This identification guide for the Volkswagen Golf GTI MK1 includes both the 1.6l and 1.8l versions sold mainly throughout Europe and the UK up until December 1983. This guide does not cover special editions of the GTI such as the Campaign / Trophy Edition, the 16v Oettinger, GTI Cabriolet or export (U.S.) market GTIs. Those vehicles will be covered in separate guides. The Golf GTI is widely recognised as the first ever mass appeal “hot hatch”, and continues to attract the attention of enthusiasts and collectors, with prices steadily rising for good original examples, a trend which is expected to continue. The GTI is based on the standard Golf MK1 chassis, however, many modifications were adapted to improve the vehicle's performance and appeal throughout MK1 GTI production. It is important as a prospective buyer to have an understanding of those differences and features when looking to purchase a genuine vehicle.
This guide provides information in important areas for the MK1 Golf GTI, including characteristics of the body, interior, driveline as well as specific details relating to the engine and chassis number, among others.
Production period: June 1976 – December 1983 (Note: Some early demonstration vehicles were produced prior to June 1976)
Production numbers: Multiple sources quote different figures for overall worldwide production. Passiongolfgti.com confirms a total of 461,690 GTIs were produced (this figure refers to the hard top MK1 cars, and includes all special edition models such as the Campaign, but excludes the Oettinger edition). A breakdown of production figures and additional notes have been provided below, from a variety of sources listed at the base of this guide. The GTI's share of Golf MK1 production is 8% according to Germany's VW Classic website. The same official VW source suggests a total of approximately 450,000 GTIs were produced, which closely supports the figure from passiongolfgti.com.
|August 1976 - July 1977||10,366|
|August 1977 - July 1978||31,746||Only 22 GTIs were sold in the UK this year (sold as LHD cars)|
|August 1978 - July 1979||42,293||1500 Cars were sold in the UK in the 1979 year (factory RHD car introduced).|
|August 1979 - July 1980||58,252|
|August 1980 - July 1981||68,599|
|August 1981 - July 1982||72,394 (1.6l) 70,663 (1.8l)|
|August 1982 - December 1983||107,377 (1.8l)||Including 6,148 UK sales for the 1983 year.|
|TOTAL 1976 - 1983||461,690||Number included 1.6l and 1.8l cars (including Campaign Edition, but excluding the 16 valve Oettinger edition GTI)|
Please contact us if you have any additional production number information you believe would be helpful here, so we can improve the information quality in this table.
Please note, this guide has been written based on a variety of online sources and enthusiast input. You should not rely on this guide to make any purchasing decision and we make no representation that all information is accurate. You should always seek independent professional advice when looking to purchase a unique car. If you have additional information, photographs or corrections you believe need to be made to this page, please contact us by clicking the button at the top of this page, or comment below.
The trim pattern / colour fitted to a MK1 GTI depends on the year model and the paint colour of the car. The original trim code will also appear on the vehicle's build label / sticker, found in the trunk of the car (see last image). The colours and codes available on the GTI included those listed below, with availability outlined in the table.
|Diamond Silver||-||18||18||EY||EY||KM||KL, KM, KU, UH*||KL, KM, KU|
|Viper Green||-||-||12, 18||-||-||-||-||-|
|Alpine White||-||-||12||EW||EW||KL||KL, KM, KU||KL, KM, KU|
|Black||-||-||18||EY||EY||KM||KL, KM, KU||KL, KM, KU|
|Mars Red (2)||-||-||-||-||EW||KL||KL, KM||KL, KM|
|Atlas Grey||-||-||-||-||-||-||UH||KL, KM, KU|
|Lhasa Green||-||-||-||-||-||-||KL, KM, KU||KM, KU|
|Anthracite||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||KL, KM, KU|
|Platinum Diamond||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||KL, KM, KU|
|Oak Green||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||KL, KM, KU|
|Helios Blue||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||KL, KM, KU|
|Diamond Copper Brown||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||KL, KM, KU|
Note: Each reference to a year model below refers to a production year, beginning in August of the previous year. (I.e., 1978 refers to August 1977 - July 1978)
The GTI had a major interior revision from August 1980, and this section has been split into pre and post-facelift. Only the most significant interior features / changes have been outlined in this section.
Pre-facelift series 1 features (1976 - July 1980):
Post-facelift series 2 features (August 1980 - 1983):
The Golf MK1 GTi was available in the following paint colours. Each colour below has the relevant vehicle production year(s) in which it was available:
|Colour Name:||VW Paint Colour Code:||Years available:|
|Senegal Red||L31A||1975 -1976|
|Mars Red||L31B||1976 - July 1979|
|Diamond Silver Metallic||L97A||1976 - 1983|
|Viper Green Metallic||L96N||August 1977 - July1978|
|Alpine White||L90B||August 1977 - 1983|
|Black||L041||August 1977 - 1983|
|Inari Silver Metaillic||L94A||August 1978 - July 1981|
|Mars Red (2)||La3A||August 1979 - 1983|
|Atlas Grey Metallic||LP7V||August 1982 - 1983|
|Lhasa Green Metallic||LA6V||August 1981 - 1983|
|Perlrose Metallic||LP3Y||August 1981 - July 1982|
|Anthracite Metallic||LC7V||August 1982 - 1983|
|Platinum Diamond Metallic||L98E||August 1982 - 1983|
|Oak Green Metallic||L94E||August 1982 - 1983|
|Helios Blue Metallic||LA5Y||August 1982 - 1983|
|Diamond Copper Brown Metallic||LP8Y||August 1982 - 1983|
Paint code location:
The paint code is located on the body label / sticker (sometimes referred to as the paint label). This is in the boot / trunk area of the car, under the carpets, stuck to the metal. These tend to peel off over time, and are often missing. An example of a label and paint code have been provided in the images. A big thanks to passiongolfgti.com for some of the information here.
