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New 2005 Polo: first pictures inside It’s It’s been been aa long long time time baby... baby... 30 30 years years of of Polo Polo

Personal Passions Our Our cars: cars: fleet fleet updates updates

newsletter 21

Members of the Association of British VW Clubs

happy birthday 30 30 years years young: young: special special Series Series 11 Polo Polo issue issue starts starts our our celebratory celebratory year year

Wolfsburg wonders Stunning examples of Polo history in Volkswagen museums Polo 1975-1981 buyer’s guide What to look for when buying a Series 1 Polo


what’s in

spring 2005

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Cover Story X Happy birthday! The Polo is 30 years old this year, and to celebrate, each issue in 2005 will be dedicated to a single generation. This issue: the first models made from 1975 to 1981

contents issue 21

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03 news Stop press! Volkswagen releases first pictures of new Polo, due for debut in April; Internet spoof ad shocks VW UK; VW Polo Register display cars wanted; Polo ads win more awards, and Polo Fun/Dune outfits!

06 model history The Polo story started 30 years ago with the Series 1 of 1975. We chart its Audi-influenced development

14 wolfsburg wonders

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Pristine examples of early Polos at VW’s German home

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18 buyer’s guide What to look for when buying a thirty year-old Polo

22 personal passions Two members of the team introduce their personal cars

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comment Thirty years ago this year, the intriguing story of one of VW’s most successful cars began. Starting off life as a small Audi, the Polo hit the streets in March 1975, and hasn’t looked back since. It soon became the benchmark for the then-new supermini class, and has enjoyed remarkable success. The legacy of its winning values of quality, refinement, reliability and style have made sure it still endures in 2005. But, being a Polo veteran of four models and having driven all the different generations, I still think the original Seventies’ Series 1 celebrated in this issue is one of best Polo models – maybe because I am just over 30! My first car was a 1978 Polo N, and it kicked off my affection for Polos, so I've got a lot to thank it for. The driving experience was spot-on, and everything felt fluid – as if the parts worked in harmony together. The Polo soon It was also a pretty car too, and the qualities became the which worked in the Seventies are still benchmark for very much a part of the Polo story today. I recently travelled in a later car for the the then-new supermini purposes of a future feature, and all my Series 1 memories came flooding back. In class, and still particular, one thing that did strike me, is endures today how spacious the car felt, due to the lack of an intrusive dashboard, the very slim pillars and large glass area. A lot of painted metal is on display, and the door trims are only very basically padded, but this all adds to the charm of the 70s Polo. If I had a garage, I would track down another example - preferably a prettier pre-1979 metal bumper model - and restore it to its former glory, as I believe it must be a classic. ‘Make no mistake, the Fiesta L is a fine little car. But it does not surpass the Polo in any respect.’ Motor magazine’s conclusion of a group test in February 1977 – also featuring the Fiat 127 and the Renault 5 – confirmed that the baby VW was the standard setter and the small hatchback to beat. Time hasn’t made this comparison any less relevant, (although the cars in this class are much different now), but the baby VW is now up against stiffer opposition, and must fight it’s corner much harder, which is something it intends to do this year, with a revised model. Just as it did with the Polo’s 25th anniversary, VW is launching a facelifted model of the current car. On sale at the end of April, we’ll bring you full details next issue. Finally, a GTI version is planned, which – like the new Golf icon – should deliver on its promise. I hope you enjoy the issue. Happy birthday Polo! VWPR

VWPOLO REGISTER newsletter 21 Editor/design Richard Gooding Sub Editor Tony Lo Chairman Nigel Middleton Contributors this issue Alberto Martinez Photographic resources this issue Patrick Hille, Tony Lo and Volkswagen Media Services The VW Polo Register Newsletter is published for members of the VW Polo Register and is wholly independent of Volkswagen AG/UK and its subsidiaries. © VW Polo Register 2005 Editorial address VW Polo Register 10 Highwood Manor 21 Constitution Hill Ipswich Suffolk IP1 3RG Chair address VW Polo Register 25 Queen’s Road Sandy Bedfordshire SG19 1HD VW Polo Register Online www.vwpolo.co.uk E-mail contacts richard@ vwpolo.co.uk nigel@ vwpolo.co.uk

SPRING 2005 VW POLO REGISTER NEWSLETTER 03


news

Polo ads awarded gold

Polo most popular in 2004 The Polo was the most popular car in its class in Germany for 2004. With a January to September market share figure of 14 per cent, the small VW dominated the ‘supermini’ segment. Now selling 500,000 units a year, 8.5 million cars have now been built since 1975. Now available in 105 combinations spanning ‘Basis’, ‘Comfortline’, ‘Highline’, ‘GT’ and ‘Fun’ trim levels, and including five petrol and four diesel engines from 54bhp to 128bhp, the Polo offers something for everyone, from a well-equipped basic car to sports models. VWPR

The Volkswagen Group is renowned for its many award-winning advertising campaigns, and the latest to score a prize is the ‘Small but tough’ press and television campaign, that VW used to promote the Polo in the summer of 2003. Winner of the Euro Gold ‘Effie’ award, the campaign aimed to convey the superior quality and safety standards of the Polo to buyers in specific roll-outs to individual countries. It was developed in both the UK and Germany and allowed the car to achieve above average ‘likeability’ values in both countries. Following numerous creative awards, the campaign will now be recognised globally for its effectiveness with the Effie award. BMP DDB, the agency famously and long-associated with Volkswagen were involved with the campaign. VWPR

Designer creates Fun clothing Fashion designer Oliver Kresse recently created a set of clothes from the lime green fabric used to trim the interior of the Polo Fun/Dune. Volkswagen and SZ-Magazin commissioned the unusual suits, which will remain one-offs. The Hamburgbased designer has been creating stylish menswear and trendy women’s fashions in his studio since 2001. ‘Our young Polo Fun customers are passionate about fashion, so we are pleased to be able to support this innovative idea,’ explained Friederike Plock-Girmann, head of ‘colour and trim’ at Volkswagen Design in Wolfsburg.

