aside post Always take a stroll through the parking lots of car shows

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Rallye Golf Front

It’s a good practice to always take a stroll through the parking lots of car shows. While visiting a local British car show, I decided to take a break and explore the parking lot. When I was doing so, this Volkswagen Rallye Golf rolled in. A car I’d heard of, but had never expected to see one locally, let alone at this venue.

Rallye Golf Facing

So – just what is the Rallye Golf, anyway? Like the Dodge Charger Daytona, Audi Sport Quattro and first generation BMW M3 that preceded it, it was a homologation special – made so that VW could go racing.

The Rallye Golf first appeared in 1989, made for rallying as the name suggests.  5000 total were made to satisfy racing regulations, and none were ever sold in North America.

The Rallye Golf first appeared in 1989, made for rallying as the name suggests. 5000 total were made to satisfy racing regulations, and none were ever sold in North America.

Rallye Golf Detail

A detail shot of the front end, to highlight the car’s narrower projection headlamps and additional cooling ventilation added above the bumper. Behind all those vents sat a slightly lower displacement version (1763 cc versus the typical 1781 cc) of the 1.8L G60 supercharged 4 cylinder. The missing 18 cubic centimeters of displacement were sacrificed to meet engine displacement rules for rally racing. A cable shifted manual transmission linked this engine to Volkswagen’s Syncho four-wheel drive system.

Rallye Golf Rear

The look of the car isn’t exactly subtle, with swollen box flares covering it’s larger wheels. The look is very similar to that of the Lancia Delta HF Integrale, a fellow homogation special built for rallying. Or perhaps it’s older brother, the Audi Sport Quattro. Unfortunately, there are a lot of tasteless kits out there, and a lot of people mistakenly think this rare automobile is a run-of-the-mill Golf with a dated bodykit. It’s owner seemed genuinely surprised I knew what it was when I asked to take pictures, saying most are dismissive of it. He’s had it for 10 years, and purchased it in Germany. And regularly drives it, as all cars should be.