At the beginning of the 1980s Volkswagen led the pack in the GTi hot-hatch sector. But then along came Peugeot with its fast and lightweight 205GTI – and with the Sochaux company further burnishing its image by an involvement in rallying. This was an arena neglected by Volkswagen, but now it knew it had to react. Accordingly it decided, from 1989, to campaign the Golf in the Group A rally championship. This required a production run of 5000 units and gave birth in March 1989 to the Golf Rallye, to be built at VW’s Belgian plant at Forest, near Brussels.
Lancia was then dominating rallying with its Delta, equipped with a highly effective four-wheel-drive system. Volkswagen followed suit and in addition used a supercharged engine, picking up on the technology already in use on the G60 Corrado coupé. The competition version had a 16-valve head and developed approaching 270bhp, and on its first outing, the Rally Costa Smeralda, it came home sixth. This was followed by a third place in the Rally New Zealand, but faced with well-developed rivals and certain reliability problems, Volkswagen decided to abandon Group A rallying at the end of the 1990 season.
The Golf Rallye presented here is a model sold new in France and first registered on 8 September 1989. As testified by the registration number engraved on the glass, it has spent all its life in the Jura region. In shiny Blue Graphite metallic paint, the car has only had two owners and is in fine original condition. Recently fully serviced, it has had the cam belt changed and no further expenses are envisaged. Additionally the wheels have been blasted and repainted in their original colour. The special part-leather Rallye seats show no serious wear and are nicely patinated.
On test the car proved incredibly effective as a cross-country express – harmonious in its reponses, powerful, cornering flatly, and accelerating through the bends with a characteristic whistle from the supercharger. ‘Homologation specials’ have been shooting up in value recently, so this could be the moment to acquire a Golf with a real difference for a price that is still reasonable.
This car will be sold by auction by AGUTTES Auction House, in Paris, at the Espace Champerret, France, on June the 23th, 2019.
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