1990 VOLKSWAGEN Golf GTI Mk2 8vView vehicle description
Following the roaring success of the MK1 Golf GTI, VW had a tough act to follow with the second-generation Golf. Thankfully, the MK2 was also a wonderful success, and spawned not one but two variations of the ever-popular GTI.
Designated the Typ 19E, or Typ 1G after the 1991 model year, the MK2 Golf GTI was produced between 1983 and 1992, with a total of 6.3 million vehicles being produced. The GTI was the star of the show, building upon the MK1 GTI’s hot hatch characteristics in a more refined package.
Yes, it was heavier than the previous iteration, but it was also faster and more reliable, which are the two most important factors when choosing a hot hatch. Coupled with the Golf’s excellent practicality and styling, the MK2 GTI was a hit, and firmly cemented its place in automotive legend.
From 1990, the GTI also received a facelift with the new ‘big bumper’ design coming in, which is exactly what you can see here. There will forever be the argument between whether the early ‘small bumper’ or later ‘big bumper’ cars look better, but in our opinion, this is the one we’d have.
This 1990-registered, 8v ‘big bumper’ GTI was purchased by the vendor around three years ago, though is now regrettably being put up for sale simply due to lack of use. The car has been regularly started and brought up to temperature throughout the last three years, but has only accrued around 50 miles on the odometer, meaning it’s time for it to go to a new home.
During the vendor’s care, the car has had a number of original, factory-spec parts fitted to bring the car back to standard. The aftermarket exhaust that was on the car when purchased, for example, has been replaced with a full stock unit, including the ultra-rare OEM headers.
It’s clear that this is a fastidious owner who prefers factory-correct items to aftermarket offerings, and it’s certainly fair to say this particular MK2 feels like something of a ‘time warp’ car thanks to its condition.
On the Outside
Immediately upon laying eyes on this wonderfully boxy hot-hatch, it’s clear that this is a cherished example. The paintwork is not original, however it presents nigh-on flawlessly throughout, with only a few tiny stone chips as expected on the front end.
Being a ‘big bumper’ car, road presence is everything, and even in today’s world few hatchbacks can command attention in the way the squared-off, big bumper MK2 can. Even when parked up, this is a car that looks like it means business.
The exterior black trim is in fantastic condition, retaining a deep black satin sheen. The lower front splitter shows some sign of being scuffed, but this is barely noticeable in daily use, and is only really apparent when down at a lower vantage point.
The iconic four-light front grille presents fantastically, though the inner two lenses are starting to show minor signs of clouding, and would benefit from a refurbishment or polish to bring them in line with the rest of the stunning exterior.
The BBS wheels are period-correct for the car, and have all been refurbished during the vendor’s ownership. Free from any marks, kerbing or even minor paint chips, they look as if they’ve just rolled out of the factory. Should steel wheels be more your cup of tea, the vendor will include a full set of original steel wheels in the sale.
Something that we will always mention here at The Market are matching tyres, as this is often a wonderful indicator of a fastidious owner. In this instance, the BBS wheels are all wrapped in a set of matching Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyres, which while might be over-rated for the power of this GTI, are a great sign of an owner that cares not only about performance, but also about safety.
The only real point of contention on the exterior is a minor patch of bubbling around the left-hand wiper blank, which has not deteriorated or grown during the vendor’s ownership. Always garaged and kept dry, this MK2 is in absolutely gorgeous external condition.
On the Inside
Inside, the term ‘time warp’ can be safely used without exaggeration. Settling down into the drivers seat, it’s like being back in the 1990s. Pop a tape of your choosing in the Panasonic stereo, wind down the windows and find a nice flowing B-Road!
The seats are unmarked throughout and show only the very faintest slight of wear on the lower driver’s side bolster. Otherwise, they are in pristine condition and are a wonderful focal point of the interior.
The dashboard - which is often prone to cracking - is unmarked and in fine condition, as are the door cards, lower dashboard and instrument binnacle. Everything works exactly as intended, with no warning lights, electrical faults or other problems.
