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Aspects of Motoring History # 17

Published June 2021. 109 pages, nearly 40 black & white illustrations and charts and 32 full-colour images, softbound. Articles:...

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Published June 2020. 94 pages, colour cover, nearly 60 black & white illustrations and charts and 28 full-colour images,...

A rare Volkswagen

How many times have you walked past a garage door, in town or country, and wondered if something very special is hidden behind?  Well sometimes good fortune is on your side.  Your webmaster recently passed by this garage and saw… a perfectly ordinary Volkswagen.  Except that it wasn’t.  The clue to it being special lay in the number plate.  It had the same combination of letters and numbers as your webmaster had on an imported Lancia Thema 8.32 that he used to own.  (That is another story, which ends with the warning, “Never buy one unless you like pouring money down a pit.”)

An interview with the Volkswagen’s owner was eventually obtained.  He is a Breton and a chef, owning and running an excellent inn in the Yorkshire Dales: the Game Cock Inn at Austwick.

The car is a Volkswagen Golf Mark II GTI “Edition One” (always written in English) – a special model launched in 1989 and offered initially with a 106bhp 8-valve as well as a 16-valve with 127bhp.

But this car is much rarer.  It is a G60 – a supercharged version using an unusual design of supercharger with G-shaped vanes; hence the designation.  These G60 engines used the 8-valve engine and increased power from 106bhp to 158bhp – “Volle Hütte” (“Full-House”) is the description used by German fans of this model.

The equipment included BBS alloy wheels with cross spokes, darkened taillights, wheel arch extensions, white turn signals and “Edition One” badges – along with countless other options.

The owner of this excellent example found it in England and has used it for many long trips across Europe without it missing a beat.  He thinks that fewer than 500 of these cars were made, and has asked us to find out how many survive in Germany.  Sadly, Arne Bolzmann of our sister German society the AHG tells us that current German registration records don’t make it easy to identify specific models like this, but we still think that it’s a rare car.

We are very grateful to the owner for his permission to publish these photos of his car.  As often happens, a tentative enquiry, “Could I please have a look at your car?” elicited an overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic response.  Not only did the owner agree to talk; he insisted in a delay of a day to wash the car before any photos were allowed, and several customers in the restaurant are believed to have been kept waiting for some totally unspecified reason while the chef was seen outside with a strange man holding a camera.

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