The Volkswagen Golf GTI MK1 has two potential chassis prefixes:
1. Chassis number – Pre-August 1980 Golf GTI MK1:
|6||Vehicle year (6 = 1976 / 7 = 1977 / 8 = 1978 / 9 = 1979 / A = 1980)|
|3||Check digit (no meaning)|
|123456||Individual vehicle serial number|
2. Chassis number – August 1980 onward Golf GTI MK1:
|WVWZZZ||World Manufacturer Identifier Code for Volkswagen|
|C||Year (A = 1980 / B = 1981 / C = 1982 / D = 1983 / E = 1984 (Note: "D" & "E" are mostly applicable to the GTI Campaign Edition)|
|123456||Unique chassis sequence number|
Location: The chassis number is located in three positions on the MK1 GTI:
1. Embossed / stamped into the aluminium ID plate (pop riveted to the front crossmember / slam panel in front of the radiator).
2. Stamped into the firewall / bulkhead top, on the front of the wiper cowling panel. The black rain tray will have a window cut out of it where the chassis number displays.
3. Printed on the body label located in the trunk.
The chassis type code is a 6 digit code that is found on the vehicle's build sticker in the trunk / boot area. This type code can assist in determining the exact model of GTI you have, and can be interpreted as follows:
|Digit||Meaning||Applicable codes for the MK1 GTI|
|Digits 1-2||Model||17 = Golf MK1|
|3rd digit||Body style||1 = 2dr LHD / 2 = 2dr RHD / 3 = 4dr LHD / 4 = 4rd RHD|
|4th digit||Specification||3 = GTI / G = GTI Pirelli, Plus, Trophy or Campaign / H = Rabbit GTI|
|5th digit||Motor||3 = 110 PS (1.6l) or 112PS (1.8l) / K = 112 PS (export engine U.S. JJ)|
|6th digit||Gearbox||1 = 4-speed / 2 = 4 + overdrive / 4 = 5speed|
The following chart details relevant chassis "types" for the MK1 Golf GTI (Note: excludes special editions / U.S. models):
|171331 (LHD)||Golf 1600 GTI: EG engine, GE transmission.||06/76 - 07/79|
|172332 (RHD)||Golf 1600 GTI: EG engine, GE transmission||08/78 - 07/79|
|171332 (LHD) / 172332 (RHD)||Golf 1600 GTI: EG engine, FM transmission.||08/79 - 07/80|
|171332 (LHD) / 172332 (RHD)||Golf 1600 GTI: EG engine, FD transmission.||08/80 - 07/81|
|172332 (RHD)||Golf 1600 GTI: EG engine, FH transmission.||08/81 - 07/82|
|171332 (LHD)||Golf 1600 GTI: EG engine, FD transmission.||08/81 - 07/82|
|171332 (LHD)||Golf 1600 GTI: EG engine, FH transmission.||08/81 - 07/83|
|171334 (LHD) / 172334 (RHD)||Golf 1600 GTI: EG engine, FH transmission.||08/81 - 07/82|
|171334 (LHD)||Golf 1800 GTI: (France)||08/82 - 12/83|
|173334 (LHD)||Golf 1800 GTI: DX engine, 7G transmission (4-dr)||08/82 - 07/83|
|171334 (LHD) / 172334 (RHD)||Golf 1800 GTI: DX engine, 7G transmission.||08/82 - 07/83|
|171334 (LHD) / 172334 (RHD)||Golf 1800 GTI: DX engine, 9A transmission.||08/83 - 12/83|
|173334 (LHD)||Golf 1800 GTI: DX engine, 9A transmission. (4-dr)||08/83 - 12/83|
Engine number format / prefix:
The MK1 GTI's engine number depends on the vehicle year, and is prefixed by either EG or DX, followed by a 6-digit unique number.
For example: DX 123456
The engine number prefix determines the engine size, and can be confirmed by checking the engine block itself, the vehicle's data plate in the engine bay and data label in the trunk. The engine types based on the prefixes / codes are outlined below. Note, from our research we have noticed that some chassis / data plates on GTIs may only have the code "17" embossed, and will not specify the engine / transmission type.
|Engine prefix||Chassis plate prefix||Chassis label code||Engine size||Transmission||Dates|
|EG||17EG1||EG||1588cc||4-speed (Code: GE)||06/76 - 07/79|
|EG||17EG2||EG||1588cc||5-speed(Codes: FM, FD, FH)||08/79 - 07/82|
|DX||17DX2||DX||1781cc||5-speed(Codes: 7G, 9A)||08/82 - 12/83|
In addition to those codes, the engine capacity of either 1.8 or 1.6 will be printed on the side of the engine block. Examples of the engine prefix, engine number and various codes on the chassis plate, labels and block have been provided in the images.
The gearbox number is located on the under-side of the gearbox housing, near the flange edge where the clutch cover joins the main housing. You will be able to see a raised / flat area, containing the gearbox code (as outlined in the table above), followed by a 5-digit number. See the images for a better description of the location.
The following sources, among input from many owners and enthusiasts, have contributed to the creation of this page. If you have any further information you believe can be added, please let us know by contacting us or commenting below.