1998 Volkswagen Golf GTI


• Single owner car for 20 years with just 57k miles
• Rare specification
• Two tone interior
• Wonderfully cared for
• Cat C insurance repaired 

The Background

The letters “GTI” are ones that everyone will recognise, petrolhead or not. They have been at the forefront of hot hatches since the late 70’s and are still very much relevant today, even with all the growing competition from other automakers over the years. These cars deserve all the praise they get - allowing enthusiasts to enjoy the thrill of driving without totally breaking the bank.

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The History

The original owner of the vehicle had owned it from brand new in 1998 all the way up until July 2018, an astounding 20 years being loved and cherished to no end. In 2015 this vehicle was stolen and recovered, with some minor vandalism to the front and rear wings, due to this, the insurance company at the time deemed it as a Cat C write off - however the owner kept the car and had it repaired and it stayed in his ownership for another 3 years before finally letting go.

 The car passed hands and then was sold again in 2020, and now the car has to be sold again due to the owner moving to a warmer climate - otherwise he states he would very happily keep the car for as long as he could.

Thanks to the previous owners caring so much for this GTI, it has quite an extensive track record when it comes to service history, with 20 services entered in the original log book!

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The Paperwork

As mentioned, there is a nice papertrail with this VW. Each service is noted and stamped in the original service book, with the most recent being 57,000 miles! Along with all of these service records we can also see that the cambelt was replaced at 50,000 miles, a new ABS sensor at 56,000 miles and a new door latch sensor at just under 55,000 miles. 

It seems no expense was spared with this very tidy example - even the MOT history shows an extremely consistent theme of clean passes with only a small number of advisories!

The Interior

A rather desirable and rare interior option, finished in charcoal grey and red fabric upholstery which suits this car to an absolute tee. It helps accentuate and continue the lovely glow of the red paintwork to the inside of the cabin. 

The front seats are in very admirable condition with no noticeable damage or fraying to be seen, the colours are still very consistent with no signs of stains or dye transfer. Much the same can be said about the rear seats, too - very lovely condition with little signs of any use over the years. 

The dashboard gauges all work as they should with no unwanted or unwelcoming warning lights present thanks to the religious upkeep this car has had over the years, and the dashboard itself is in rather nice overall condition with no signs of damage or cracks overall. The instrument panel in the centre console is well kept and fully functional, the buttons and dials all retain their screen printed text with little to no signs of fading - everything is still easily identifiable. 

The same can be said about the controls on each of the door cards and the indicator stalks. There are of course some scuffs and scratches on the control panel fascia as to be expected on a regularly used car, and there are some signs of wear in the cubby hole just under the panel itself in front of the gear stick - which itself does show signs of wear on the leather portion of the knob.

The interior carpets are all still present and don’t appear to have any signs of damage or excessive wear in high-traffic areas, it all appears to be very well maintained in this aspect. The headliner is much the same, showing no areas of sagging and still retains its factory colour very well! In the boot we can see that the lining is all well preserved with no rips or tears from any heavy use it may have had, and the parcel shelf is still present in lovely shape too.

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The Exterior

Finished in a very bold and admirable Flash Red gloss paintwork, this GTI looks the part! As anyone will know, red can have a tendency to fade over time if not taken care of, but just look at how well this little Golf shines - we can only assume it has had a very pleasant and pampered life over the years. There does appear to be a small blemish on the bonnet close to the windscreen which is displayed in the photographs, however it is easily overlooked when you consider how lovely the rest of the car is.

At the front of the vehicle, the headlights are still beautifully clear and fully functional, with no signs of fading, cracks or damage. The grill itself is still intact as is the VW badge and that all famous GTI badge - retaining its red colour inlay that we all know so well. The bumper appears to be in fantastic shape as do the plastic lower grills.

 As mentioned, the only flaw to pick with the front of this lovely hatch is the small blemish on the bonnet. There are of course some stone chips here and there, but this is to be completely expected of a 24 year old vehicle.

Around the side of the vehicle, the car still sits on its OEM alloy wheels which present themselves very nicely, with only some very minor blemishes you’d have to be searching for to find. The standard centre caps are also present with very minor fading on the VW logo - but overall they all look fantastic! 

The doors all appear straight with no issues in terms of operation, the handles function perfectly well and the doors open and close with ease - and even with that “sounds just like a golf” sound we all know too well from the adverts! 

The trim pieces which run across the doors are also intact, and thanks to them being paint matched unlike some of the base models, they look sleek and premium.

To the rear of the car, the tail lights are fully functional and the lenses show no signs of damage or fading. The badges still retain all of their chrome shine with almost no signs of fading, and the boot lid itself is as vibrant and clean as the rest of the car. The rear bumper and its plastic trim pieces are in great condition too.

Overall, this little GTI stands out from the crowd and could, in all honesty, put some modern cars to shame in terms of how well cared for and preserved it has been over the years. You’ll be hard pushed to find a nicer example in this specification any time soon.

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The Mechanics

Powered by the earlier AGN 1.8L 4 cylinder, producing 123bhp @ 6000rpm, and 170 nm @ 4200rpm. This little hatch certainly won’t be the fastest thing on the road, but they certainly are fun to drive and can handle their own on twisty roads. 

Normally, these GTI’s have quite a rough life, but this one shows absolutely no signs of abuse, even driving it is an absolute pleasure. The steering is still tight and precise, and the engine purrs happily as the gearbox smoothly transitions between cogs. What a treasure it is. 

Thanks to this model being the earlier non-turbo variant, it doesn’t suffer the same issues of the later engines, and the earlier 1.8’s are known for great reliability and still being able to return a good fuel consumption - something the later turbo models really struggle with.

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The Appeal

There’s something about a GTI, isn’t there? The impressive pedigree, the driver focused aspects, and the impressive following they have gained over the decades of making people smile behind the wheel. Why wait? Jump into this 90’s hot hatch, have some fun with it, and show it off! It’s certainly worthy of it given how well preserved it is. A true needle in a haystack!

****** Interested parties should note, this vehicle was subject to a CAT (C) insurance write off in 09/2015 ******

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1998
  • Make Volkswagen
  • Model Golf GTI 1.8 125bhp
  • Colour Red
  • Odometer 57,063 Miles
  • Engine size 1800
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Trade
  • Location Hampshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
19 bids
  • gi•••• £4,200 02/01/22
  • Ni•••• £4,100 02/01/22
  • gi•••• £4,000 02/01/22
  • gi•••• £3,900 02/01/22
  • Ni•••• £3,800 02/01/22
  • gi•••• £3,700 02/01/22
  • Ni•••• £3,600 02/01/22
  • gi•••• £3,500 01/01/22
  • Ni•••• £3,200 01/01/22
  • gi•••• £3,000 31/12/21

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