Fitted with a manual sunroof from the factory, there are no signs of leaking, blocked drains or other sunroof-related problems anywhere in the interior. The headliner is in excellent condition and shows no sign of sagging, while the carpets are in pristine condition throughout. Keen-eyed bidders will notice an aftermarket Cobra immobiliser has been fitted, and this is in perfect working order.
The only minor issue on the interior is a small amount of chipping on the driver’s door sill, which can be seen in the photographs. In the last three years the issue has not progressed, and is thought to be simply a surface issue.
Honestly, the only thing we’d do to the interior is hang a wonderfully retro ‘Feu Orange’ traffic light air freshener from the mirror and call it a day - there really is nothing in here that needs any major or immediate attention.
Starting without hesitation with an intoxicating bark from the 1.8-litre, 8-valve, fuel-injected engine, the car settles into an idle with ease. Thanks to the factory-spec exhaust, it sounds just as it would’ve over 30 years ago when it left the factory.
The vendor also believes that the car has never received any welding to the sills, thanks to the protective cover stickers still being intact, as can be seen just outside the door seals, though this is unable to be verified.
Underneath, the car is in fine fettle, with no signs of leaks, oil seeping or other concerns. At the last MOT, the rear inner and outer brake lines were reported to be mildly corroded, but this was only noted down as an advisory and the car passed the inspection.
The engine bay itself is in great condition with a clean block and ancillaries. There are no reported faults with the car whatsoever, with the vendor saying the car “runs a treat” and we’re inclined to agree from what we’ve seen.
We include an online HPI report run at the auction start which shows no finance outstanding and no insurance markers for theft or damage.
The service history and paperwork that comes with this example is wonderfully in-depth, encompassing everything from the prerequisite V5 to invoices for minor parts and sundries.
Most importantly, the service history is fully stamped, all the way from 1992 to the present day. These stamps are all from VW specialists, with the majority being from ‘Four Circles’ in Bristol, suggesting that despite changing ownership several times, the car remained local to Bristol for the majority of its life.
Of note is that both sets of keys open all the locks on the car - a great indicator that no locks have ever been replaced on the car.
The original documentation, including the original handover inspection report, all remains with the car, and makes for fascinating reading for any new owner or VW enthusiast, as often these documents fall by the wayside when cars change hands.
What We Think
A stunning example of a thoroughly 80’s/90’s hot hatch in a desirable colour combination and ‘big bumper’ spec, this 1990 Volkswagen Golf GTI 8v would make a wonderful addition to a VW enthusiasts fleet, or as a first foray into the world of classic VWs.
Blending usability and practicality with fantastic handling and thoroughly engaging driving characteristics, there is a reason the MK2 GTI is loved throughout the Volkswagen enthusiast scene, and still manages to draw a crowd even when in more expensive company.
Estimated to fetch £8,000 - £12,000 this example presents in fantastic condition throughout, has stacks of history and literature, and is a thoroughly factory-spec example that is ready to be enjoyed by its next owner.
Viewing is always encouraged (within Govt. guidelines of course), and this particular car is located with the owner in Wilbarston, Northamptonshire; to arrange an appointment please use the ‘Contact Seller’ button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.
This vehicle is not with us at The Market’s HQ, which means we have had to rely on the owner’s description of it, in conjunction with the photographs you see here, to compile the listing.
With this in mind, we would encourage potential bidders to contact the owner themselves and arrange to view the car in person, or to arrange a dedicated video call in which they can view the car virtually and ask questions.
EU & BREXIT - If you are bidding from overseas & planning to export your vehicle abroad, you should be aware of two important things: 1) There is no VAT on used cars in the UK. 2) After Brexit, you might have to pay import tax in your country.
If needed, please remember we have a network of trusted suppliers we work with regularly and can recommend: Classic & Sportscar Finance for purchase-financing, Footman James for classic car insurance, CLASSIC CONCIERGE LTD for storing your car and an array of regional providers for transporting it.
BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at the vehicles delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.
Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.
Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.
Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.
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