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1986 Volkswagen Golf GTi Cabriolet – Reserve Met

Sold Price


  • Mileage~116,863
  • TransmissionManual
  • Engine1.8L
  • LocationTunbridge Wells


1986 Volkswagen Golf GTi Cabriolet – Reserve Met

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Alan Stuart
Professional Consigner

Engineered for driving enjoyment, this MK1 cabriolet is a great example of classic '80s Golf styling.

The Golf is unsurpassed as one of Volkswagen’s best selling car models and still holds a place as one of the world’s best selling cars of all time. Built by Karmann under instruction from VW, the cabriolet, drop top variant of the Golf is a fine example of vehicle engineering adding in a reinforced body, roll over bar and additional levels of trim.

Driving enjoyment has been key to Volkswagen’s heritage throughout the years and with such memorable looks it’s easy to see why the Golf still remains such a firm favourite for casual motorists and enthusiasts alike.

With its sculpted lines this 1986 MK1 Golf just screams '80s style, boasting boxy angles and angular looks. This classic three door / four seater Golf packs a 1.8L petrol engine motor and is finished in Alpine White with a blue colour contrasting fold-down roof.

Having been purchased due to a love of cabriolet cars, the Golf has benefitted from restorative work over its current ownership. In 2010 the car had new rear brake pads, new front discs, pads and hoses fitted. New rear shocks were upgraded, rear fog lamp, new exhaust downpipe, a new cam belt, new wheel bearings and a replacement blue hood. The car also had replacement front top mounts for the shocks, upgraded MK2 brake servo and new Pirelli P slot wheels in 2021.

This listing was written from information supplied by Alan after meeting Brian the owner, and having visited and photographed the vehicle.

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Secure Auctions

We verify all our sellers and buyers to keep our community safe whilst also providing the highest levels of website security.

Full Transparency

8 out of 10 people that buy cars via our service don’t feel the need to visit due to the transparency and thoroughness of our listings.

Vehicle Delivery

We're there every step of your buying journey and will even arrange pick-up and delivery of your new vehicle.

Meet the owner

Good looks, great drive and a brilliant motoring experience - it's everything I've ever needed in a car.

As a fan of open top driving, the Golf GTi was an easy decision for the current owner to purchase, Brian said, "I love the performance of the car, the economy, its old fashioned style and also that it's admired by many other motorists!".

Having owned the car for ~13 years, Brian has had his fair share of VW cars, he goes on to say, "I've owned a MK1 in the 80's and another MK1 in the 90's. I also owned a lovely Rivage in '92.".

Changes to Brian's health over recent years means that he needs to focus on something a little different, in his own words, "Ultimately I'll miss the motor - it has been brilliant to drive but the time has come to let it go as I don't get to drive it as much as I once did.".

Vehicle Owner

Brian saved £1,440* when they
sold their VW with us.


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Box styled panelling, beautiful angles across the bodywork and the coveted red grille stripe, this is '80s VW Golf styling at arguably its best.

Wheels and Tyres

The Golf GTi is equipped with a great set of alloy 14" wheels with black centre sections that show in really well around all four corners of the car. We noted very few issues with the wheels as they are almost brand new.

Complete with a new set of Falken Sincera SN110 tyres, running 185/60 to the front and rear, these are date coded from 2020. The tread shows well, and the condition of tyres looks good too with no obvious cracking or major wear that we could see.

There is an additional set of multi spoke VW wheels included with the sale. The spare set of wheels would benefit from a recondition at a later date should these be wished to be used.

Please take a look at the photos and videos for a detailed view of the exterior of this VW and a closer look at the wheels and tyres.


The car stands straight, shut lines look good. Both doors and bonnet open and close well. The VW had sections of the bodywork worked on as part of a specialist overhaul in 2021. The boot will need its strut replacing as this didn't function correctly on our visit as noted by the owner also.

We noted very few issues with the bodywork or rust issues. When the windscreen was replaced as part of the overhaul, the surface areas around the front section was treated and metal areas resprayed. The only section of corrosion we did note, was a small area on the nearside rear quarter panel which is quite remarkable for a car approaching its ~37th birthday.

Take the time to look through all the media files for a detailed view at what’s on offer, and for you to assess the condition of the car for yourselves.


Finished in Alpine White with red and black trim, the exterior of the car really stands out nicely. We didn't note any major areas of concern over the paintwork, but there were a few signs of stone chipping behind the front bumper section. There were a couple of little marks above the front bumper reflector although we had to look fairly close to spot these. There were also signs of stone chipping marks on the rear wheel arches.

Again, we have taken high resolution images and videos of the car for you to assess the condition of the bodywork for yourselves. The images are taken from a few different angles to show off the car as you would see it if you were standing there for yourselves. So please take the time to fully assess these high resolution images and videos of the car, for you to make up your own minds about the condition of the paint.

