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Campaign Checks

Over recent years there has still been discussion on what makes a genuine 'Campaign'. The real answer has only recently been widely known, due to the generally wider availability of information from VW. A UK Campaign is defined by option codes S707 (Campaign package of equipment) and S750 (Pirelli alloy wheels). On well preserved cars, the option sticker will still be in place in the boot. However, many cars will have lost this option code sticker and there is no (known) way to research VW's original records, so the following checks may be done to try and authenticate a Campaign.
Checking a Campaign
The price of good Mk1 GTI is edging ever higher. Fewer and fewer GTIs are left in their original state, making the 'Campaign' specified car even harder to find in good condition. The Campaign is relatively rare, with not many more than 1000 real ones existing in the UK to start with. Care should be taken when deciding to buy a Mk1 Golf GTI, and especially the 'Campaign' edition. These cars are now quite old, the youngest being built back in 1983. Rust, repairs, crash damage, neglect will have taken their toll off all but the rarest cars. The exact specification of the 'Campaign' is not 100% certain, and not all in the VW fraternity agree with our definition. We expect prospective buyers to decide on their own definition and exercise appropriation caution and restraint.
Here is our 'ten point check' to guiding you towards a genuine 'Campaign'. There are some genuine exceptions to these rules, but a car with all of these features is inarguably a 'Campaign'. Please see our 'Campaign Controversy' article for details.
1. The car should be an A-reg or later UK registration. All Y-reg cars have to have been manufactured before August 1983 so they should not be Campaign models. To confuse matters though, some A-reg cars may not be 'Campaigns' because they were manufactured before August 1983 but not sold until after the August 1983 registration change. However, some of these cars will have all the campaign features and may be regarded as 'Campaigns' for the purpose of the register.

A genuine Mk1 Golf GTI Campaign
2. All Campaigns were fitted with an original factory sliding sunroof. (Note that Pirelli and Plus special editions did not feature this as standard)

Factory fit sliding sunroof
3. All Campaigns were fitted with green tinted glass all round.

A difficult one to photograph! You can just make out the green tint!
4. All campaigns came with a leather bound version of the four button steering wheel. This doesn't look much different to the standard one, but the leather stitching is obvious.

Original Leather bound steering wheel
5. All campaigns originally had a twin headlamp grille fitted. Unlike the aftermarket version of this grille, the original supplementary lamps were foglamps not driving lamps. These can be spotted easily enough by the glass design. The foglamps have a vertical serrated pattern, the driving lamps are usually clear. The campaign was the only GTI to be factory fitted with twin headlamp grilles, although they were options on earlier 1800cc GTIs.

Original Fog lamps supplements in grille
6. The campaign models had different door lock pins. The older cars had door lock pins that looked like flat mushrooms. The campaign model ones were more slimline and had a dimple in the top. We have discovered that these pins are nothing other than the ones generally used for the mk2 Golf, so it appears the supply of original mk1 pins dried up just prior to the launch of the campaign.

Revised door lock pins
7. The campaigns may have had a fuel cap with a spring loaded cover, and a black bezeled interior trim. A number of campaigns did not appear to have this feature.

Spring loaded filler cap, with bezeled interior cover.
8. The campaign model was fitted with 14" Pirelli alloy wheels. Similar wheels were also available for the Mk2 GTI, but you can tell the difference in two ways. The Mk1 wheels have larger P's (the gap between P's on the mk1s is 7mm, on the mk2 wheels it is 10mm) and the centre caps on the mk1 should have the word 'Pirelli' stamped on them. Be wary of late model mk1 1800cc GTIs with sunroofs with a set of Mk2 GTI pirelli wheels, this is the most common 'Fake Campaign'. Check very carefully as authentic mk1 rims are hard to come by! You can also tell the difference between the two rims by looking at the part number stamped on the rim, after removing the centre cap. The original mk1 rims have a single 'A' at the end of the code, Mk2 rims have an 'AA' instead.
It's also worth noting that there are some 15" Pirelli Rims floating around the VW scene. According to Pirelli, these are unauthorised copies and were certainly not fitted as standard to the Mk1 Golf GTI.

This is the rare authentic Mk1 Pirelli P-Rim, the gap between P's is 7mm and the 'Ps' are slightly larger.

This is the common Mk2 Pirelli P-Rim, with the gap now being 10mm to support the greater weight of the mk2, these are not correct for the 'Campaign', and the Pirelli stamped centre caps do not fit as well on these rims.
9. Campaigns came in a limited variety of colours. These are Mars Red, Alpine White, Schwartz Black, Diamond Silver, Helios (Dark)Blue and Lhasa Green, the last three being metallic. A small minority of campaigns were available in Atlas Grey, normally considered a mk2 Golf colour.

Most of the Mk1 Colours; Schwartz Black, Mars Red, Diamond Silver, Lhasa Green and Helios Blue at GTI International in 2002
10. Campaign models should have a specific code in the Chassis (VIN) number. This should read WVW ZZZ 17EW nnnnnn. Where the 17 means a Mk1 Golf, the E is signifies an August 83 onwards manufacture date and the W implies the car was built in Wolfsburg Germany. Note that all mk1 Golfs produced after August 1983 will have an E in their chassis number, this includes the base models, and the runout 'GX' model too, so the chassis number is not unique to the campaign.
For reference, convertible Mk1 Golfs have a 'K' in place of the W after the year indicator. These cars were not built in Wolfsburg, but in Onsabruck, where the Karmann factory is located.

VIN plate in a Campaign. The 'E' is the crucial part.
Please note that there are some valid exceptions to this final rule, and DW chassis cars are illegible for membership providing they exhibit most of the remaining campaign features and have a chassis number higher than 448319.

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