If you fancy a bit of Mk1 fun this weekend or simply want to ‘try before you buy’ you’re in luck because Warwickshire-based car hire company The Open Road has just added a VW Golf GTi Cabriolet to its fleet…
Possibly the only classic Golf Cab for hire in the UK, it provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy some topless motoring and make the most of the summer sun now it’s eventually arrived! Said the firm’s Tony Merrygold, who’s more used to hiring out classic Healeys, Jags, Triumphs and MGBs: “I think it will appeal to VW fans in general and especially to younger folk, whereas our other classics appeal to an older age group.”
The Golf in question is a striking Mars Red 1986 1.8 GTi which has been sympathetically upgraded with black leather pews and a posh new fabric hood.
Why a GTi, we asked? “When we started hiring out cars back in 1997 our plan initially was to concentrate on British Classics, but over the years we have expanded our fleet,” said Tony. “We now have a pair of 1965 American Ford Mustangs which proves there’s demand for more than just British cars so I am now considering other foreign classics. Apart from VW, Alfa Romeo becomes the obvious candidate – either a Spider or a 2000 GTV.”
Tony’s personal definition of a ‘classic’ is a car that played an influence at an early age; a car you wanted to drive but perhaps couldn’t afford – ‘aspirational’ cars, in other words. “I am 60 so my view of classics is very much the Austin Healey, MG, Triumphs and Jaguars that were around when I was young. Move on 20 years and people in their late 30s or early 40s would have lusted after Golf GTIs, Peugeots GTIs etc, hence why there’s now an iconic Mk1 one on the fleet.”
Rates are on the website but roughly equate to £150 a day (9:00-20:00) with no limit on mileage, with four days being offered for the price of three. Drivers must be aged between 25-75.
Tony’s also thinking of adding a Porsche 356 to the fleet and thinks this might also appeal to VW fans – not a real one because, as he says, “they’re silly money” but a Chesil replica or US import replica instead. Bring it on, we say…
The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of VW Heritage