VWPR

Photography Volkswagen Group Communications

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news

Stop press: new Polo shows its face! Just as the VW Polo Register Newsletter was about to go to print, VW released these first pictures of the revised Polo, to be launched at the AMI Motor Show in Leipzig, Germany on April 2. As expected, the front and rear ends have been restyled with the face being in the new Volkswagen corporate ‘V’ style. The rear has new-look light clusters, and a new rear window with a ‘V’-shaped lower edge. Interiors get new steering wheels and fabrics. All engines are upgraded to meet Euro IV exhaust emission compliances, while the diesels now start with a 70bhp three-cylinder TDI unit (replacing the 1.9 SDI), and a new 80bhp TDI replaces the current 75bhp unit. VWPR Opposite: new Polo GTI preview

Fresh face: new Polo shows its new-for-2005 look. More aggressive in styling, it will have new high-spec options. We’ll bring you a full report in the next issue

Photography Volkswagen Group Communications

Wanted:show stars VW ‘horrified’over spoof ad Volkswagen recently distanced itself from a hoax Polo advert that recently leaked onto the Internet. Not intended for public viewing, the commercial depicts a suicide bomber parking a Polo outside a cafe and then detonating a bomb inside the car. He blows himself up but the car sustains no damage. The strapline ‘Polo. Small but tough.’ then appears. VW spokesman Paul Buckett said: ‘We were horrified. This is not something we would consider using: it is in incredibly bad taste and potentially damaging to Volkswagen. Our legal department is planning an action.’ The ad is believed to be the work of a duo experienced in spoof ads – Lee and Dan – who also make real commercials. VWPR

The VW show season is nearly upon us, and the VW Polo Register is on the look-out for more members to exhibit their cars at the major events during the summer. Kicking off with Stanford Hall (pictured below) on May 1, we plan to have a presence at most of the events in 2005. We would like owners who wish to display their cars to come forward, enabling us to create varied and interesting displays. The second major event – GTI International – is on May 7/8 at Bentwaters Park near Ipswich, Suffolk. If you would like to display your Polo at any of these shows or volunteer to help at the ABVWC VW Expo 2005 event which we are supporting, please contact Richard on 07967 754655 or at richard@vwpolo.co.uk as soon as possible. We regret that all available event display spaces will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. VWPR

SPRING 2005 VW POLO REGISTER NEWSLETTER 05


model history Sitting pretty: the Audi 50 was launched in a blaze of publicity in the autumn of 1974

Story Richard Gooding Photography Volkswagen Media Services/Volkswagen UK Press Office/www.audi50.de

It’s been a long time baby... ...31 years in fact. The VW Polo started life as the Audi 50 in 1974, before becoming the first Polo generation a year later. In the first part of the Polo story, we chart the original model’s developments from its birth in 1975 06 VW POLO REGISTER NEWSLETTER SPRING 2005

ugust 30 1974: a landmark date in Volkswagen Polo history. It was on this date 31 years ago that the smallest Audi ever was launched. The Audi 50 was a two-door car with a new and increasingly fashionable opening rear hatchback. The small car was designed and developed by Audi engineers at the company’s headquarters at Ingolstadt and was to be built at Volkswagen’s plant in Wolfsburg. The 50 was presented to an expectant worldwide motoring press in Sardinia in September of that year. Following on from the Audi 80’s launch in 1972 and the on-sale 100 and 200 models, its sloping tail with its opening door was something of a departure for the company, as all the other models in its range were conventionally-styled saloon cars. Showcasing much modern technology, it was rumoured that a cheaper Volkswagen version may appear (no doubt due to the Wolfsburg build connection), but the new small VW was still a year from release. The VW Passat, Scirocco and Golf, appeared in 1973 and 1974. These new water-cooled cars charged with taking the hopes of a new generation of Volkswagen management used Audi technology too, with engines and drivetrains being commonly shared. Making its first public appearance at the Paris AutoSalon, the new small Audi was introduced to prospective continental buyers not long thereafter. Produced to a tight brief with maximum length and weight stiplulations of 11ft 6in and 700kg respectively, development of the car began in 1971. Volkswagen

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model history

Fabulous Fifty (clockwise from top left): small Audi was available in two models – LS and GL– with two power units; three-door format was then relatively new; from the front it resembled the Audi 80; demonstrating the 50’s great versatility

Group chairman Rudolf Leiding and Audi design team leader Ludwig Kraus were happy with the result – length was exactly 11ft 6in and the weight was 15kg under the suggested 700kg. The design of the car was the work of Audi, although sources have since stated that both Italian designer Marcello Gandini and design house Bertone had something to with various details. Bertone’s website (www.bertone.it/en/scheda_70_audi_50_en.htm), shows styling pictures which depict various elements that were obviously rejected by Audi. Front and rear plastic shields show the Audi four-ring logo, and Bertone claim that this logo was clearly displayed on all the graphical elements of the car’s body. It is thought though, that in the final stages, Bertone approved the chrome trim upsweep at the rear of the car and Audi reverted to the more elegant and simple family look. Fifty prototype cars were built and covered 100,000 kilometres each, while the power units and suspension assemblies underwent serious bench and rig testing. The engine was transversely-mounted and there were two power options from a basic cubic capacity of 1093cc. The units produced 50 and 60bhp (the latter a higher compression unit and producing a claimed top speed of approximately 100 mph). The engines were developed by the Audi engineers and featured a cross-flow cylinder head and direct camshaft drive to the distributor and fuel pump. A new type of carburettor had been developed with the automatic choke being heated electrically while the engine was cold, and then by the coolant as it warmed up.

Four-ringed approach (above): Italian design house Bertone submitted proposals for frontal and rear design of the new small Audi/VW model, which were eventually rejected

The suspension utilised McPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam at the rear, with the trailing arms placed nearer the wheel hubs. This meant that when the car rolled under cornering, the rear wheels were no longer parallel, with the outer one assuming a position of negative camber. The 50 was also the first car to get a new seating design that was used the following year in the VW range. The small Audi was available in two trim levels: LS and GL, with the LS developing 50bhp, while the GL boasted 60bhp. Both models made do without the optional rear wash/wipe system costing £26 and a brake servo, but otherwise equipment levels were comprehensive. At launch, the Audi 50 LS cost about £145 more than the soon-to-belaunched baby Volkswagen. To justify this though, the small car had a more attractive and upmarket appearance than the sparsely-trimmed Volkswagen. X SPRING 2005 VW POLO REGISTER NEWSLETTER 07


model history W British magazine Motor tested a pair of Audi 50 pre-production prototypes in its September 14 1974 issue and stated that: ‘Assuming they can build VW quality into this new four-seater, it could well retire the Beetle fairly smartly,’ and going onto proclaim that ‘Audi picked a tough act to follow. But they seem likely to win their applause.’ Overall, an impression of quality and refinement prevailed, qualities of which the Polo are still known for today. Handling was said to be on the sporty side, with the contributor preferring the softer-sprung LS version. The Polo version of the Audi 50 was presented in Hanover in March 1975, and was fundamentally cheaper than its more luxurious cousin. Although less comprehensively-equipped and ultimately less prestigious, the Polo was the version which was destined to be the bigger seller of the two cars. The baby Audi had a good following in continental Europe, but it was never imported into the UK. The Polo had its UK release in July 1975 and by then, the end of the 50 was close. In 1978, the 50 was discontinued from the Audi range, the Polo being left to carry the mantle as the smallest Volkswagen Group passenger car. The Polo was initially introduced to the UK market in two trim levels. The N was the ‘no frills’ base model and featured rubber matting, a single speed fan and wipers and a lack of external brightwork.