Glass and Trim

Windscreen section, side windows and mirrors all appear in good condition and we could see no sign of scratching or chips on the glass. The windscreen has been replaced by Brian as the previous glass was chipped. There is also a small chip on the offside front headlight which may be worth a closer look from the future owner.

The seals on the whole look good and intact around the car and in-line with the rest of the condition of the car. On the cabriolet roof we noticed no rips or tears on our visit, this has been replaced in the current blue finish by the current owner to match the rest of the cabin area.


Colour-matched roof hood and cabin area make this Golf a truly stylish cabriolet that you’ll want to use every day, not just when the sun shines.

Seats and Carpets

The blue pattern fabric seats showed very well in the car having been re-upholstered - the quality here just goes to show the love the car has received over its years, and also the benefit of largely being dry stored through its life too.

The seats and door cards are from the lower spec 'CC' model but all fitted perfectly in the interior. We did note a small rip in the back seat of the car but not an area of major concern.

Carpet sections mirrored the quality of the rest of the interior with just some light wear to be seen. In the boot area, the carpet is nice and clean with the spare wheel hiding beneath the carpet complete with the jack.


The black dash appears in great shape with no cracks or scratches to report. Mileage counter showed with ~116,863 miles at the time of our visit. The display area of the dials and gauges show well and without concern with a working clock as part of the drivers view section.

Our interior gallery section takes you over some closer images of the VW dashboard, head over and see the car's interior in finer detail.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick

The 4 spoke VW branded steering wheel is in good condition with just some minimal wear to the finish. Overall the drivers section is a straightforward setup with minimal fuss.

The characteristic 5 speed golf ball gear knob was consistent with the overall look of the cabin area, good in its presentation with a little sign of patina through its usage.


A 1.8L engine is what powered the GTi to gain the status of one the best hot hatches - together with the handling, this makes it an extremely fun car to own and drive.

Engine and Gearbox

With a factory spec'd 0-60MPH time of ~8.0 seconds, the GTi was capable of an output of ~110BHP resulting in a top speed of ~119MPH. The 1.8L engine really packed a punch for an '80s car, and still continues to put a smile on the faces of even the most modern of petrolheads despite its heritage.

Take a look at the car and engine section which we've highlighted in the cold start section of the mechanical review video. We take the car on a short drive and go into further detail about the Golf GTi, taking it out on some local roads to get a better sense of what this car is all about.

Suspension and Brakes

On the drive out, Brian took us around some local roads, the brakes felt to have no pull or vibrations that stood out to us when on the journey. A nice additional touch in the Golf is an upgrade to a MK2 brake servo which makes the stopping power of the car much improved from the original version.

We heard no knocks, bangs or squeaks from the suspension and overall the car performed as to be expected with no observed issues. The Golf has benefitted from new replacement top ends of the front shock absorbers as part of its mechanical overhaul in 2021. We cover off the underside of the VW's exterior in our Mechanical gallery section. Head over to our video section where we've summarised our visit in more detail for you to view for yourself.

The Drive

Ready for summer fun, this cabriolet will turn heads everywhere it goes. With enough room for four people and great usability, the 1.8L engine GTi, coupled with the fantastic handling, ensures that the future owner is guaranteed to have fun in the classic MK1.

With its MK2 brake servo added, it makes the stopping power of the GTi much more modern in its approach to safety, a smart and safe addition to the car. The set up in the GTi is a comfortable and enjoyable experience and one that any future keeper will be truly proud to own.

Electrics and Other

The VW is ultimately an '80s car and doesn't come with a huge wealth of modern electronics, that said, the car has been upgraded in 2021 to include a Blaupunkt DAB stereo. A great feature of the retro fitted stereo is SD card slot and USB input, which maintains a period relevant look to its finish. The rear window section of the Golf is also heated; a useful extra feature.

The Golf GTi comes with a set of additional set of VW multi spoke wheels and the original radio cassette player. Brian lets us know that he has had very few issues with the electrical elements on the car, but did let us know that the brake light switch is a little sticky and can sometimes leave the brake light on at times.

History and Paperwork

A timeless classic VW that is really well presented - with a new roof hood, new wheels, new tyres and reconditioned bodywork from the current owner, we couldn't imagine a better car to spend the summer in.

The VW was purchased following a trip on a day out in 2010 where Brian, the current owner, spotted the car for sale. The previous owner had two children in quick succession where the car had then become surplus to need. Brian purchased the car having enjoyed many cabriolet cars in previous years, and having additional space at a barn at home in which to store the car. The car was purchased without the original interior but with a sound and solid drive feel which is one the main reasons Brian bought the Golf.

