Now here’s a rare find; a four square headlight version of a Mk1 GTI. And they appear to be LEDs; wow; VW really was ahead of the times in more way than one with their GTI.
Ok; they’re obviously cheap aftermarket LEDs that someone has seen fit to replace the originals; why, I don’t know. And given their random aiming, I’m not sure how effective they are. GGR….
There’s still a few of these around here, but the numbers are obviously in decline. Fortunately, there’s still more non-GTI Mk1s on the street to round out their glass-boxy presence, which is becoming more and more of a contrast to the typical vehicular fare of the teens.
Eric703 did a detailed CC of the MK1 GTI here, so I’m not venture deep into the subject here. But I do have a very happy memory of getting to take a brand new first-year one out for a very brisk spin up in the hills of Los Angeles, including Mulholland Drive, thanks to Stephanie’s sister’s high school boyfriend, who was the beneficiary of a brand new one as a high school graduation present. It’s probably a very good thing he didn’t come along for the ride. Anyway, he was more interested in Nicky than the GTI; it was mostly wasted on him, as he was a mediocre driver who could barely master the stick shift. But it was a relatively hot ticket for high schoolers in West LA that year.
LOL the initial picture made my day. 🙂
The mk1 gti was one hell of a car. The handling was spectacular, the engine sounded great and was a revver. Comfortable and sporty interior, felt well put together and was practical and reliable. I can see why they are getting pricey on the used market these mk1’s. A great car.
I’m guessing there must be a night-vision camera behind that hole in the grille; add that to the low-glare matte finish on the hood and this is one safe, advanced car!
Honda wasn’t far behind!
(Brother rear-ended an Expedition – we repaired the car with junkyard S-10 headlights, which were substantially cheaper than junkyard Honda headlights)
Oh for the days when nearly all cars had the round sealed beam headlights. They didn’t provide all that much light but they were available everywhere for five dollars or so, and could be replaced with basic hand tools. Now we are at the point where each different vehicle has its own headlights, dedicated to that particular model, that can cost hundreds of dollars to replace. I’m not sure that this is progress.
The son of a friend recently tail-ended a car while driving Dad’s brand new Audi S6. A pair of headlights are required for the Audi…$1200 each
I worked in Lexus parts for a time about 8 years ago… the adaptive headlights for an ’09 LS460 were $3598.00 EACH…
So if someone smashes the headlights, and only the headlights, you’d be out $8,000?
This is NOT progress, folks!
Looks like the 1984-85 Accord!
Clearly the ones on the left are to see ahead of you, and the ones on the right illuminate the sky and the ground. What could go wrong?
You aren’t wrong about it being one of the hot cars in LA in those days, my Woodland Hills Taft High School parking lot had quite a few of them. Later a college roommate had one and I too spend quite some time enjoying it. Wonderfully light and communicative, 90hp is a lot more than it seems.
I miss my Rabbit GTI…
Oregon. Home of the free to jury rig!
I loved my GTis GLis etc. This was my first one, an ’83 in ’89.
I went looking for a 16V Jetta recently but stayed with the SAAB Turbo then I had to sell the Turbo for emotional reasons I’ll not delve into in this space but I wound up with an NA 16V SAAB Cabrio.
It’s fun to try harder sometimes. I’m 50+ now so yes a drop top trumps a turbo any day. I also almost bought a Blue Aigner/Helious Cabby 4 years ago.
Way back in the early 90s I drove an A2 Jetta so I tended to notice other ones. Once I spotted a GLI in a mall lot with a Euro GTI 4 round headlight conversion, a hot ticket back in the day, if you had the green for it. Evidently this guy didn’t- He used what appeared to be ’59 Chevy bezels grafted into the VW grill. Needless to say, the look was astoundingly atrocious.
I was so tempted to wait until the owner came back so I could tell him what a DB he was-Alas, I had other things to do.
I never drove one, but I’ll never forget my first ride in a 1983 GTI, as described here: https://www.curbsideclassic.com/blog/coal-capsule/coal-2003-vw-gti-1-8t-suddenly-its-1983/
I really liked the short gearing–between 5 & 50 mph, it was super for squirting thru gaps in traffic.
And I liked the manual steering! Only car I’ve ever owned without power steering.
Nowaday, with these big, wide tires, it’s probably essential in lighter cars, as well as heavier and/or FWD cars
Perhaps the intention was to aim them as high beam for one pair and low beam for the other pair. Passerbys have probably messed with that arrangement. They look to be 27 watt utility LEDs as used on farm equipment and the like. I need to get a pair for my zero turn mower as it has no headlights. I’m sure they would be fine for my intended purpose, however I’m not too sure if they would be bright enough to sub in for road use headlights.
The lights beg the question: what were they thinking? Or was this after smoking something mind altering? Replacement square halogens would have been a cheap easy replacement giving improving lighting compared to the original lighting.
Now the aiming, that is another mystery, but perhaps we don’t want to know the answer to that question.
I had one in the 90’s. I managed to find a 4 headlight grill for $20 at a wrecker. I never did put it in but it would have looked much better than that thing. Great little car that could swallow a lot of gear with the back seat down. I put an aftermarket header and rebuilt the motor. With no cat (Canadian model) it could give newer versions a run for their money.
I remember this generation VW Rabbit GTI. It was the last generation to be sold in North America as the Rabbit. After that, it was sold as the Golf. I’ve never seen one with 4 headlamps. All the Rabbits and GTIs had 2, 1 on each side.
The revised Rabbit Cabriolet Mk1 (1988-1993) had four headlamps. So did the South African Golf Citi later in its production run.
I saw a Mk 1 Golf recently – it looked sooo tiny !
From what I’ve read a VW up! GTI will be introduced within a year. VW’s smallest model, an A-segment
(tiny !) hatchback. 115 hp from its 1.0 liter TSI engine. It will look something like this below.
That means that VW has a GTI in the A-segment, B-segment (Polo) and C-segment (Golf).