L is for luxury: (clockwise from main picture) Polo L was initial range-topper; interior the same as Audi 50’s; body had chrome trim accents; engine was 895cc version of 50’s unit 08 VW POLO REGISTER NEWSLETTER SPRING 2005

Said to have been named after the explorer Marco Polo, equipment was even more sparse on the its home market. In Germany, the basic Polo had drum brakes, cross-ply tyres, 12” wheels, no fuel gauge and no electric screenwasher, the continental buyer having to press a foot-operated button on the floor instead. The more luxurious L range-topper boasted full carpeting, dual speed fan and wipers, grab handles, reversing lights, anti-dazzle rear view mirror and chrome bumpers, rather than the painted steel versions of the N. The car also had external chrome brightwork on the waistline, door handles and window rubbers. Both UK models had 135 SR 13 tyres on 4.5J x 13” rims, front disc brakes, folding rear seat, luggage compartment cover and electric screen washers. Prices started at £1,798 for the N, rising to £2,110 for the L. Extra-cost optional equipment included a centre console, door pockets, foglamps, rear wash/wipe and sunroof. One of the most impressive aspects of the new small VW was its handling. Motor magazine tested the Polo L in October 1975 and declared: ‘It is a delight to drive because the steering is light, precise and responsive,’ giving it five stars in nearly every area of the road test. What Car? described the Polo as ‘The best small car we have ever driven’, and proclaimed that it was ‘The best small car in the world’, which it won again in 1995 with it’s third incarnation.


model history In 1976 7,473 Polos were sold in the UK. Debuting at the autumn Motor Show, the range-topping LS model was introduced, costing £2,499. Borrowing the larger Golf’s 1093cc 50bhp engine, the car was also better specified. Larger 145 SR 13 tyres were fitted in addition to rubber bumper buffing strips, parking lights, front intermittent windscreen wipers, a rear wash/wipe system and swivelling driver’s sun visor. On the Continent, the LS was also available with the higher displacement 60bhp version of the 1093cc engine. Buyers in Europe had it good – a new GLS range-topping model was also introduced and it too was available with the most powerful engine variant. Not to appear in the UK until late 1978, both this and the 60bhp LS had the additional fitment of a loadsensitive brake pressure regulator and a stabiliser for the rear axle. Wherever the Polo was sold though, the range additions were welcome, as the small VW faced an onslaught of competitors such as the Fiat 127, Honda Civic, Renault 5, Simca 1100 and the UK’s Vauxhall Chevette. However, the biggest threat to the Polo was yet to come. In February 1977, the Ford Fiesta broke cover and directly challenged all that the Polo stood for, even looking distinctly similar. It also undercut the Polo on price by £200. Produced in Britain, France, Germany and Spain, equipment levels were also surprisingly similar. Vw immediately counter-attacked and launched a high-profile advertising campaign, picturing a Polo and a Fiesta parked side-by-side with the strapline: ‘Making a car that looks like a Volkswagen, isn’t the same as making a Volkswagen.’ The company also added another string to the Polo’s bow and launched the LS trim variant in the UK. Already seen at the 1976 Motor Show, top speed was now 98mph, with the 0-60mph sprint time decreased to 14 seconds. Overall fuel consumption was close to the other Polo models at 37-40mpg. All models now had upgraded equipment including a two-speed heater fan, two-speed and intermittent wipers, rear wash/wipe, reversing lights, locking filler cap, dipping interior mirror and a reclining driver’s seat. The higher-specification L and LS models also boasted a reclining passenger seat, head restraints, carpet and chrome trim on the body. The new LS also had wider 145 SR 13 tyres and was priced at £2,499. Continental models improved yet further in August 1977, when the 60bhp 1093cc engine was replaced by a newly-developed 1272cc unit of the same output. Yet another spin on the Polo came in February 1977. The Derby was introduced and was a more traditional saloon based on the Polo. Both cars were the same up until the C-pillar, where the Derby’s larger-capacity boot became the differentiator between

All change (clockwise from top): Derby arrived in 1977 and was sold with the 1093cc engine; facelift for 1980 ushered in new plastic bumpers and revised interiors; Derby CLS model

the two models. An increase of fourteen inches over the Polo saw the Derby’s luggage capacity rise to 18.2 cu ft from the paltry 6.2 of the Polo. Initially, the car was launched in one trim level. Priced at £2,850 in the UK, the LS specification mirrored that of the Polo LS hatch and featured that car’s 1093cc engine. Developments continued apace for the 1979 model year with the GLS trim level introduced to UK buyers. Superseding the LS in the Polo range and supplementing the LS in the Derby range, extra equipment included chrome headlight and grille surrounds, polished hubcaps, a quartz clock, a trip mileage recorder, and a cigarette lighter. The Polo GLS still had the LS’ 1093cc engine fitted, whilst the Derby had the honour of being fitted with the new 1272cc 60bhp engine that had seen service on the Continent, making it’s UK debut in VW’s small car range. In line with the rest of the Volkswagen range, both model ranges were facelifted for the 1980 model year. New, wraparound plastic ABS impact-resistant bumpers were now standard issue, along with a larger and bolder front grille. In order to distinguish the two models, the Derby now received square headlamps, while both cars gained new dashboards with instruments grouped together under a Golf-like housing with LED warning lights, and more comprehensive heating and ventilation controls. X SPRING 2005 VW POLO REGISTER NEWSLETTER 09


model history

the specials Polo Jeans: August 1976, June 1978

specification Model Polo N, L/LS,GLS/GLS* Displacement (cc) 895/1093/1272* Bore x stroke (mm) 69.5 x 59/69.5 x 72/75 x 72*

Like the Jeans Beetle of 1974, the Polo Jeans featured denim upholstery and special ‘Jeans’ badging on the front wings, side ventilation trim and rear tailgate. The badges were made to look similar to that of a jeans metal button, and were paired with a blue and red side stripe. Sold only on the Continent, the model also boasted H4 halogen headlamps, reversing lights and an imitation leather steering wheel. It was powered by the 50bhp 1093cc engine and featured 155/70 SR 13 tyres. The second edition of 1978 was available in different colours. Alpine White, Mars Red and Mexico Beige replaced the Oregon Beige and Carolina Green of the 1976 version, which was limited to only 10,000 units. The 40bhp engine was also made available in June 1978.

Compression ratio 8.2:1/8.0:1/8.2:1*

Polo LX: June 1981

Steering Self-adjusting rack and pinion, with negative

The special edition Polo LX was a ‘run-out’ model before the Series 2 Polo was launched in October 1981. Seemingly based on the N or basic model bodyshell with no chrome trim, it featured H4 halogen headlights, ‘LX’ badging on the front wings and tailgate, side profile stripes, larger 155/70 SR 13 tyres on painted steel wheels with polished chrome hubcaps borrowed from the GLS, a silver painted dashboard, and special blue trim. Colours were limited to Diamond Silver and Regatta Blue Metallics in the UK, while continental buyers could also choose White and Monaco Blue Metallic and all available engine options of 40, 50, and 60bhp. VWPR

