1987 Volkswagen Golf GTI 1.8 16v 3DR (MK2)


  • A rare example of the Golf GTI 16V 3 door Type 19 with quarter windows seven bar grille
  • Fully and fastidiously restored to original OEM specification using heritage parts
  • Now in a truly pristine and sympathetically original condition throughout

The Appeal

The Mk2 Golf GTI only became the “difficult second album” for Volkswagen after the huge and genre defining success of the Mk1 GTI. Suddenly they had big boots to fill and an eager and demanding public to satisfy. Luckily the Mk2 remained faithful to the original’s winning recipe. Other than the slightly more rounded design most everything else either stayed the same or was improved. As a consequence, many in the know will often confirm, in hushed whispers of course, that the Mk2 is the better car.

That’s especially true with this example which benefits from the later introduced and more powerful four valve per cylinder engine, originally producing around 139bhp which was a full 27 more than the eight-valve unit. This example has been fastidiously restored in its current ownership with originality being the watchword of everything done. It is now in a highly desirable, head-turning condition and is ready to drive away and re-live your youth in.

The History and Paperwork

  • This example is a UK supplied and specification vehicle
  • It was first registered in the UK in August 1987
  • The first owner kept the car for three years
  • The next two keepers, however, enjoyed the car for ten years each
  • The previous owner acquired the car in July 2010
  • At that point the car had covered around 106,000 miles
  • Between then and 2013 the car was used regularly covering another 15,000 miles
  • From 2013 until the start 0f 2022 the car was mainly garage stored and off the road
  • The current owner discovered the car in his neighbour’s garage about 18 months ago
  • Between then and now the current owner has fully restored the car to its current condition
  • In terms of paperwork the current V5 in the name of the owner is present
  • The car has a current MOT which is valid until the end of June 2023
  • There are stacks of invoices on hand from the restoration
  • These total over £10,000 in expenditure and validate the quality of the restoration

The Interior

  • The key to this car’s interior is originality
  • Very little in here required restoration or replacement reportedly
  • The seats are finished in the original striped, grey fabric with red textured accents
  • The diver’s seat has had its outer bolster rebuilt and a small tear repaired from beneath
  • Otherwise, the upholstery to both front and rear seats is in an excellent condition
  • The familiar black vinyl dash will be charmingly familiar to those of a certain age
  • This is all original, too, with just a couple of small cracks noted on close inspection
  • The original white on black VDO gauges are all original and operational
  • These sit behind an original four spoke, four horn press GTI steering wheel
  • The centre console houses the heater and other controls
  • Electric window switches are present which may have been retro fitted
  • The black carpets look to be in great original order throughout
  • The door cards and rear side panels are all excellent and unmolested
  • The dark headlining is complete and unmarked
  • A factory fitted, manual steel, tilt and slide sunroof is fitted 
  • The boot features an original carpet trimmed parcel shelf
  • This is free from any DIY speaker holes or other unwanted modifications
  • The boot is generously sized and trimmed in black carpet
  • A spare wheel, jack and tools are housed under the floor  

The Exterior

  • The exterior of the 16V has been fully restored and professionally resprayed
  • The car is finished in the correct OEM black livery
  • Where required panels and surfaces have been repaired with no filler used
  • The only full panel replaced was the nearside front wing
  • The usual weak areas were fully repaired such as rear wheel arches 
  • The plastic trim is all original other than the wheel arch extensions
  • All rubber trims and seals have been replaced including the sunroof
  • New rain gutters were custom made in the USA due to their scarcity
  • The signature matt black rear window surround was replaced
  • All the original marque and model badges are original and present#
  • The cabin glass and light lenses appear to be original and in excellent order
  • The original 14-inch Volkswagen light alloy wheels are fitted
  • These were in originally fine fettle and have been aesthetically refurbished
  • These are shod with a new and matching set of Pirelli Cinturato P1 tyres
  • The P1s are in the correct factory specification size of 185/60
  • The overall effect is sublime with the level of originality being the standout feature

The Mechanics

  • This GTI features the later and more powerful 16-valve unit
  • These are renowned as being robust and durable engines
  • Power is fed to the front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox
  • As you might expect, this example has been thoroughly recommissioned mechanically
  • The aim has been to provide stress free motoring for the next lucky owner
  • The engine has benefitted from a top end rebuilt 
  • The alloy intake cover has been refurbished and looks superb
  • The bottom end was in good shape but was fully checked and the rings replaced
  • The cambelt was replaced, together with pulleys, tensioners, oil and water pumps
  • New HT leads, plugs, filters, O rings and gaskets, including head gasket, were replaced
  • The Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection was checked but was setup and working correctly
  • One of the few non-OEM items are uprated, black silicon hoses
  • The gearbox has been checked and the clutch was found to be nearly new
  • New suspension, arms, uprights, links, struts, shocks, bushes and crossmembers were fitted
  • Brake discs, pads, callipers and wheel bearings are fitted
  • The exhaust is new from the manifold rearwards
  • As a result the car is reported to be an excellent runner in all regards


Hindsight is a wonderful thing, of course, but the passing of time shows us what a great job Volkswagen did with the MK2 GTI. For many it represents the sweet spot in GTI evolution, managing to improve on the MK1 with added power but retaining a light weight subsequently lost with the MK3 and MK4. Part of the car’s allure, of course, is that it does everything a standard Golf can do, such as do the school and supermarket run, but is exponentially more fun.

This example has been very thoughtfully and sympathetically restored in every regard. This seems like it was one of the few GTIs to never have suffered from tacky aftermarket adornments. Now, post restoration, it would struggle to be any more original and faithful to the original specification. Add to that the fact that it a popular 3 door type 19 model and this is clearly a car to set the enthusiast’s hearts racing. As a result, it is sure to be a popular car so avoid being disappointed by bidding today.

Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only. Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.

UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Car & Classic are run through an online HPI check. On the HPI report, this vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft. It is currently not covered by a finance agreement.

A non-refundable buyer’s deposit is payable on this item, refer to FAQs and T&Cs for the applicable percentage.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1987
  • Make Volkswagen
  • Model Golf GTI 1.8Lt 16v MK2 3DR
  • Colour Black
  • Odometer 130,044 Miles
  • Engine size 1781
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Towcester
  • Location Northamptonshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
9 bids from 4 bidders
  • Dannyly•••• £6,000 31/05/23
  • Tony Co•••• £5,500 31/05/23
  • Dannyly•••• £5,000 31/05/23
  • KIERANA•••• £4,600 31/05/23
  • Tony Co•••• £4,500 30/05/23
  • KIERANA•••• £4,100 30/05/23
  • Tony Co•••• £4,000 29/05/23
  • placeat•••• £3,200 29/05/23
  • Tony Co•••• £3,000 27/05/23

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