The VW Golf is the third best-selling car in history, behind the top-selling Toyota Corolla and Ford F-Series of pickup trucks. More than 35 million of the versatile vehicles have sold since the car’s debut as a 1974 edition.
With the motoring icon approaching its 50th anniversary, author Russell Hayes has expanded and upgraded his book The Volkswagen Golf Story to include the full Golf 7 range and the latest incarnation, the Golf 8. The new edition is available from Behemoth Publishing
Co-host Bruce Aldrich is on assignment, so I interview Hayes this week on The Weekly Driver Podcast.
“Europe has always been the Golf’s natural habitat; it’s been one of the top sellers for a long time and I believe it still might be right now, ” said Hayes while describing details of his eighth book. “But in the U.S., it’s had a very interesting up and down career.
VW: The long winding road
“Although largely it’s been replaced by the Jetta, I found the story of the Golf in the U.S. very interesting because they built them here between 1978 and 1987. It was trying to be a homegrown Golf and it was quite different than the European one.”
As Hayes details in Episode #222, VW Golf buyers in the U.S. eventually decided they’d rather have a European edition and U.S. production shutdown.
The marketing for the second edition of The Volkswagen Golf Story elaborates:
“The Volkswagen Golf is a motoring paradox, seemingly never really changing its look but always pushing technical development forward as a ‘classless’ car which still carries a ‘premium’ feel about it. While the VW Golf wasn’t the first front-wheel-drive hatchback, its interpretation established the template for others to follow and the benchmark by which they are still judged today.”
VW: Lots of key industry players
From the development of the first VW Golf to interviews with key figures — Volkswagen’s first designer to its former chairman — the book is the definitive history of the iconic vehicle.
A London-based motoring author, Hayes has written eight books, including the first edition of The Volkswagen Golf Story in 2014. He has also written about the VW Beetle and Type 2 van. Other subjects have been as mixed as Lotus, the Ford Cortina, Aston Martin V8s and the Earls Court Motor Show.
Hayes, also a guest on The Weekly Driver Post on Episodes #209 and #153, was formerly a motoring journalist for British magazines and national newspapers. He has also worked for TV programs such as Top Gear, The Car’s the Star and Driven.
VW: The little car phenomenon
Please join me for an intriguing 30 minute-episode as Hayes and I discuss the phenomenon of the Volkswagen Golf.
Hayes was also a guest on:
Episode #209: The Big Book of Tiny Cars
Episode #153: Volkswagen: Beetle to Buses, Smaller and Smarter.
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