The Volkswagen Golf I GTI in this picture is faster than other Golf I GTI I’s. It was tuned by Oettinger, sold by Volkswagen and available only in France.
Why in France? Because there, the Renault 5 Turbo was ruling the market for hot hatchbacks in the early 1980’s.
To challenge that car, Volkswagen needed something more than the 110 hp 1.6 four-cylinder of the Golf GTI. The only problem was that they did not have anything suitable.
But Oettinger did. Germany has a tradition in tuning companies, names like Abt, Lorinser, Alpina, Zender, AMG, all specialised in one or two brands of cars, developing everything that was needed to turn an off-the-shelf-car into a street racer.
That’s what Oettinger did with Volkswagen and Audi. For the Golf I GTI they had developed a 16-valve cylinder head, giving the engine a massive 136 hp.
Apart from that, the suspension was lowered, BBS-wheels were fitted and fender flares and spoilers, also by BBS, were mounted.
The entire kit was developed by Oettinger, in cooperation with Volkswagen.
The remarkable thing was that this car was being sold by Volkswagen-dealers in France and they also provided warranty and maintenance of the car.
Rumour has it that when the Golf II was introduced, Volkswagen fitted the GTI with a 16V because they liked this Oettinger-engine so much. Well, that would make sense, wouldn’t it?
It is not exactly sure how many of these French Oettinger-GTI’s have been produced, probably around 1.500 of them.
Not many have survived, especially not many as beautifully preserved as this one.
It is being offered for sale in France, the seller is asking EUR 50,000.
If you’re interested, really interested, you’re welcome to go and see the car in the town of Lille in the north of France.