1988 Volkswagen Golf GTI Cabriolet

Guide Price: £4000 - £6000


・Open topped motoring
・VW build quality
・Well looked after throughout its life
・Approx. 5000 miles covered over the last 12 years
・Never been out in the rain with current owner
・Always garaged
・Ready to drive & enjoy

Marque History

The Cabriolet was sold from 1980 to 1994. It had a reinforced body, a transverse roll-over bar, and a high level of trim. From stamping to final assembly, the Mk1 Cabriolet was built entirely at the Karmann factory. Volkswagen supplied engines, suspension, and interior trim for Karmann to install. The tops, of vinyl or cloth, were heavily insulated, with a heated glass rear window. The top was raised and lowered manually.

The body of the Cabriolet did not change through the entire production run except for a larger fuel tank. It kept the pre-1980 style of rear lamp clusters. All Cabriolets from 1988 on left the factory fitted with a "Clipper" bodykit, that featured smooth body-coloured bumpers, wheel-arch extensions, and side skirts.
Prior to the 1984 model year the highest standard specification Cabriolet was the GLI, which was essentially a GTI in all but name. It was only in late 1983 with the introduction of the 1984 model that an officially badged GTI version of the cabriolet finally became available.

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Car History

With only 3 previous registered owners, this Golf has a straightforward & short tale to tell. 
First registered with a private plate on the 4th of January 1988, it appeared to stay close to it’s English Riviera roots when sold to it’s second owner in 1996. No doubt enjoying its roof down motoring in sunny Devon, it was lovingly looked after until 2009 when it briefly passed through a London dealer, before being whisked up to Nottinghamshire by the vendor. 

With an average mileage of 2,696 mls per year, this Golf has lived a closeted life and has only covered approximately 5,000 over the last 12 years of current ownership.

Used by the retired vendor for family trips to the coast or Peak District but only on fine days so the roof can be folded flat ! 


There are service records of garage work undertaken from 1996 to 2006 and all Mot certificates from 1999 to date. 

The current Mot runs to March 2022 & there is a current V5c.
Showing just how fastidious all the owners have been, previous tax discs from 1988 to 2014, with only 2 exceptions, will be in a folder with the car.

The car will also come with the original owner’s manual, several books on the marque and a file of receipts for some works over the years, parts obtained etc.

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White leather hide complements the deep red exterior. Re-trimmed in 1997 by the second owner, it’s stood up to use exceptionally well with only minor scuffing on the front seat side bolsters, with the remaining seats and door cards looking fabulous.

The original dashboard contains a Blaupunkt radio, which may well have been fitted from new.

There is little wear to the steering wheel & overall the interior is in great condition.

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With this car being kept garaged by the current vendor and never taken out in the rain, the exterior presents very well, with a deep lustre from the many coats of wax applied over the years.

Understandably, there are a few blemishes or trophy scars noticeable on close inspection none of which detract from the overall great look of this Golf & could easily be hidden with little effort.

There is a mark on the driver’s door, a scratch on the nearside rear wing & a few small scratches to the front nearside bumper around the indicator lens.

The engine bay is exceptionally clean and tidy and there is no visible rust throughout the car.

The white vinyl roof is in good condition with no visible defects & of course comes with a glass rear window. It appears to fit well as you’d expect from VW, and is easily put up or down although of course this is by manual operation from the factory, all old school here.

With the roof folded down, there is a vinyl white cover which clips into place, just to tidy things up.

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From 2010 the vendor has looked after the car himself and being a competent mechanic, he’s carried out most of the car’s servicing over the years. 
With regular oil & filter changes being the main part, but a new master cylinder was fitted in 2011 along with rear drums, cylinders & shoes. New front discs & pads were replaced in 2016 & in 2017 a new radiator.

A new cam belt has just been fitted i.e. June 2021.
He also decided to upgrade the chassis with a Gokraut 4-Point performance front subframe in 2014, which is a well-known & respected modification.

When moved around for the photoshoot, the engine started instantly, ticked over quietly and is said to drive very well without any knocks or clunks from the suspension.


Just look how pretty this Mark 1 golf is in the photos, especially with the roof down on a beautiful sunny day. 
Of course, here in Britain these can be a little rare on occasions, but these Karmann designed cabriolets still maintain their looks with the roof in place.
Trips out with friends, family and even room for the dog to experience the joys of open topped motoring, these Golfs are adaptable and ready for any occasion as well as having the underlying reliability of VW underpinnings.
What’s not to like !

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1988
  • Make Volkswagen
  • Model Golf GTI Cabriolet
  • Colour Red
  • Odometer 89,000 Miles
  • Engine size 1800
  • Location Nottinghamshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
56 bids
  • pd•••• £9,600 21/06/21
  • ro•••• £9,500 21/06/21
  • ro•••• £9,400 21/06/21
  • pd•••• £9,300 21/06/21
  • ro•••• £9,200 21/06/21
  • pd•••• £9,100 21/06/21
  • ro•••• £9,000 21/06/21
  • ro•••• £8,900 21/06/21
  • pd•••• £8,800 21/06/21
  • ro•••• £8,700 21/06/21

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