CHRISTOPHER SANTOS answers some frequently asked questions sent by email.
Q: What made you create such an extensive website?
A: Over the years I had gathered together a lot of Mk1 GTI related information and decided to publish it on the internet.
Q: Why did you not have your red Campaign GTI repainted?
A: After various treatments, (mopping etc.) the paint came up like new and it was good to keep it original.
Q: Why was the original DX engine not rebuilt in your red Campaign?
A: It was decided that for 100% reliability, a proper remanufactured engine with warranty would be sourced and fitted. A VEGE engine was the best available.
Q: I am looking for hard to find parts for my Mk1 Golf. Where should I start looking for them?
A: Try your local V.A.G. dealer and ask them to do a nationwide search of all their dealers. If this does not help, there are many reputable companies (dismantlers) advertising in the VW press. Also, try and locate a genuine VW parts CD, this can help with part numbers and their variations etc.
Q: How did you go about finding your old GTI Campaign, 15 years after you had sold it?
A: I wrote to the DVLA asking if the car was still on the road. When that was confirmed, I then explained that I had the car from new and wanted to buy it back. The DVLA then offered to assist me in contacting the current owner of the car - who agreed to sell it to me.
Q: Why did your GTI Campaign have two 'A' reg number plates?
A: This was due to the original number (A544PNS) not being reissued when my private number plate was removed in January 1986.
Q: If you had not been successful in buying your old GTI Campaign back, would you have purchased another Campaign instead?
A: Any other Campaign would have merely been a replica of my original 1983 car - so the answer is no. There is nothing like having 'the real thing.'
Q: You have restored two Mk1 Golf GTIs - will you do another?
Q: Your two GTIs were comprehensively restored. How much did they cost?
A: Both cars took an awful lot of time and money - say no more.
Q: Which car cost the most to restore?
A: There's not much in it, but the 1979 GTI cost the most.
Q: Where did you obtain the black tartan seat pattern when you re-trimmed your 1979 GTI seats in January, 2012 and who reupholstered them?
A: VW Heritage supplied the material and a former employee at Jaguar Cars (trim shop) did all the necessary work.
Q: How many standard RHD 4-speed Golf GTIs are there left in this country?
A: Impossible to say. I know of only a handful of good examples in the UK.
Q: There has been a lot of talk regarding the EW chassis being the only reliable way to distinguish a genuine factory Campaign from fakes. Do you believe all genuine UK Campaigns had an EW chassis number?
A: I do, but a lot of people don't. It is really up to the buyer to do comprehensive checks before any purchase.
Q: As someone who owned a Golf GTI Campaign from new, what audio equipment did it have when it was delivered?
A: None. All Campaigns (and Mk1 GTIs) built for this country had no audio equipment (not even an aerial) fitted as standard equipment. This is clearly stated in the VW brochures from the period. As for my Campaign, when I had the car new in 1983, a specialist car audio shop in Glasgow (Paisley) fitted some superb ICE.
Q: I would like to make you an offer on one of your cars, will they be offered for sale?
A: I have no plans to sell these cars.
Q: Why then have I seen pictures of your cars for sale on Ebay?
A: It would seem some people are nicking photographs from this site and using them as examples of what a good Mk1 Golf GTI looks like!
Q: I would like to make you an offer for the registration number 83 VW. Are you interested in selling it?
Q: What is your 1983 Campaign like today?
A: It remains a great deal of fun but at the same time feels a little unsafe (and vulnerable in modern traffic) compared with the safety equipped cars we have today. Also, there is no power steering or air conditioning!
Q: Which one of your two GTIs is the most dynamically rewarding to drive?
A: The 1979 GTI. This is probably due to the smaller wheel size.
Q: There is much discussion regarding the black surround of the rear window on the Mk1 GTI. Which cars had these?
A: By referring to Volkswagen sales brochures from the period, it would seem that all UK Golf GTI Mk1 models had this black surround, except for black cars. However, the official Campaign sales brochure implies that ALL Campaigns (even black cars!) had this decal. To see a Helious blue Campaign with this black decal, click here.
Q: How bad is corrosion on the Mk1 Golf GTI?
A: With the youngest Mk1 Golf GTI now over twenty years old, rust will always be a major concern when buying an unknown car. Pre 1982 models can now be riddled with corrosion and pre 1980 models are best avoided unless the car can be thoroughly inspected on a professional garage ramp or you are looking for a serious restoration. The 1983 Mk1 GTI is the best bet, although my own private theory is that metallic painted cars suffer more corrosion.
Q: Yours cars have been featured in many magazines/books. I want mine featured, how do I go about achieving this?
A: Write to the magazine's editor, describing your car and why you think their readers may be interested in it. If your car is well known, the editor may even contact you.
Q: Why did you not re-use your Pirelli alloy wheels in the Campaign restoration?
A: I was never a fan of the Pirelli wheel and much prefer the look of the Ronal R10 on the Mk1 Golf. I have, however, kept the original Pirelli alloys for this car.
Q: Why don't you display your cars at the various VW shows?
A: I have been asked on two separate occasions to lend my 1979 Golf GTi to a (trade) stand at the Classic Motor Show held at the NEC, but I am not interested in doing it or participating in any VW shows.
Q: What is the current status of your two Golfs?
A: Both cars are garaged and kept in road-ready condition. The 1979 GTI is registered as SORN and is unlikely to be recommissioned for regular use. The 1983 GTI is also enjoying a long comfortable retirement.
Q: Is your idea of sending away for the vehicle's V55 document a reliable Campaign verification test?
A: It would seem not, as personally imported cars, or vehicles that have been first registered abroad, but are nevertheless genuine Campaigns (with an EW chassis), may not have this description.
Q: Where did you get the tailored garage dust covers for your cars?
A: These covers were made for me by Classic Additions.
Q: You have financed two professional restorations. Any advice would be appreciated.
A: It is always worth finding a garage who has regular experience of elderly VWs. The garage who worked on my two cars was a VW specialist and subsequently knew the all the cars weak spots and different variations regarding parts, fittings, etc.
Firstly, check the garage thoroughly. Ask to see any previous/current work. Speak personally to the people who will work on your car and keep in regular contact. Get written quotes for everything. Also agree a time scale for the whole project and have written terms for their guarantee. Also, make sure any new parts are of the quality you have asked for.
Then set a very generous budget - and realistically double it.
After two restorations, catalogued (surplus) new parts.
Complete windscreen frame panel (not used).
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