Power output 40bhp @ 5900rpm/50bhp @ 5900rpm/ 60bhp @ 5600rpm* Maximum torque 42.7lb ft @ 3500rpm/ 53lb ft @ 3500rpm/66.5lb ft @ 3400rpm* Carburettor Single down draught with single choke Transmission Front-wheel drive, four-speed manual Top speed (mph) 82/88/94* 0-60mph (seconds) 21.2/15.4/12.9* Front suspension MacPherson struts, coil springs, single track control arm, anti-roll bar Rear suspension Torsion beam, trailing arms, coil springs roll radius, turning circle: 31.5ft Brakes Discs (front), drums (rear) Wheels 4.5 J x 13 pressed steel rims Tyres 135 SR 13/145 SR 13/145 SR 13* Unladen weight (kg) 685 Dimensions (l/w/h mm) 3510/1560/1344 Track (front/rear, mm) 1296/1312; wheelbase: 2335 Luggage capacity (seats up/folded, litres) 238/840 Fuel tank capacity (gallons/litres) 7.9/36 *Continental-specification models

production and sales figures Global production figures (units) 1975 74,180; 1976 144,677; 1977 112,744; 1978 112,456; 1979 132,947; 1980 126,860; 1981 102,895 (Audi 50: 1974-1978 180,828) UK Polo sales figures (units) 1975 18; 1976 7,473; 1977 11,891; 1978 15,023; 1979 17,995; 1980 16,045; 1981 17,789 Both the Polo Jeans (top) and LX (left and above) were sold in low numbers

10 VW POLO REGISTER NEWSLETTER SPRING 2005

UK Derby sales figures (units) 1977 15; 1978 7,111; 1979 8,655; 1980 5,784; 1981 3,987


model history

New faces: last year of Polo production saw introduction of Formel E economy model fitted with the much-hyped fuel-saving ‘Formel E’ system (main picture); hot Polo GT arrived at 1979 Frankfurt Motor Show (far right); LX was a ‘run-out’model

W Pleased with the sales success of the new Golf GTI, VW introduced a ‘hot’ Polo to the continental market. The Polo GT posted a 0-62mph time of 12.9 seconds and was introduced to the public at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1979. Extra equipment over the GLS included a front chin spoiler, red-trimmed grille borrowed from big brother Golf GTI, red and black painted steel wheels with wider 155/70 SR 13 tyres, ‘GT’ badges on the front grille and rear tailgate, and special ‘GT’ side stripes. Interior changes included a ‘GT’ emblem steering wheel, a rev-counter, red-trimmed instruments, and very bright red-striped seats. As with the original Golf GTI, the hottest Polo was only available in Black, Diamond Silver Metallic, Mars Red, and White. By the end of 1979, 500,000 Polos had been built, and as production capacity grew, the Pamplona plant in Northern Spain also began Polo production. The Polo range remained unchanged for 1980, while the Derby range grew to four variants with the S and CLS being introduced. The S model was the Polo N equivalent, but was powered by the 1093cc engine. The CLS was a special-edition model and was only available in three metallic colours, the most popular being Inari Silver. Special coachline and C-pillar graphics were fitted to this model, while the bumpers had colour-matched inlays. The grille featured a ‘Derby’ badge fitted on the nearside. Additional

equipment included a rev-counter, door pockets, trip mileage recorder and special gear knob. The CLS also had the 1093cc engine as found in the S and LS. By 1981, Volkswagen knew that both model ranges needed replacing and it was to be the final year of Series 1 Polo/Derby production. A limited-edition ‘run-out’ model was introduced in September of that year. Called the LX, the car was only available in two metallic colours in the UK and featured a laminated windscreen, halogen headlamps and wider 155/70 tyres. The exterior of the car featured special waistline graphics and trim. Available on a limited number of LXs was a high compression 1093cc engine, 3+E gearing, fuel consumption indicator and change-up light. This By the end of its was the first use of VW’s then-to-besix-year introduced ‘Formel E’ production run, system economy system. The fuel-saving engine VW had sold was also available on the over 86,000 Continent in a version Polos in the UK simply badged Formel E. Series 1 Polo and Derby production ended in October 1981, making way for the redesigned Series 2. By the end of its six-year production run, VW had sold over 86,000 Polos in the UK, making it another best-seller for the firm. VWPR SPRING 2005 VW POLO REGISTER NEWSLETTER 11


advertising history

Safety sells. The Polo in advertising: 1970s Volkswagen’s advertising is legendary all over the world, with some of the most creative and memorable campaigns ever created. The ads for the Polo have been multi-award winners over the last thirty years, and no less memorable. In the first of a four-part series, we take a look at the best, starting with the 1970s campaigns

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hen the advertising campaigns first appeared for the Polo, Volkswagen was riding a wave of success for its tongue-in-cheek advertising, which although sometimes self-derogatory, was also astonishingly clever at the same time. Masterminded by ad agency Doyle Dane Bernbach in the ‘60s, the style of the advertising has been continued and has won many awards. It also hasn’t been bettered in the decades since. Now worked on in the UK by DDB, the company has recently created the stunning TV and press campaign for the new Golf GTI, and it looks set to continue its award-winning ways. Safety was a big selling point in the 1970s – as it is today – and the Polo advertising of the time majored on this. Campaigns were also created which focused on the new small VW’s ‘big car’ feel and its success when compared to its competitors. Launched to a fanfare of ‘Polo. Small yet great,’ the motoring press seemed impressed and awarded it many accolades, including ‘The best small car in the world,’ from What Car?. This continued when the Ford Fiesta was launched in 1977, and campaigns ran with headlines such as: ‘Making a car that looks like a Volkswagen is not the same as making a Volkswagen,’ and ‘Could have been the same designer. Must have been a different engineer,’ promoting the new VW’s reliability. The numerous safety campaigns ran throughout the early model’s life, and centered on the life-saving features fitted and the car’s steel passenger safety cell, proclaiming: ‘All small cars save you money. The Polo can also save your life.’ A more graphic series showed a crashed Polo with front and rear damage with the headlines ‘It was no accident that nobody died’, and ‘You’re in this cell for your own protection.’ A definitely non-politically correct advert asked the question: ‘Is your wife safe on the road?’ again underlining the safety aspect. In relation to this, the car was compared to others costing more than twice as much, with a notable press ad featuring a Mercedes Benz model with an extensive list of safety and ‘quality’ fittings underneath. A Polo was pictured alongside, with the word ‘Ditto’ underneath it. Another campaign, referring to the dual-circuit braking system, was entitled ‘To be on the safe side, drive a Polo.’ Running cost comparisons also featured strongly, with one ad placing the Fiesta at the top of a Fordsourced league with the cheapest service costs over 3 years, and the Polo placed second. Predictably, a clever and reactionary headline stated: ‘Surely you’re not going to let £1.32 stand between you and a Polo?’ The Polo’s saloon sister, the Derby, also had a brace of memorable adverts. ‘The new Derby. It’ll last Donkey’s years’ was one clever (if not predictable) play on words, while another claimed: ‘The VW Derby. Should be good for 80,000 furlongs.’ VWPR

