1989 VW Golf Clipper Cabriolet


・Low mileage, 2 owner car

・Garaged since 5,000 miles

・Extensive service history

・Black leather interior


The Mk1 Golf was hugely popular and influential, so it was no surprise that, in 1979, VW commissioned Karmann to build a 4 seater cabriolet based on it. In fact, the Mk1 cabriolet was so popular that it continued in production until 1993 - long after general Mk1 production had ceased.

The body was strengthened and a transverse roll bar added to help the cabriolet maintain the hatchback’s excellent road manners. This later model car comes in limited edition 'Clipper' trim, featuring a powered roof and black leather interior.

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While most Golfs of this era have been modified or changed hands many times, this vehicle is exceptionally original and has only had two owners. First registered in Oldham in 1989, vendor has been the current owner since 1994.

The total mileage covered is 70,863 and has done just 22 miles since 2019.

In 2019, extensive work was undertaken to ensure the vehicle remained in top condition, this includes: new steering rack and alignment, new dampers and springs all round, new brake lines, new bearings, brake rebuild, new Good Year tyres all round and a new exhaust. There has also been a new fuel tank fitted, but the paperwork does not show when this was done. The owner’s son is selling the vehicle on their behalf as it is now no longer used. 

This rare vehicle comes with:

  • Extensive works and service history

  • MOT until May 2022

  • Just 70,865 miles from new

  • Completely original, 2 owner vehicle

  • One of only 39 1989 Clipper Cabrios still on the road in the UK


A large folder of service receipts, receipts for works carried out and current / previous MOTs comes with the vehicle, as well as the original handbooks. The paperwork confirms this is a genuine low mileage, 2 owner vehicle with a great history.


Probably the stand out feature of the interior is the gorgeous black leather trim. It’s in wonderful condition, with no evidence of cracks, tears or significant wear.

The carpets and door cards are in good condition, although some age-related wear is naturally present. All the switches and gauges work well, including the manual windows and mirror adjusters, and the white leather headlining of the roof is also in good condition. An aftermarket Sony radio/CD player has been fitted and, unusually for a car of this era, the rear parcel shelf is completely intact with no speaker holes having been cut into it.

The only element of the interior that requires repair is the stay on the glove box, which currently does not function.

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White always did suit the Mk1 Golf, and the Cabriolet is no exception. The paintwork really does show off the well proportioned, crisp Karmann styling. For a 32 year old car, the exterior is in excellent condition. The body kit is intact and the powered roof functions smoothly - even the original hubcaps are present and in superb condition.

There are, of course, some small scuffs and marks in the paintwork, and a couple of minor tears to the edges of the fabric roof. But overall this is a solid and well-cared for car, presented in very good condition.

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Volkswagen offered the Mk1 Golf with a huge range of engines, trim levels and options. This limited edition Clipper model comes with VW’s sturdy 1.8 litre, carburettor engine and an automatic gearbox. More than enough to give what is a relatively light car a reasonable amount of poke. The engine starts first time and idles smoothly and quietly. 

One of the advantages of this car is that many of the jobs commonly needed on older Golfs have already been undertaken. It comes with new brakes, a new steering rack, new dampers and springs, new Good Year tyres, a new exhaust and a new fuel tank. This work was mostly undertaken in 2019, and since then the car has been garaged and covered just 22 miles.


The appeal of owning a classic convertible, something to take out for a spin to your favourite watering-hole, or just to enjoy cruising down country lanes in, is obvious and strong. But the reality can be unreliable and expensive. That’s where vehicles like this come in. The Mk1 Golf is undeniably a stone cold classic, and one that is getting rarer by the day. But as a way into classic convertible ownership, they’re difficult to beat.

Common parts, a wealth of owners clubs and simple mechanicals make this the perfect first classic car, or just a great car for anyone that doesn’t want to spend most of their weekend sat on the side of the road. Volkswagen’s legendary reliability combined with that Karmann styling is hard to resist. Despite being a 40 year old design, the Mk1 still looks fantastic today.

We feel that this particular vehicle represents extraordinary value. Low mileage, garaged and lovingly cared for, with reams of history, a simply gorgeous leather interior and many major works already undertaken, this gorgeous little Golf should give you many years of happy motoring. We can’t think of many better ways to spend a weekend than zipping about the countryside, wind in our hair, in this little beauty.

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the sellers discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1989
  • Make Volkswagen
  • Model Golf Cabriolet
  • Colour White
  • Odometer 70,865 Miles
  • Engine size 1781
  • Location NOT STATED
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
54 bids
  • C.•••• £7,900 17/06/21
  • Je•••• £7,800 17/06/21
  • C.•••• £7,700 17/06/21
  • Je•••• £7,600 17/06/21
  • C.•••• £7,500 17/06/21
  • Je•••• £7,400 17/06/21
  • C.•••• £7,300 17/06/21
  • el•••• £7,200 17/06/21
  • C.•••• £7,100 17/06/21
  • el•••• £7,000 17/06/21

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