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Date Event
1969 First "Golf" prototypes developed code named EA-21976 as a replacement for the Beetle
April 1974 Start of Golf production in Wolfsburg, Germany. Hatchback offered with 3 or 5 doors, 1093cc or 1471cc engines with 4 speed gearbox and choice of trim levels base, "S", "L", or "LS"
October 1974 3-speed automatic gearbox available for the 1471cc engine
September 1975 World Premier of Golf GTI at the IAA, Frankfurt, 1588cc engine replaces 1471cc
December 1975 "Swallowtail" form in rear panel deleted
March 1976 500,000 Golfs built
June 1976 Golf GTI production commences, initially with LHD only. Legendary fuel injected 1588cc 110PS engine, close ratio 4-speed gearbox, uprated suspension, 5.5"x13" wheels, sports trim
August 1976 Many revisions including body, trim, electrics and heating
September 1976 Introduction of the Golf diesel
October 1976 1,000,000 Golfs built in world record time
December 1976 Initial prototype design for the Mk1 Golf Cabriolet began at Karmann, Osnabruck
August 1977 1457cc engine replaces 1588cc
June 1978 2,000,000 Golfs built
April 1978 Westmoreland factory in US opens producing "Rabbit" versions for the home market.
August 1978 Plastic wrap-around bumpers replace metal versions
February 1979 Golf Cabriolet was launched at the Geneva International Motor Show
March 1979 6 year anti-corrosion warranty offered
June 1979 Production of the Cabriolet version commences at Karmann plant. Model choice was a fuel injected 1588cc engine in 'GLi' trim level.
July 1979 RHD GTI's appear in UK
August 1979 1272cc engine introduced. 3 door "Driver" special edition introduced with GTI styling
September 1979
January 1980
3,000,000 Golfs built. GTI gains 5-speed gearbox
April 1980 "The Golf Cabriolet "Series 1" went on sale in the UK
August 1980 "Series 2" replaces "Series 1". Main changes include larger rear lights, revised dashboard and instruments. 17 digit international VIN replaces 10 digit VIN
November 1980 4,000,000 Golfs built
January 1981 "Formel E" introduced with 3+E gearbox, fuel economy gauge, change up light, GTI front spoiler & A pillar trims
August 1981 New models designations "C", "CL"
For the 1981 model year the Golf Cabriolet received an update in line with the hatchback version & became know as the "Series 2" Cabriolet. Upgrades included a revised dashboard, a 17-digit VIN number which replaced the former 10 digit one. The rear lights remained the same size as the bootlid wouldn"t allow room for the hatchback style versions
February 1982 5,000,000 Golfs built
August 1982 1781cc 112PS engine replaces 1588cc in the Golf GTI and GLi. "GTD" version introduced for Europe with turbo diesel engine and 70PS.
For the 1982 model year the Golf Cabriolet was available in "GL", "GLS" and "Auto" versions
May 1983 Special editions introduced for Mk1 run out with additional equipment: "LX" based on the L, "GX" based on the GL, "Campaign" version of the GTI
August 1983 6,000,000 Golfs built.
For the 1983 model year the Golf Cabriolet was available in "GL", "GLi" and Auto versions. The "GL" was available with a 1500cc engine (carburettor), mated with a 4-speed + E gearbox, the "GLi" with an 1800cc (fuel injection) and a 5-speed gearbox. The auto version was available on the GL at extra cost.
Golf Cabriolet "All White GTI" model released with an 1800cc injection engine & 5-speed gearbox. A single headlamp grille and chrome grille surround & multi-function computer were fitted to the model. The rear bench seat was altered to a distinct 2-seater cushion and a larger fuel tank was fitted. It was also the first time that the "GTI" insignia had been used on a Cabriolet.
December 1983 Mk1 Golf production ends at Wolfsburg, replaced by Mk2. Production continues in South Africa of popular "Citi Golf"
January 1984 For the 1984 model year the Golf Cabriolet was available in "GL" and the newly badged "GTI" versions. The "GL" engine was changed for the 1600cc (carburetor) while the "GTI" received the 1800cc (fuel injection). The "GTI" received sports seats, sports steering wheel, alloy wheels, twin headlamps and the distinctive red grille surround. The rear seat was changed from a flat cushion on earlier models to a more distinctive 2-seat type with a distinctive divide in the middle. The fuel tank was made larger and a space saver spare wheel was added to make room for it.
