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Snappy speedsters: the small sedans from Volkswagen.

It is much more than just a "Polo with a backpack": the Volkswagen Derby. At its première 45 years ago, a new segment in Volkswagen's history was founded – that of small sedans with a classic notchback. The much larger VW 1500/1600 and K70 were long gone; the Derby was intended to close the gap between the Polo and the Golf. For the anniversary, we are taking a look back and, of course, are also presenting the matching spare parts highlights.

Derby Mk1: a successful start.

Supposedly there are people who consider the Derby to be an "ugly duckling". Its career started extremely positively in 1977: with 112,783 units, even more Derby's were produced than Polo's at that time. No wonder, as it offered a lot of car for little money – 515 litres of boot space from 9,055 marks!

Derby Mk2: the (luggage) space miracle.

The second generation adopted the recipe for success of its predecessor. The technical basis was now the Polo 2, while visually the Derby maintained a certain independence, for example, through rectangular instead of round headlights. With a whopping 540 litres of space, the luggage compartment was enlarged further and even made some luxury sedans look old. 

Polo 86C Notchback: new name, proven quality.

After producing exactly 338,289 Derby's, Volkswagen decided to integrate the notchback into the Polo family at the start of 1985. The Polo Notchback remained in the German Volkswagen programme until 1988, after which it was only offered abroad. The last examples even received a facelift based on the look of the Polo 2F for the 1991 model year.

Polo Classic: between Wolfsburg and Córdoba.

From 1995 to 2001 the Polo Classic was much more mature than its predecessors. A full 19 centimetres longer than the last Derby, it reached with 4.16 metres almost the outer dimension of the Jetta 1. With up to 110 hp, it also achieved new dimensions in terms of performance. Strictly speaking, however, its technical basis was not the Polo 6N, but the Seat Cordoba.

Polo Sedan: the (for now) last chapter.

After a three-year break, a Polo with a notchback appeared again for the 2004 model year – the sedan based on the then current 9N. Rounded shapes from the front (headlights) to the rear (trunk lid) now dominated its appearance. As early as 2005 the Polo sedan disappeared from the European price lists, but was still produced for other markets.