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comment

Spanish saviour pure Polo enthusiast Alberto Martinez tells of his story to save a Series 1 Polo Being interested in Polos for a while, I noticed a Mk 1 visibly abandoned in a street in Málaga. Mk 1s are not a common sight around here, as only a few units were imported. Those were the years of Renault 5s, small SEATs and similar cars, so most people think the 'first Polo' is the Mk 2 'squareback', that was produced in Pamplona, of which I have one for daily use. I kept eyeing the Mk 1 from time to time. It was a GLS with right-hand drive and the registration number LHA 539V. It had some cosmetic rust, was missing the left-hand side door handle and mirror and had deflated tyres, but seemed in a general good condition. Wondering if something could be done about it, I saw public works staff opening a ditch in that street to lay fibre optic cables. Normally, cars in the way of the works vehicles get a sticker in the windscreen, and if the owners don't take them, they are towed to a facility from where if they are not claimed in a year, they are auctioned or scrapped. So, thanks to the missing handle I got into the car and took a few pictures. The Police then arrived and they kindly asked me for my ID.They saw I was 'clean’, and they advised me to leave the car as it was when I had finished. Polo-L list (http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/polo-l/) member Dennis Ward was kind enough to solve the UK V62 document matters and get me a certificate of permanent export. But, before I got that, the ditch was getting close to the car, so I had to take matters in my own hands and I had the car towed to a vacant lot near home. There wasn’t a lot wrong with the car: tyres, rust, sooty carb, head gasket in the boot, a broken ignition switch, and some other minor things. I got the car running, but it was clear that something else was wrong. I got plenty of advice and support from other members of the list, and little by little I got most of the problems sorted out. I took out the head, and got it skimmed and refurbished. After that, with some help from a German neighbour, I got it properly running and it was ready to have its MoT and get Spanish registration plates, and insurance. That was September 2002. Since then, the Polo has worked fine, until lately when it refused to start, but I am sure it is some minor ignition problem. De-rusting is my next project, and probably a new coat of paint, as lacquer is peeling off on most of the car’s 20 yearold bodywork. VWPR

The Series 1 Polo as a driver’s car? Yes, says Tony Lo I once owned a 1980, Mk 1, 895cc Polo N. It’s easy to see why Motor magazine awarded this car 5 stars for handling back in 1975. It was brilliant when I owned ‘Yello’ in 2000 – it must have been a revelation thirty years ago. All the fundamentals were there; poise, stability, and great feedback from the steering as well as your backside. In fact, the steering was probably the best part of the car, the skinny 145 tyres allowing an extraordinary purity of communication with the road, even better than my G40. All of the major motoring magazines have always carped on about how the fitting of wider front tyres can corrupt steering feel. This was something I never understood – until my Mk 1 Polo ownership. All in all, this makes for a highly ‘goadable’ and fluid driving experience. This is no doubt helped by a progressive clutch, quick but light gearchange, predictable throttle response and yes, brakes that are spot on! It could be argued that the car could only get away with such narrow tyres due to the meagre (only 40bhp) power and torque levels served up by the 895cc engine and obviously this is a big factor. I must also admit that I thought the lack of rocketship thrust would have made me a bit of a mobile chicane out on the open road, but that turned out not to be the case, because the quality of the car’s chassis made up for an awful lot. I even managed to overtake a few cars, and no, they weren’t milkfloats! Of course, there must be downsides and I will admit that noise levels were high, the headlights were so feeble that oncoming traffic doesn't even flash you on main beam, and the fan blower motor made a noise like a pack of chipmunks at a Pinky & Perky sound-alike contest. However, there were also some endearing touches of character, my favourite being how the radio reception was entirely dependent on the position of the wipers. Luckily, as they didn’t self-park, it was easy enough to leave them in the straight-up position! So there you have it. If you thought your Polo was merely a stepping stone to greater things, a mere appliance to be discarded as soon as your ratio of funds-to-lust for that Lotus Elise becomes favourable, then think again. If you've always fancied the magic of a Porsche 911, or maybe the fluidity of a Corrado (two of my favourite cars), but were a bit short of dough, then fear not. Simply buy a Mk 1 895c Polo N (if you can now find one) and enjoy pocket money thrills for the cost of one Porsche 911 back tyre! VWPR

SPRING 2005 VW POLO REGISTER NEWSLETTER 13


wolfsburg wonders

Stiftung AutoMuseum Volkswagen On April 25 1985, the new Stiftung AutoMuseum Volkswagen first opened its doors. A collection of over 130 vehicles in Volkswagen’s history, when we have been on previous visits the cars have never seemed to be pristine examples of the models on show, but the Polo representation has always been interesting, if a little limited. When this author first visited in 1988, the main draw was the Polo Sprint, a rear-engined and rear-wheel drive hatchback, powered by a water-cooled 156bhp engine from a Caravelle. It had a wild paintjob, and also

a custom interior. This was joined by two mid-eighties Polo GT G40 endurance cars which broke two 1300cc endurance world speed records. And that was about it. However, since the museum was overhauled and reopened on 10 March 2001, a whole complement of Polo models has been on show, with almost every generation represented. Although the Sprint and G40s have now disappeared, it is still a treasure trove for any enthusiast. The museum regularly shows its exhibits around the world, so you may never see the same selection of cars twice. Well worth a visit. RG VWPR

A piece of history: VW’s AutoMuseum Volkswagen now truly does pay homage to the Polo legend. Lacking for many years a Polo collection of worthy mention, this Series 1 represents the start of the Polo story. Now, almost every generation is present

‘AutoMuseum Volkswagen now truly does pay homage to the Polo legend’


wolfsburg wonders Story Richard Gooding Photography Richard Gooding and Volkswagen Media Services

Making history: early Polo models on show at the AutoMuseum Volkswagen which now features models of nearly every generation since 1975

lessons in history ny Polo enthusiast who has visited the previously plain, almost-hidden and former clothing factory that is the Stiftung AutoMuseum Volkswagen before 2001 may have been disappointed with the display of Volkswagen’s one-time smallest car. Barely a handful of Polos were ever present, and as the museum had limited space and lends cars to various other Volkswagen and external displays around the world, there was hardly a presence on some visits. However, with a refurbishment in 2001, the Polo representation in the 5,000 square metre space is now much better, with examples of virtually every generation since 1975. Over the next four issues of the VW Polo Register Newsletter we’ll be looking at the cars on display – past and present – generation by generation. The idea of displaying the notable cars in Volkswagen’s history first came in 1953, when General Director Heinrich Nordhoff collected the discontinued vehicles, but it wasn’t until 1983 when the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Carl H Hahn decided to open a museum for the 70 collected vehicles. This number had risen to 180 by 1991, and by 1992, the museum had become a foundation for preserving Volkswagen’s brand tradition. One of the tasks of the foundation was to support the numerous air- and water-cooled VW clubs, and to this end, the AutoMuseum has a