Following the purchase in July 2010, Brian took the car to a VW specialist who detailed the requirements of an overhaul needed to bring it back up to a great standard. It was from here that the VW had new rear brake pads and new front discs, pads and hoses. New rear shocks were upgraded, rear fog lamp, new exhaust downpipe, new cam belt and wheel bearings. Brian then replaced the blue hood himself to match the interior.

Since his ownership, Brian has always dry stored the car and mainly used in good weather. In 2012, the ownership changed to Brian's son and wife as he had upgraded his personal car. The car was used less and less over the following years - in 2017 the car was placed off the road and SORN'd accordingly. In 2021, Brian took the Golf GTi back as he had then moved on from his upgraded car and his grandchildren would not be travelling in the VW.

The car was then taken to a MK1 specialist in May 2021 - Crazy Quiffs in Wallingford, to see if there were any issues Brian hadn't noticed since his initial overhaul. The owner of the specialist company declared that the Golf was in good fettle, but would benefit from replacement front top mounts for the shocks and that the brakes would be much more effective with a MK2 brake servo fitted. During this time, a new windscreen was also fitted where the surfaces were treated and resprayed along with the rear quarter panel under the offside rear bumper. Following Brian's approval, this work was then carried out.

Whilst the revised work was being actioned, the subject of reconditioning the original wheels came up, Brian mentioned he had always loved the look of the Pirelli P slot wheels that were equipped on his old Rivage, and, as luck would have it, the specialist owner had an original set of four in the workshop that had never been on a car. The cost of buying and fitting these was not a lot more than re-working the original GTi wheels which is the wheel set we see on the Golf today.

Should there be any questions required, Brian would be happy to answer these in the section below.

We’ve done all our usual seller checks including photo ID, V5 and also actioned a HPi check on the vehicle.

We've summarised our own view on the car based on information gained from the seller in the listing above, however, and as you can see, we go to great lengths to photograph and video the car in hi-resolution detail - this has been done for you to make your own assessment from the comfort of your sofa. So please sit back, have a cuppa and take your time to review everything on this listing in order to make your own assessment on the vehicle's condition. Viewings are also welcomed with all our listings, so please get in touch with us to arrange a suitable time - we just need to speak to you first and receive a valid photo ID before confirming.

If there's anything you're unsure about, no matter how small, then please first ask the owner in the comments area below before placing your bid/s, as bids can't be retracted and form a binding contract if you win the car - just like a traditional auction house. Please note, the car may be in daily use, so the mileage may increase from that shown here - you can request an update check with us after you register your interest.

Service History
Date Type Mileage
12.10.2022 MOT 115,677
08.10.2021 MOT 114,477
15.10.2020 MOT 112,583
23.07.2020 Service 112,445
04.05.2020 Service 112,133
09.10.2019 Service 111,968
08.10.2019 MOT 111,968
15.10.2018 MOT 111,504
17.08.2016 MOT 110,650
06.08.2015 MOT 109,294
23.08.2014 MOT 108,980
30.07.2013 MOT 108,768
03.08.2012 MOT 107,981
04.08.2011 MOT 105,812
12.08.2010 MOT 100,156
12.08.2010 Service 100,153
14.09.2009 MOT 98,811
27.06.2008 MOT 98,366
04.05.2007 MOT 98,289
09.11.2005 MOT 94,218
13.09.2004 MOT 91,214
01.07.2002 MOT 83,778
26.05.2001 MOT 80,936
14.04.2000 MOT 80,910
18.03.1999 MOT 75,844
02.04.1998 MOT 69,783
19.03.1997 MOT 61,100
27.03.1996 MOT 54,142
07.03.1995 MOT 45,836
09.04.1994 MOT 39,270
04.03.1993 MOT 32,197
28.10.1991 MOT 27,378
Key Details
  • ModelGolf GTi Cabriolet
  • TransmissionManual
  • Reg. Date12.09.1986
  • CC1,781cc
  • Mileage~116,863
  • HistoryGood
  • ColourAlpine White
  • Interior ColourBlue/Black
  • Interior TrimCloth
  • Chassis #WVWZZZ15ZGK025393
  • Engine #DX121723
  • MOTYes. Exp 14.10.2023
  • HPi ClearYes - all clear
  • Former Keepers8
  • Tyre TreadGood
  • Tyre BrandFalken
  • Tyre Age2020
  • VisitedYes
  • Sale TypePrivate
  • Owned~13 years
  • Key FeatureCabriolet Model
  • Auction ID1325

Vehicle Sold

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Ask Questions
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Adam - Trade Classics

*** RESERVE MET *** good evening all, Brian has decided to remove the reserve on the car, so it will be sold to the highest bidder this evening. Gook luck, Adam


Vehicle Location

Tunbridge Wells

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