Volkswagen celebrates 40 years of the GolfTue, 25 Mar 2014
The Volkswagen Golf has been with us 40 years, even when it was called the Rabbit in the U.S. market. VW will be celebrating the Golf's history with a special appearance at Techno Classica Essen, one of Germany's largest classic-car events. "40 years of Golf" will feature cars from every generation of this classic, which has sold more than 30 million copies all over the world since its debut in 1974.
The first generation Golf went into production at Volkswagen's Mittelland Canal plant in May of 1974, featuring a front-wheel drive layout, a water-cooled engine, and a quite sophisticated suspension for a car of its size with a MacPherson setup in the front and semi-independent twist-beam suspension in the back. Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro at ItalDesign, the Mark I Golf was far more aerodynamic than it looked, and its exterior remained visually fresh well into the 1980s. By then, automotive design had only begun to catch up to, and emulate, the shape of the Golf. The Golf really sparked what was then and is now called the "Golf class" in many parts of the world, and the car now has more competitors than we can count.
The seventh-generation Golf is sure to remain a staple of Volkswagen's lineup, and even though the automaker has since expanded its range of small cars, Golf platforms old and new continue to underpin multiple Volkswagen Automotive Group cars in close to 200 world markets.
For Techno Classic Essen, Volkswagen promises that celebrated racer Hans-Joachim Stuck will be on hand to sign autographs, and the company will also display several "Power Beetles" along with the "Salzburg" Beetle, the Beetle RSi, and the Volkswagen E-Bugster.
The Volkswagen Classic stand at Techno Classica Essen will be open March 26-30. Click here for more information about the event.
By Jay Ramey