Ads on test: Volkswagen Golf GTI

A Dub that was bought new by Del Boy, but don’t worry, this car’s cushty

Cost New £6500 Price £22,995


hat’s right, this Golf GTI Cabriolet was bought new by none other than Sir David Jason, which explains the premium. He bought it in 1988 for his then partner, who was the car’s first keeper. Even without the celebrity connection the ‘All White’ special edition Golf GTI Cabriolet is a rare car. Just 138 were made – finished in Alpine white, Lasky White check interior and Avus alloys with white barrels and a polished face.

This rare machine is being retailed by The Private Collection near Oxford. Chatting through this GTI’s history with sales manager Nick, turns up a great tale. After just a couple of months the car found its second owner, Sir David Jason’s manager. He hardly used it for the next nine years, covering less than 11,000 miles. Staying in the Jason-fold the car was then sold to the godfather of the star’s children before it left his immediate circle of friends and family. A few private owners and a further 11,000 miles later saw The Private Collection’s owner, himself a friend of Sir David Jason, buy the car.

Having covered just 22,000 miles it comes as little surprise to find that this GTI goes every bit as well as it looks. The All White edition came with a choice of either a 1.6-litre or the full-fat GTI motor, plus a choice of manual or automatic transmissions.

Thankfully Sir David ticked the right boxes as this car has the 1.8-litre and a five-speed manual transmission. The test drive confirms there’s nothing wrong whatsoever with the way this car drives. It’s great fun, and as tight and fresh as any MkI Golf GTI I can remember driving. A period Blaupunkt Montreux stereo completes my teleportation back to the late-1980s.

Though it has remained in remarkable condition there are a couple of marks here and there that prove it is a 32-year old car. The outer edge of the front bumper on the passenger side shows a light scuff and a few tiny bubbles under the paint have appeared in the door shut on the same side.

The rest of the car is immaculate and really with these small things addressed it could easily scoop a concours trophy, if that’s your thing. We’d sooner leave it and go about putting some miles on it.


Year:     1987
Mileage:    22,000
On sale at:    The Private Collection

Engine:     1781cc, 4-cyl, SOHC
Transmission:    FWD, 5-speed manual
Power:     110bhp@5500rpm
Torque:     115lb-ft@3100rpm
Weight:     995kg

0-60mph:    10.1sec
Top speed:    108mph
Economy:     34mpg


1979: Golf Cabriolet debuts in either GLI or GLS guises. The former is an open-top GTI, the latter is a 1457cc carb-fed Golf.

1981: Dash redesigned to include a lockable glovebox and console.

1982: The GLI gets the upgraded 1.8-litre GTI engine.

1983: The smaller GLS motor is replaced by a 1595cc engine, still carb-fed. Sports seats standard fit on all cabriolet variants.

1985: Rebranding sees the GLI become GTI and the GLS becoming simply the GL.

1988: Moulded bumpers, sill trims and side skirts fitted. Smaller engine model now rebranded as the ‘Clipper’.

1993: production ends.