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wealth of information on technical facts, interiors, design, body shape or manufacturing dates of older VW models. It receives several thousand requests from all over the world every year, and can even provide a ‘birth certificate’ for an owner’s individual car. We believe that most of the Polos in the museum were actually all once Volkswagen customers’ cars, and were not owned by the company itself. Some have incredibly high mileages and appear to have a used ‘patina’. The only Series 1 Polo in the museum is an early metal bumper model, dating from around 1978 and in Dakota Beige. Unfortunately only technical information is displayed with each car, and no history of each individual car itself. However, we believe this car to be earlier than 1978, as it has the early all-in-one ‘Volkswagen Polo’ badge on the right-hand side of the tailgate. It also appears on first inspection to be an ‘L’ model at the least, due to the chrome trim line on the side panels. If you look carefully though, there is no rear wiper, reversing lights, chrome window trim and no polished hub caps. The bumpers are also painted, rather than the polished chrome of the higher-spec cars. A bit of a strange example then, of Volkswagen’s earliest Polo generation, but if you want to see more representative cars, then turn the page and let us take you across the road (literally), to Volkswagen’s newest museum, – the ‘ZeitHaus’ – at the Autostadt complex... X

Changing times: cars at the AutoMuseum are lent to global displays

SPRING 2005 VW POLO REGISTER NEWSLETTER 15


wolfsburg wonders

How to get there: Autostadt Richard flew to Lübeck airport, just outside Hamburg, hired a car, and then took the A1, A7 and A37 motorways to Hanover. From Hanover, (and from Hamburg on the A7), take the A2 for 60.9 km. Follow the A39, exit 58 towards Wolfsburg/Flechtorf: 0.6 km. Where this road forks, keep right: 1.0 km. Stay on the A39 for 12.4 km, and then take exit 3 towards Wolfsburg: 0.3 km. Stay on Heinrich Nordhoffstrasse road for 0.5 km. Turn left onto Appelchaussee, and then left again onto Heinrich Nordhoff-Strasse: 0.3 km. Total travelling time from Hanover should be just over 1 hour. Autostadt is open from 9am to 6pm every day (later in the summer). Entry tickets are: 14,- euros for adults; 6,- euros for children and 11,- euros for concessions. For further information, write to: AutoStadt GmbH StadtBrücke 38440 Wolfsburg Germany Or, call the hotline on +49 (0)800 28 86 78 23, e-mail service@autostadt.de or visit www.autostadt.de

How to get there: Stiftung AutoMuseum Volkswagen Follow the same directions to Autostadt until: stay on Heinrich Nordhoffstrasse road for 0.5 km, and continue straight over the bridge (where Autostadt is signposted to the left) into Dieselstraße. Turn left at the first set of traffic lights on a crossroads and then take the first left into the AutoMuseum car park. Total travelling time from Hanover should be just over 1 hour. The Stiftung AutoMuseum Volkswagen is open daily from 10am to 6pm and costs 6,- euros for adults and 3,- euros for children, students and concessions. For further information e-mail automuseum@wolfsburg.de or visit automuseumvolkswagen.de now! VWPR

16 VW POLO REGISTER NEWSLETTER SPRING 2005

Volkswagen Autostadt: £270m worth of car playground. Go play!

W The £270m Autostadt Volkswagen ‘city of cars’ was opened in 2000. The 250,000 square metre complex features pavilions, waterways, bridges, lakes, parks, marketplaces, a train station, streets and lanes, world restaurants, entertainment, and a unique competition and events centre. Every year over 1.2 million guests from all corners of the globe go on a fascinating journey of discovery in this world forum dedicated to the motor car. Pavillions from every marque of the VW Group embody characteristics of each particular brand, while the customer delivery centre is visited by over 1,000 car owners collecting their new Volkswagen. The ZeitHaus (literally ‘House of Time’) is where the second selection of notable cars from the Volkswagen Group – and also other car makers – can be found. With an experience-orientated concept, the ZeitHaus illustrates the history of car mobility, while remaining independent of any particular brand of car. It has a dual building structure which creates a link between legendary vehicles and the environment of each age, and focuses on automobile milestones, again, regardless of manufacturer, make, or brand. My particular favourites were, of course, the 1975 Polo L and Audi 50 LS on the opposite page, but the early 1970s range of Volkswagens was well-represented too, with a very early Passat Estate especially worthy of note.The Polos displayed in the ZeitHaus seemed to be in better condition than the ones featured in the older AutoMuseum only a short distance away. Indeed, the ZeitHaus early Polo and rare Audi 50 are truly stunning, their typical ‘70s colours showing them off to glorious effect. We believe that both cars were donated by the ‘Audi 50 IG’, Germany’s foremost organisation dedicated to preserving the Audi 50 and early Polo. The Polo had a recorded 40,000 km displaying, while the Audi boasted a mere 4,000 km, and is one of the oldest known examples: no 918 of 180,828 units. Both cars were the best and earliest examples of their type, and are valuable examples of Polo history. A visit to Wolfsburg is a must – check out the panel on the left to see how we visited these VW meccas. VWPR


wolfsburg wonders

Loud and proud: great 1970s colours shown off to effect in the ZeitHaus

‘The ZeitHaus early Polo and rare Audi 50 are truly stunning, their typical 70s colours showing them off to glorious effect’ Bright and light: the new ‘Zeithaus’ museum at Autostadt has glass walls, showing off the 70s cars to full effect, with their typically bright paintwork. Clockwise from far left: 1975 was the year in which the Polo was first made; Audi’s 50 was the car on which it was based; early cars had no rear wiper, even on this L version; 50 was more upmarket than Polo sister; early Polos had one rear badge; baby Audi was the smallest until A2


buyer’s guide

70s original buyer’s guide: Polo 1975-1981 With Series 1 Polos now rare in the UK, finding a good one is difficult. Richard Gooding explores the perils and pitfalls that may await and advises on what to look for

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he Series 1 Polo has undergone a transformation in recent years, comparable to that of the ugly duckling turning into the beautiful swan. Of course, that’s only in people’s minds, as it has always been a pretty car, if not one that many see as a ‘classic’ in the making. As the VW scene in the UK goes retro mad, it is now one of the most covetable of the early water-cooled Volkswagens to own, and also to modify. But what should you look for when buying one? Speaking from personal experience, the early Mk 1 Polos up to the facelifted cars of 1979 are the best, but also the worst when it comes to being in good condition. Of course, this is rather obvious and also true of any other car approaching its thirtieth birthday, but it’s surprisingly to see the difference between examples that just caught the start of VW’s wax cavity flooding period and those that didn’t. The original Polo was never fitted with plastic wheel arch liners, and so the deterioration of the front wings can be one of the first noticeable signs of decay. This is easy to spot – the front area as well as the bolting flange are common places where rot is likely to be lurking. Replacement wings may be available, from outlets such as Euro Car Parts (www.eurocarparts.com). The front of the bonnet and rear wheel arches are also prone to rust, and in the case of the rear wheel arches, can spread to the rear valance, as on my 1978 N that I owned for a three-year period from 1991 to 18 VW POLO REGISTER NEWSLETTER SPRING 2005

Many problems seem to point to the argument for a Series 1 Polo to be a nobrainer; this is not the case... 1994. Once the rear valance has rotted, that too can spread, to destroy the rear 18ins of the sills, spreading into the floor. Cars like this are, sadly, best avoided. The last place that the dreaded tin worm can attack, is the bracket that attaches the rear valance to the spare wheel well. It makes sense, that if an original car is found in good condition, to regularly clean the rear wheel arch lips and underneath the front wings.