March 1984 Golf Cabriolet "All White GTI" model released with an 1800cc injection engine & 5-speed gearbox. A twin headlamp grille with a distinctive red grille surround, white alloy wheels, white bumpers, door mirrors, front spoiler & wiper blades were all added.
September 1984 The Golf Cabriolet remained the same as the earlier model for 1985 but the space saver wheel was listed in the equipment list
November 1985 The Golf Cabriolet GTI (1800cc fuel injection) "All White" and a very limited number of "All Black" versions were released in the UK. The "All White" followed the earlier format in respect of the external paintwork. The "All White" received white pinstriped upholstery and white leatherette sides while the "All Black" received black upholstery and paintwork
December 1985  The Golf Cabriolet "CC" was released. The "CC" was released at Christmas time and only 750 units with distinctive "CC" logos on the blue cloth seats and blue vinyl hood. As a result, finding replacement seat fabric and hood vinyl is almost impossible. The car was essentially a "GTI" with its 1800cc fuel injection engine but with the different seats & hood.
January 1986 UK legislation was introduced so that all vehicles were required to have a side indicator of some description. The Golf Cabriolet was upgraded to a wing mounted indicator. The "VW" roundel was positioned on the bootlid for this year.
August 1986 The Golf Cabriolet "Quartet" was introduced. The model allowed for the purchaser to choose from 4 different colour of paint, hood and seat fabric and "mix & match" their choices. It was also the last year of the small bumper models and the "Quartet" was available with body coloured bumper & door mirrors along with "Scala" alloy wheels. There were 64 different possible combinations
October 1987 The new 1988 model year Golf Cabriolet was introduced with body-coloured bumpers, wheel arch extensions, front integrated spoiler & an integrated under bumper spoiler however there was a delay in their availability from VW. The facelifted bodywork became known as the "Clipper Kit" however the model's name was yet to arrive as there was a delay at VW. The interior received a new sport steering wheel, larger cloth inserts on the door cards, twin jet windscreen nozzles. A Blaupunkt digital radio/ cassette came as standard
July 1988 For 1988-89 the Golf Cabriolet was offered in carburettor or fuel injection "GTI" guise, both 1800cc engines. The GTI received 14" alloy wheel and an electric hood as standard whereas the Clipper retained the 13" steel version. Clipper Kit remained and the interior received colour coded knee bar, gear lever gaiter and center console to match the interior colours of white, red & grey. The windscreen washer nozzles became heated and a high quality digital Blaupunkt radio / cassette auto reverse was standard on the GTI
January 1990 Much remained the same but the Blaupunkt radio was swapped for a Panasonic radio/ cassette with a fader
May 1991 VW introduced new models to their Golf Cabriolet range. New for 1991 were the Golf Cabriolet GTI Sportline and Rivage. All models retained the 1800cc fuel injection engine.
The Sportline received paintwork in Flash Red or Black, black BBS 15" RA alloy wheels, Recaro seats with Sport Jacquard trim and red needles on the instrumentations.
The Rivage meanwhile was available in Classic Blue Pearl with Le Castellet 6J x15 polished alloy wheels, electric windows, heated seats & a Mohair hood. The Rivage Leather went even further with Classic Blue Pearl and Classic Green Pearl paintwork, beige leather upholstery, gear gaiter and handbrake grip.
August 1991 Special editions introduced for Cabriolet GTI run out with additional equipment: "Sportline" with black BBS RA wheels, Recaro interior, "Rivage" with Le Castellet alloy wheels, special trim, "Rivage Leather" as Rivage with beige leather trim
January 1993 1993 was the final year of the Mk1 Golf Cabriolet production. The Clipper was available in 1800cc carburetor form while the Sportline and Rivage model retained the 1800cc fuel injection engine.
July 1993 Last Mk1 Cabriolet rolls off the Karmann production line, replaced by Mk3
November 2009 Last South African Citi Golf rolls off production line. A total of 517,000 Citi golfs were produced

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