1970s / 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show / German / Volkswagen

Live from the Frankfurt Auto Show: Volkswagen GTI (mk1)

Classic cars are few and far between at this year’s Frankfurt Auto Show. The event’s unofficial themes are electrification and autonomous driving, though no one seems to agree when either trend will truly merge into the mainstream.

In that context, it’s difficult for automakers to justify displaying an older model that highlights the past instead of the future. “What the hell? You mean this old thing burns gasoline and you have to manually drive it?” The cost of securing floor space in Frankfurt doesn’t help things, either.

Volkswagen is surfing the two forward-thinking trends, as you’d expect, but it brought out a first-generation Golf GTI to display next to modern-day GTI-badged models like the up! and the Golf. It comes straight from the company’s collection in Wolfsburg, Germany, and it’s in like-new condition even though the odometer suggests it hasn’t exactly been warehoused all of its life.

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