhole tear of a few millimetres in the base (you have to squint to see it).

The original padded dash is equally exceptional and isn’t torn or ripped on the top and is good and flush with the windscreen (they often ripple in the sun). There are three small holes in the top that are probably from an ultrasonic alarm sensor and could easily be covered with a small sticker or perhaps a period accessory like a compass. There are also two holes probably for LEDs that were drilled in one of the switch blanks on the dash – these blanks can be easily sourced via VW specialists.

No additional extras or holes have been cut in the dash for accessories and the only difference from factory is the addition of a Trio KRC-626D auto-reverse cassette radio which would have been an expensive accessory in period as it features Dolby noise reduction. Trio were renamed Kenwood in 1986, so it could have been fitted from new.

Wolfsburg’s famous wolf emblem adorns the original thin-rimmed two-spoke steering wheel and it’s in first rate condition, as is the original gear knob which depicts the gear pattern and looks barely worn.

The white headlining is unmarked and unripped and looks original.

This interior doesn’t look like its covered 78,912 miles, it looks almost factory fresh and is easily one of the best interiors we’ve seen in years. Quite possibly the best CL interior left in the UK. It’s that good.




The Exterior 


  • Paintwork looks original
  • Original dealer number plates
  • All trim is period correct

The Mars Red paintwork complements the biscuit coloured interior superbly and looks to be in excellent condition for the year. As all the original stickers are in place on the tailgate and door jambs, it looks like it’s original. It must have spent much of its life garaged as it hasn’t faded over time and still gleams in the sun.

The shut lines around the front wings and valance look sharp and straight, while where the wings meet the scuttle the lines are neat and true. Equally the door gaps are neat and even and there is no evidence of any accident damage. The boot floor is near perfect and has no holes in it – rare for a Mk 1 Golf of this age.

There are some rust bubbles and minor corrosion around the wheel arches and a few bubbles around the edges of the bolt on panels, but all this could be easily dealt with by any bodyshop. Equally the sills have cosmetic corrosion on them that could easily be rubbed down and repainted.

Underneath the floorpan is solid and apart from surface corrosion on some suspension parts it all looks in remarkable condition given that it's 40 years old.

The original 13-inch steel wheels were repainted in the Nineties and still look good and are shod with 155/80-13 tyres, with Uniroyal Rally 680s fitted to the front and Goodride Zuper Eco Z-107s fitted to the rear. These high-profile tyres are a joy to drive on compared to modern low-profile tyres as their sidewalls soak up bumps well. Unusually, the original black VW centre caps and nut covers are all present.

All the doors shut with a thunk and everything feels solid and well engineered. The new owner would have the choice of making the bodywork concours or enjoying its patina.






The Mechanics 


  • Low mileage
  • Lots of service stamps 

The Golf 1,272cc engine has been treated to a bolt-on Weber carb conversion which was a popular and essential period modification sold by VW specialists. This is linked to a manual choke system.

Other than this upgrade the engine bay looks highly original. There is minor surface rust on the rocker cover and on the underside of bonnet and the slam panel, but this could easily be tidied up. A few weekends' work and you could return the engine bay to near concours condition. An elderly Moss alarm is bolted to the bulkhead. The chassis rails look arrow straight, too, and there is no evidence of accident damage.  

In 2018 at 78,729 miles a comprehensive mechanical refresh was carried out at a cost of £1020.80 (invoice included) which included a cambelt kit and waterpump. It has only covered 200 miles since then.


With disc brakes up front and light unassisted steering, its 60bhp 1.3-litre engine can easily keep pace with modern traffic and, even today, a Mk 1 Golf is a delight to drive with agile, lively handling. In all, a really usable classic.



Summary


Most Mk 1 Golf CLs that date from 1982 have either been recycled into washing machines or fallen victim to Max Power style modifications in the Eighties and been treated to dubious alterations. To find a Mk 1 with its factory-applied paintwork in such exceptional condition is highly unusual, but for the original interior to be near museum quality puts it firmly in the Unicorn category. We challenge you to find another.

Whether you treat this survivor to a respray to showstopper condition or simply leave the patina as is, is up to you. It’s a very useable classic that would be welcomed with open arms at any VW show. With original GTIs now topping £40,000, this is a much more affordable way to have that timeless Giugiaro styling on your driveway.















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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1982
  • Make Volkswagen
  • Model Golf MK1 1.3CL
  • Colour Mars Red
  • Odometer 78,912 Miles
  • Engine size 1.3CL
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location Shropshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
10 bids from 4 bidders
  • jamie.m•••• £6,800 18/08/22
  • schofie•••• £6,500 18/08/22
  • markhar•••• £6,000 14/08/22
  • schofie•••• £5,000 14/08/22
  • markhar•••• £4,600 14/08/22
  • schofie•••• £4,500 14/08/22
  • markhar•••• £4,000 14/08/22
  • schofie•••• £3,000 14/08/22
  • markhar•••• £2,500 14/08/22
  • shan.e £2,000 14/08/22

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