The Volkswagen Golf has been around since the mid-1970s and in four decades, it would certainly have won a lot of fans, especially for the GTI. There would have been many (even in Malaysia) who would have kept some older examples, believing them to be collectors‘ items.
In most cases, the number of Golfs owned might be a handful and only museums might have a larger number. In fact, the largest collection of Golfs can be found at the Autostadt complex in Wolfsburg, Volkswagen’s home city, but there is also an equally large number of the model in a simple industrial hall in Vienna, Austria – and all the cars are owned by one person.
They belong to Golf-lover Josef Juza who has, over the years, collected 114 different versions. This is not the end of his collection although, in recent times, he has stopped actively searching but he says that sometimes items are still offered to him that he simply cannot refuse. Juza could organise a big regional Golf meeting every evening without having to invite a single owner!
As with most passions, this one was harmless at the beginning. The first Golf was followed by a second, then a third… and it just went on and on.
“When I sat in a Golf for the first time, I just had the feeling that this car had been built for me alone. The seat position, driving fun, everyday usability, it was all exactly as I like it,” he said, recalling the beginnings of his collection which is known as the ‘Golf Pack‘.
Even initially he had 5 models – a Caddy for his daily work as a chimney sweep; a Cabrio for summer and a Country for the winer; a GTI for driving fun; and a normal Golf for the family. “My basic point was: the right Golf for every occasion. Then at an Oldtimer exhibition, I fell in love with a model from the first series with drum brakes at the front and dovetail rear apron.
This early model was the first ‘unnecessary‘ Golf and, as such, can be seen as the official start of the collection. This was back in the mid-1990s and once Juza got the ‘Golf fever‘, he found temptation nearly everywhere. “I only had to have a quick look in the Internet and I soon found another great vehicle that cost practically nothing. The transport was often more expensive than the price of the vehicle!”
There may be some people who apply the same level of emotional attachment to a car as they would to a kitchen appliance. The Golf is clearly a logical choice for these people. The car can, however, also be a wonderful projection for passions and individuality. In this context, the Golf has a clear message and unpretentious appearance which allows for personal expression.
Juza has collected Golfs of all perspectives. Alongside the rare versions are models for racing, for living, for luxury and even for collecting rubbish. There’s a pre-series production model with a sliding door which was shown at many motorshows in the 1970s and there’s also the G60 Limited (210 ps with Syncro 4WD) which was hand-built by the Motorsport department.
Even back in 1981, Volkswagen was looking at an ‘electrified‘ future and produced 25 electrically-powered Golfs which were called the CitySTROMer. Juza has one of them which was powered with a dozen batteries and could be used for everyday purposes.
Needless to say, the collection includes the iconic GTI early and late first generation versions, a second generation GTI 16V, Oettinger GTI I with 150 ps, and Nordstadt GTI which was prepared for a sheikh by a top-level tuner.
Unlike other vehicle collections where the models are in virtually tip-top condition, Juza’s ‘Golf Pack‘ vehicles have been left in their natural state and thus make an honest impression. This endows the collection with a certain charm and the best example is the ‘Million Golf‘ which has almost 1 million kilometres on its odometer. Its condition corresponds visually – in feel and in smell – exactly with what you would expect of a car of such an age. In fact, on one occasion when he lent the car for an exhibition, he warned: “I will be really cross if you clean the car!”.
Though the collection has remained behind closed doors for many years, at some time in the future (possibly in early 2019), Juza plans to organise his collection so it can be an exhibition open to the general public. He has already planned the layout for each car and has acquired additional space.
To know more about the latest Golf, visit www.volkswagen.com.my.