buyer’s guide Moving onto mechanicals, watch for serious leaks that can spray everything with oil. Valve guide oil seals can also be a problem. Many engines have also gone due to the oil pump failing. A common oil leak is that from the front left-hand corner of the head gasket, where it drips onto and ruins the alternator. Leaking here is down to the oil pressure gallery being sited here, outside the ring of head bolts. Removing the cylinder head and getting it skimmed can rectify the problem. Check the battery tray behind the bulkhead too, as this can rot, as it tends to collect water. The water pump is driven from the camshaft drive belt and normally lasts well. It also acts as the cambelt tensioner, and rotates in the engine block. The replacement of this isn’t normally problematic, unless the pump body (made of alloy) has corroded into the iron block. Other water leaks become obviously more prevalent as the cars tend to pass into old age. Pre-October 1979 895cc cars use a manual choke, with younger models using a single-choke carburettor. Others use an electric thermo-choke, which can cause problems later in life. Rust can flake off the inside of the fuel filler neck and can block the fuel filter and also the carburettor. A tell-tale sign is flakes in the fuel filter. Exhausts tend not to be a problem, and unlike some early Golfs, the downpipe is easy to remove. Radiators can also leak and rot out of the bottom, and the main water pipe at the back of the engine is another thing to look at, as this too can corrode. Clutches and gearboxes tend to last, with the clutch pedal becoming heavier to press as it gets worn out. Look out for leaking suspension dampers and worn top mounts, which will make a clonking noise when driven over bumps. Brake lines should be checked too, as well as the pipes and hoses. If in doubt, renew. Discs and pads can easily be replaced, as Volkswagen kept the same basic design for twenty years. Again, these can be bought for around £30 from specialists. Stepping inside, the interiors tend to be fairly hardwearing, with no immediate problems reported. Again, as with any older car, watch for particularly dirty trim. Seat belts can be checked for condition and freeness in which they come out of the reel. Most older Polos will have the ‘Toric’ buckleless versions fitted, as these were added to the cars when they first arrived in the UK. Door membranes behind the door card trim can also be split and can lead to water leaks. Other things to look for generally include cracked light units, the rears being particularly susceptible. I had problems with leaking rear light lenses on my car, which would let water in through the badly sealed join where the units meet the bodywork.This seems to be a known problem, and a very wet boot mat is one particular thing to keep an eye out for. All of the aforementioned problems seem to point to the argument for buying a Series 1 Polo being a nobrainer; this is not necessarily the case. A good car is

Minter? This page, clockwise from top: rear lights can let in water and cause boot leaks – look for wet boot mat; wings one of the first places to look for rust; as with any older car, mileage may not be genuine. Opposite page, clockwise from top: pictured car found on eBay and had covered 40,000 km and although many parts needed replacing, it appeared to be in good order; engine problems can include numerous oil leaks; interior trim generally hardwearing; wings had no plastic wheel arch liners, so can be very rusty

something worth keeping or seeking out. The car pictured was seen on eBay recently (www.ebay.co.uk) and really looked the part for an example of the more sought-after metal-bumper model. There are no fixed guides when it comes to pricing, but expect to pay anything under £1,000 for any model. Now surely to be granted classic status, a restored early Polo shows there may be life in the old dog yet. VWPR SPRING 2005 VW POLO REGISTER NEWSLETTER 19


event report Photography Patrick Hille/ www.vwhome.de/info@vwhome.de

visual feast

The Essen Motor Show is the number one enthusiasts’show.Patrick Hille captures the Polo presence and highlights at the annual international fair for motorsport,tuning and classic cars

Very tasty menu (clockwise from top): accessorised Polo and ADAC VW Polo Cup 2004 championship winning car featured on Volkswagen stand; two ways to shell a Mk 3; wild Polo Estate – yes really – with extra spice; very chewy and tough Mk 2 racer 20 VW POLO REGISTER NEWSLETTER SPRING 2005


preview polo gti Historical heritage: the new Polo GTI takes its cues from GTIs old and new

Story Richard Gooding Photography Richard Gooding and Volkswagen AG

history repeating

Polo ‘R-Line’ was a bodystyling exercise for the Polo ‘R25’ and has a 1.4-litre petrol unit

Hot on the heels of our new Polo GT road test last issue, we bring you this special report on the new Polo GTI, due this year

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t is a good car, and will conclusively fill the void left by the sorely-missed Polo GTI for some, and will fill the performance Polo hole for many (me included), but, for keener drivers, we’re sure the true hot Polo is still waiting in the wings. That was how we ended our test of the Polo GT last issue. It seems we were right, because, in German motoring weekly Auto Bild, and the UK monthly automotive magazine car, a prototype Polo GTI has been tested by leading motoring correspondent Georg Kacher. Mr Kacher, a longstanding journalist reporting on the world of cars – and German makes in particular – tested the new-for-2005 Polo GTI running prototype at the Paul Ricard racing circuit in the south of France, and reported that the new sporting Polo most apes the Mk 1 Golf GTI ethos more convincingly and more accurately than any other current sporting VW. The new car has been in the pipeline for sometime now, and the rumour mill has been working overtime on what powerplants will fuel the sporting Polo, and when it will arrive. The facelifted model (see ‘News’) will arrive on UK shores in June, and the GTI will follow afterwards, more than likely having a world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. The 2005 Polo GTI could be sold with the elderly 1.8T 20-valve engine developing 150bhp, although a

180bhp limited edition car will also be produced. Other sources say that a 150bhp FSI unit will power a petrol model, and that a 140bhp TDI unit will propel a diesel variant. Style will be dictated by the new Golf GTI, with the traditional red and black trim. The Golf R32-hued car shown in our exclusive images is the Polo ‘R-Line’ in the Volkswagen museum (‘News’, issue 20) which was a styling exercise for the thenproposed Polo R25 and will not be produced. Check out the January 2005 issue of car for the world exclusive drive of the new Polo GTI prototype (back issues can be ordered on 0845 121 4000). VWPR

The new Polo GTI will ape the Mk 1 Golf GTI ethos most convincingly than any other Volkswagen

SPRING 2005 VW POLO REGISTER NEWSLETTER 21


our cars

‘Dexter’ a fine car after mild fettling

Ladies and gentleman, introducing the Polos that we run – the VW Polo Register fleet...

polo c hatchback (1986) Owner Tony Lo

personal A passions

Other Polo models owned 1981 N, 1987 Coupe GT G40 LHD (modified)

