Skip navigation

WHAT defines an original ?


Back to the top

i am currently in the process of doing up an original GTI but how much do you have to rplace for it to still be original

hi people im in the slow process of rebuilding a 1982 GTI with the 1.600 cc engine and box .it was in dry storage for over 12 years but still in good condition.Now i have had the birth certificate from Germany and its all original.all the numbers match so im happy with that.but at what point does it stop being an original, as so far i have replaced the floor pans,rear arches,removed the after market sunroof and gone with no sunroof.
So i suppose by the time its on the road a certain percentage would have been at what point does it stop being an original and become a kit car of many new parts.Also the only upgrades i will do is the ignition.hydraulic clutch.bushes.brakes.and a few other little ones but most will still be stock items as i want to use it rather than show it.
i have even fund the original wheels for it ,it wont be lowered or have a new engine so most will be as it was from new,
so what do you think how much has to be original for it to be original.


Back to the top
To me an original car is one that has not been painted or restored and is how VW made it.

So I would not worry about changing a few things, just enjoy the car, just don't try and sell it as an original car.  :thumbs:

1988 Mk1 Golf GTi Cabriolet 1.8cc DX, K-jet. Daily drive. 300,000 miles and counting
1978 Mk1 Scirocco GLS 1.6cc FR, Webber carb. Weekend toy.


Back to the top
It depends who's defining it - and it will vary in opinion from person to person.

HOWEVER to claim MoT exemption in a few years, "original" means the engine must be the original one or an equivalent. For example if a 1981 1.6GTI were fitted with a 1.8 engine, it would be able to claim MOT exemption in 2021. But if it had a 16V motor, it wouldn't.

Personally for me, an original GTI is the same colour as it left the factory, and the same engine type (ie not a 16V conversion or more), and probably the same wheels as well. A car can be original and restored, they're different things, so a respray is okay (lets face it 35 year old paint will be fairly flat by now…) so long as its done well. For example, black cars were a flat black not a clearcoat which is often seen nowadays; same with red. Its good to see the original interior and lighting too.

Of course….it would need to be a GTI to be a GTI…there's lots of copies and impersonators out there!!!



Back to the top
There are so many FrankenCabbies and FrankenGolfs as well as FrankenCaddys out there it is a fact of life.

You could buy a plain Jane golf off the Showroom, and in 5 years after a Junkyard visit redo the interior, and badges and have a GTI by proxy, not that it isn't a "True"GTI but a re-badged one.

Over here we don't have a MOT, to worry about.

To me OEM or original is what they came like out of the Factory on day one.

Knowing the Vin numbers and what they mean when yo buy it, then knowing what the build sticker is in the boot… that pretty much guides you as to what it was in the beginning, and should be at the end.  

Replacing body parts as in floor pans and such isn't deviating from that.  But changing it from Stock seating to Recarro's is, or placing a GTI grille on a Diesel.

What do Divorces, Great Coffee, and Car Electrics all have in common?

They all start with GOOD Grounds.

Where are my DIY Links?


Back to the top
An original car is going to mean something different to all of us (I would hope so anyway, as these differences make this place great). From what OP described, I would look at it as preservation and restoration back to factory specs. Next best thing to original.

You're saving a classic. Plain and simple.


Back to the top
Original is original.

As it came out of the factory. No paint, no welding, nothing.

My Derby was original when I bought it. But it needed the engine bay repainting, which I did, to stop rust setting in. I also fitted twin carbs using 'period correct' parts, golf GTI brakes and coilovers. It's no longer original though.

But I kept all the parts so I can return it to original should I so desire. But I like that it goes faster and stops now.

To a purist though I've ruined an original car.

But that being said, saving a rusted wreck is a worthy thing to do and keeping to the original ethos with some suitable 'up grades' due to improved technology is more than acceptable, in my opinion. Lets face it all cars of this age should have a newer brake set up on them is possible to make them safer.

Build it back how you want it. If it's done well then the value will be there anyway.  :thumbs:  .


Cornish Host.
1980 VW Derby
Clive the Cabby
Ujum the Invisible
Mynx the  Tintop


Back to the top

mark1gls said

To me an original car is one that has not been painted or restored and is how VW made it.

So I would not worry about changing a few things, just enjoy the car, just don't try and sell it as an original car.  :thumbs:


Golf GTI Campaign 1983 Mars Red, Ford S-Max 2015, Audi TT 180 quattro 2003, Fiat 500C 2013, Golf GTE MK7.5

1 guests and 0 members have just viewed this: None.