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The Golf Mk1 Opi

Classic car "Opi" is far from being a pensioner

50 years of Volkswagen Golf. An icon, a classic Volkswagen that moves us - on the road and in our hearts. We've been waiting for this anniversary for a long time and hardly any one is so special. Half a century with one model in eight generations, where else can you find something like that? Not only we at Volkswagen Classic Parts couldn't wait for this jubilee, Jörg Eisenberger was also looking forward to this date. The proud owner of a first generation Golf L, he is currently a popular conversation partner with his vehicle by his side. Anyone who owns such a car can tell a lot about it. We tell the story about his Golf, his best friend who lives in the garage and is called “Opi” (Grandpa).

Immer im Trend. Der Golf 1 seit 1974. Jetzt VW Classic Parts entdecken.

Opi comes back to Wolfsburg

Jörg always wanted to own a Golf Mk1 because he belongs to the generation that saw this model roll off the assembly line in Wolfsburg. After his first Golf cars in the early 1990s, his dream came true in 2021 again. The car he wanted was at a classic dealer: A Golf L painted in inari silver metallic (L94A) with the Multicolor Ivy (BU) fabric interior and the small taillights. The wide rear lights came a year later with a facelift. The 50 HP comes out of a 1093 cc engine, which enables a top speed of 140 km/h.

The Golf, delivered in June 1980, first went to the south of France, where it served loyal for 31 years before being stored in a garage in Berlin. The Golf was taken out every two years just for the TÜV (MOT) test. During this time, the 4-door car was fitted with chrome bumpers, which do not actually belong on the vehicle of this model year. Another special Opi feature. With 81,000 kilometers on the clock, the Golf didn't seem to need much care. However, upon closer inspection of the Golf, it became clear: a complete renovation was necessary.

Sleeves rolled up, now it's time to restore

The restoration began with the dismantling of Opi. He soon found himself mounted to a frame for better processing of the underbody. An important restauration part of his classic Volkswagen was researching suitable replacement parts. A search that quickly led him to the Volkswagen Classic Parts online shop and our spare parts experts.

Our warehouse was able to supply him with many replacement parts in original Volkswagen quality: tank pipe seal, cover ring for filler neck, rear brake carrier plate, bearing bolts and much more small parts. Jörg was amazed that there were still so many Classic Parts for the Golf Mk1. Then it was time to get active himself. Jörg blasted the underbody with dry ice for a full eight hours, then preserved it and painted it with vehicle colour. The 1.1-liter engine with engine code GG was overhauled, add-on parts were painted in multiple layers and lines and seals were replaced.

Excellent restoration of the classic car

The extensive restoration was worth it and today “Opi” accompanies Jörg in excellent condition. The certificate ordered from Classic Parts even gave Jörg the “Matching Numbers” rating (the same engine since the vehicle was delivered). Jörg's aim was to complete the restoration at the end of May 2022 to coincide with "Opi's" 42nd birthday. He passed the general inspection without any defects, which was rewarded with a fresh TÜV sticker on the license plate. The Classic Data report also rewarded the proud owner with a grade of A for the car as it stands today.

Anyone who thinks that the car stays mostly in the garage is wrong. Jörg drives the Golf more than regularly and even for longer distances. This means that he and his Golf Mk1 are an absolute eye-catcher not only in Wolfsburg, but also on vintage car trips or our Volkswagen Classic Parts Fan-Day in Breuna.

The Golf remains

The Golf brochure from 1979 says: “Often copied, never equaled: The Golf has quickly set a mark in international automobile manufacturing and it is not without reason that it is an exemplary car in every respect.” Nothing has been added to this over the years. One thing is clear: The Golf in all its generations has become an indispensable part of the vintage and classic car scene, as well as in today's normal street scenes. Jörg isn't the only one who appreciates the selection of parts at Volkswagen Classic Parts. We have many spare parts in stock up to the Golf Mk5. This means that not only Jörg and Opi can rely on us for their Golf spare parts supply. We are also happy to be part of many more Golf stories.

Discover the magazine article about the Golf 1 Opi at VW Classic Parts.