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The automotive game changed in the mid to late 70s when Volkswagen introduced a compact hatchback with a healthy motor that afforded a good power-to-weight ratio that allowed for spirited and fun driving - all at an affordable price point. Not only did the compact hatch have a decent amount of punch from a 1.6-litre 4-cylinder with 109 hp on tap, but the Golf was given a host of aesthetic changes to differentiate it from the other models already on offer. The car features a larger front spoiler, a black grille with a red outline, and extended plastic wheel arches. Back then wheels weren’t ever really a concern, so the car wears basic steelies, but behind them, VW fitted ventilated disc brakes that did the job. The car was slightly lower and even had anti-roll bars added in to help improve handling. That was 1975 and the car was the Mk1 GTi - the hot hatch was born. Now it’s the car’s 8th generation over 40 years later, the GTi badge is synonymous with performance and is a true icon in the automotive industry. The only thing that’s really changed is the affordability, up until the MK4 GTi your average Joe with an average job could own a performance-oriented car. These days to have a range-topping GTi you need to earn rather good money or be a drug dealer. Many who can’t have the latest models still have a thing for the past greats and usually own a couple, and the best of the old classics are starting to fetch really good money around the world. Some now fetch so much money that you could buy a pair of new ones. Take this one, for example, heading to auction as part of the expansive Iseli Collection that will go under the hammer in a couple of days. This is a 1978 Mk1 GTi and it’s in absolutely mint condition.

Offered on auction as part of the Italy-based Iseli Collection, an amazing single-owner collection of over 90 vehicles from 18 different manufacturers, this black Mk1 GTi should bring in a good selling price. Featuring black paint, that now iconic tartan seat material, electric windows, a sunroof and the quad-headlight grille shows that it’s the highest-spec model that could be had.If you take a look at the pics associated with the posting over at RM Sotheby, you’ll see that this car is in the most amazing condition possible, it’s not really possible to find one better. The car has clearly been not only stored in a healthy environment, it has been properly maintained to make sure no rubbers or seals perish. The 45-year-old (yes, forty-freaking-five years old) car has covered just 34 752 km in its life, which for one of these cars is barely even run-in. This car will be extremely desirable for any real Volkswagen aficionado, and it’s expected to fetch as much as $80 000, or in our amazing currency, around R1 540 000. We only hope that wherever the car ends up, it has an equally caring and OCD-like owner who preserves it exactly as is, but maybe just takes to it a show or two so that today’s kids can see what started a legacy.

Take a look at the YouTube video from the crew at Volkswizard as they take us through the history and details around the original Mk1 GTi and show us just why the car became the icon that it is today, so much so that an original one from the day's of its creation could fetch as much as a million and a half of our lovely Rands on auction at RM Sotheby's: MK1 VW GOLF GTI - **THE** guide to the ORIGINAL GTI! #45yearsofGTI | volkswizard

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