As enthusiasts, we own and run a number of Polos and other Volkswagen models (some of us more than others, eh Nigel?). Between us, we have over 50 years of combined experience in all things Polo, and have owned over 20 different variants. Among those which have been favourites, have been the ‘sports’ models, with the 1990-1994 ‘GT’ model being the most prolific. In the first of a (hopefully) regular series of updates, we are proud to introduce the first two members of the ‘elite’ VW Polo Register fleet, in which we run around daily... 22 VW POLO REGISTER NEWSLETTER SPRING 2005

while back, my Polo fleet grew from two to three with the acquisition of ‘Dexter’, a 1986, Gambia Red, Polo C squareback. He wasn’t in the greatest condition, having a flat battery, rusting wheel arches and torn door-cards. But haggling over the price would have been difficult given that I rescued him from an almost certain one-way trip to the scrappy. With some mild fettling, Dexter turned out to be a rather fine car. Compared with ‘Yello’ my Mk 1 Polo N, he was much more grown up (read: quieter!) but also seemed less agile, though this could have been the top-quality Roadchamp tyres he came fitted with! However, after a while I came to appreciate the more refined character of the car – much, much quieter (with a far smoother engine) than my Polo ‘G60’, ‘Erik’. And, to be honest, not much less fun (albeit somewhat slower). And like the other two Polos, blessed with very good brakes! I couldn’t justify having three Polos so ‘Yello’ had to go. With a bit of Autoglym and some repainted wheels he scrubbed up surprisingly well. So well he sold within half an hour of putting up the for sale ad. Unfortunately, ‘Yello’ has since shuffled off to that great Polo museum in the sky. Rumour has it the volunteer fire brigade team where I work used him for practice and he was apparently last seen as a rusty, burnt-out convertible. He didn’t deserve that. If I’d have known I could have at least recovered the pristine tailgate and wheels... What’s happened to ‘Erik’ (the G60)? To be honest, not much. Still on the ‘wrong’ side of 200bhp, throttle bodies now very much at home on the dining room table. At least my bank balance is thanking me... VWPR


our cars efore I begin, what is your idea of a 'Banger Motor'? A few years ago, images of rusty clapped out cars held together with string, hope and bodyfiller would jump to mind, but no, due to various things (according to industry sources), a ‘P’ reg (1996/1997) car is now in banger territory, which makes my most recent purchase of a 1991 Polo 1.3 CL Coupe seem like buying some ancient relic. But, to me the Tornado Red little VW is still a ‘modern’ car – I mean it has fuel injection and a catalytic converter for heavens sake! Purchased from eBay, a method not always for the faint hearted, I had plans for this mean machine. Whether they will ever happen remains to be seen, but for the time being…. Its description, with a vague mentioning of a mechanical defect (problem with gearbox) did unfortunately not dissuade me from adding to the fleet, and it was soon languishing in my garage. The good points being it had quite a comprehensive service history and all the manuals etc, and quite a long MoT. The body with all its original panels is not in the best shape, with some rust on the front arches, but as it seemed to have been owned by a school employee for a number of years, I can only guess that some of the scratches and dents have occurred while parked at their place of work. Bodywork aside, it is generally tidy and all the bits are present and correct. The interior is also in good order. As is often the case, the internallyadjustable mirrors no longer adjust, and there was a hole in the dash where the radio used to reside; after fitting my trusty Kenwood head unit, I soon discovered that the front speakers were perished, so I dug out my old set of MacAudio dual cones which had last seen service on my Polo GT hatch, which I owned some years ago. Driving the eBay Polo is, shall we say interesting, having only previously owned GT and G40 versions of the Mk 3, this 124,000 mile example with all original suspension is certainly different; welcome to the land of understeer! The Mk 3 Polo is fitted with a brake servo, which helps, but on my previous Mk 3s I have always found the brake pedal feel to be somewhat 'random'. I think the effect is caused by the load-sensitive rear pressure regulator (GT/G40 only), as you brake, depending on how hard, the nose dives, and the rear rises. This change, causes the brake pedal to change feel. The lower-spec models don't have this, and therefore the pedal feel seems better and more consistent (giving the driver more confidence as well). Somewhere in its life one of the wheel trims has gone astray, but a replacement was sourced at the GTI

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International event, along with some service items, including genuine VW plugs and filters – no expense spared. I initially thought the performance was a little lacklustre, but discovered that the hot air flap sensor had failed in the on position, hence the engine was breathing through the hot air intake straight from the exhaust manifold. I can report it goes a damn sight quicker on cold air! Current short term plans include trying to get the exhaust to fit correctly so it doesn't keep bashing against the gearbox/rear axle, replacing the rear dampers with some new ones in the vain attempt at improving the handling, and checking the tracking. As a runabout it's great, but who came up with the idea of putting blue seats in a red car – grey was just fine, thanks. As they say, watch this space... VWPR

polo cl coupe (1992) Owner Nigel Middleton Date acquired April 2004 Mileage 132,000 Engine capacity (litres/cc) 1.3/1272 Power output (bhp/rpm) 55/5000 Modifications None Other Polo models owned 1984 Coupe ‘GT’, ex-VW Polo G40 Cup Coupe G40 race car

SPRING 2005 VW POLO REGISTER NEWSLETTER 23


websites

web watch Point your mouse to these notable Series 1 Polo websites www.audi50.de The largest Series 1 Polo/Type 86C website on the web. With news, features, personal projects and a forum. www.polo1.de Another website for the first-generation Polo. Here you can find everything you could wish to know about the Series 1 Polo, whether you own an original and restored car or a modified example with many changes. www.glas-racing.de/_sgt/f10000.htm A website featuring the German Glas racing team, fielding three cars – one of them a 16v extreme 1979 Polo!

www.youngtimer-tour.de An online community for owners of air- and water-cooled Volkswagen and Audi models from 1969 to 1981. www.86c.de The website for the Polo-Club Hamburg e.V., which is one of the oldest VW Polo clubs in Germany, established in 1987. www.mk1polo.com UK-based website of one man's Series 1 project with lots of retro-themed pictures. www.planetpolo.de A fan site for all versions of the Polo, featuring comprehensive model features, histories, tuning articles and curiosities. VWPR

www.vw-polo1.de One man's early Polo vision, with links to other sites and a guestbook. www.steffiesderby.de A homage to the booted version of the early Polo, with forum, guestbook, history, and photo links.

Win a 1979 VW Polo! Well, okay, maybe not a real one... Here is your chance to own a piece of model history! Win a 1979 Corgi VW Polo in mint condition (only 2 careful owners!) in its original box. All you need to do to win this highly collectable car is answer the following questions.

Q4 The first Polo GT had a top speed of: a) 92mph b) 97mph c) 102mph d) 125mph

Q1 The first Polo appeared in: a) 1955 b) 1965 c) 1975

Q5 Volkswagen was rescued after the Second World War by: a) Berti Volks b) Major Ivan Hirst c) Ivan the Terrible d) Ferdinand Porsche

Q2 The Polo was named after: a) the mint b) the game c) a famous explorer d) the designer’s girlfriend Q3 Which Audi model closely resembled the Polo: a) TT b) 50 c) 80 d) Quattro

Tie-breaker In the case of more than one correct entry, guess the as new cost of a 1272cc Polo Ranger in 1990: £_,___. All entries should be sent to: Graham Richards, 2 Telor Y Coed, The Rise, LLANBRADACH, Caerphilly CF83 3PW by April 10 2005. Good luck! VWPR

VW Polo Register Newsletter Issue 21  

Publication about Volkswagen Polos from the UK's longest-running organisation for the model.

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