We are pretty used to seeing Golf racecars here in South Africa. Thanks to the long lifespan of the Mk1 Golf, or Golf1 if you prefer, the very first of its name may well be the most raced car of all time on local soil. We have entire series dedicated to the model. But it had to start somewhere, and the car above is just that, the world’s first Golf racecar.
The Volkswagen Golf debuted in May 1974 as the German company’s replacement for the popular Beetle. It was supposed to be an econobox for the masses. But one German tuner saw its potential even before the GTi was a consideration. Rolf Nothelle introduced the world’s first Golf racecar at Zolder in Belgium early in 1975. A short while later the bright red racer took victory at a race held at the Hockenheimring Grand Prix circuit with driver Bernd Lilier at the wheel and the rest, as they say, is history. Interestingly, VW would only greenlight the original GTi a few months later.
The world’s first Golf racecar initially ran with a 1,6-litre inline-four that belted out 121 kW and 8 000 r/min. Much later the car was fitted with a 1,8-litre motor that breathed through dual Weber 45 side-draft carburettors and peak power went up to 131 kW. The car was fitted with BBS wheels, uprated suspension, and four-piston front and two-piston rear calipers to handle the rigours of racing. VW AG asked Rolf’s son, Marcus Nothelle to perform a full restoration of the car in 2011. It made its debut to the public in restored original condition at Techno Classica show in Essen, Germany, in March of 2012.
Check out the world’s quickest Golf in this article.
This historic racecar is going under the hammer by auction house RM Sotheby’s in Essen, Germany on June 24. It is race ready and comes with spares including a replacement motor and transmission along with other original race-specific parts.
Images: RM Sotheby’s