With almost five decades under its belt, the Volkswagen Golf has accrued a following. In fact, it’s VW’s best-selling model and one of the world’s three best-selling models, moving more than 35 million units in 2019.
Designed by Italdesign’s Giorgetto Giugiaro, the Golf is a complete polar opposite of the VW Beetle. It has a front-wheel-drive drivetrain with a front-mounted, water-cooled engine, whereas the Beetle was a rear-wheel-drive, air-cooled hatchback. The Golf was destined to be Volkswagen’s entry into the economy vehicle segment, but apparently, there’s a lot to the model than just an economy car that will bring you from point A to point B.
Following the Golf’s launch in 1974, Rolf Nothelle introduced a red, race-bred Golf Mk1 in 1975 in Belgium. That introduction wasn’t without impact; the very first Golf Mk1 race car finished first place at the Hockenheimring Grand Prix circuit with Bernd Lilier at the helm.
Luckily, that race-winning Golf is currently up for grabs at RM Sotheby’s. For Golf fans, this is the opportunity you shouldn’t miss.
While the original Golf Mk1 race car had a 1.6-liter inline-four engine in it that produces 162 horsepower, it has been replaced with a 175-hp 1.8L mill with Weber 45 DCOE carburetors and contactless ignition. Other things added were a set of BBS wheels, Uniball suspension, and racing brake system with four-piston front and two-piston rear calipers.
This Golf Mk1 race car was kept within the family over the years. Marcus Nothelle restored the vehicle on behalf of Volkswagen AG in 2011, presented to the public in March 2012.
With that said, this race-ready Golf is claimed to be in excellent condition today and ready for track use. Now that’s a track toy with character if you ask us.