• Image of VW Golf GTI 40th Anniversary poster
  • Image of VW Golf GTI 40th Anniversary poster

Commemorate the 40th anniversary of this legendary vehicle with this unique and distinctive poster print.

A thin red line says a lot. The history of modern product design is littered with examples of this subtle sign, a marker of quality, to those “in the know”. The red ring around the barrel of a Canon L-series lens speaks of a professional edge of which only other professionals are aware. The small red dot on the side of a Beretta handgun that only reveals itself when the safety is off. The joints in a matt-black Tizio desk lamp that betray a hidden quality and precision. And of course there is the thin red line surrounding the grille of the Volkswagen Golf GTI - a marker of quality and harbinger of hidden potential.

The Golf GTI almost never existed. It originated in the early 1970s as a secret side project by enthusiastic VW engineers, who saw the potential in the new, soon-to-be-released Golf. By mating the 1.6 litre engine from the contemporary Audi 80 GT (with mechanical fuel injection in lieu of a carburettor) and using a Scirocco chassis as a test-bed, the team of engineers also fettled with the suspension and exhaust. Even though the chassis was more than capable, the results of this, they thought, were almost too extreme. They were expecting the project to fail. By the time they presented the fruits of their labour to the VW management, the new “Sport Golf” had been toned down a little. The little car proved to be a hit—both with VW top brass—and later upon public presentation at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1975.

Sales began the following year, in 1976 and it was immediately apparent that it was like nothing else on the road. A thin red line around the grille set this apart from the standard Golf, along with matt black wheel arch extensions, a chin spoiler, wider wheels and more matt black on the hatch around the rear windscreen. The 1588cc engine put out 108 bhp, and the car—weighing only 810 kg—was able to reach 60 mph in 9 seconds.

Some of the magic was lost as the Mk. 2 Golf GTI arrived in 1983, as it was now competing fiercely in a segment it helped create. Competition came chiefly in the form of the new Peugeot 205 GTI - widely regarded as the successor to the original Golf GTI’s crown, and a supremely enjoyable and rewarding vehicle in its own right. The “hot hatch” formula had proven to be hugely successful and many other manufacturers quickly launched models of their own. There came the Chrysler Talbot/Sunbeam—first as a ‘Ti” and later the venerable Sunbeam Lotus, Ford’s Fiesta XR2 and Escort XR3i, and Fiat Uno Turbo, to name but a few.

The Golf GTI’s spirit has carried on through five further generations - in 1991, 1997, 2003, 2008 and the current generation first announced in 2012.

Price in US dollars.

Print size:
18" x 24"
24" x 36"

Printed using archival inks on acid-free 220 gsm poster stock.

Shipped worldwide from California in a poster mailing tube.

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Artwork ©2016 Aaron Hillsdon. All model names and designations are trade marks of their respective owners. Depiction does not imply endorsement or affiliation.