Video: Watch the Original GTI Jump and Slide in This Old VW Commercial

This old commercial featuring the 1984 Volkswagen GTI makes the bold statement that "In Germany, people who love high-performance driving drive a Volkswagen GTI more than anything else."

Whether or not that's true, we can still appreciate seeing first-generation GTIs going sideways and launching off jumps to a sweet cover of "Little GTO."

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Tom1200 Dork
8/6/20 10:25 a.m.

Where did you find that? I've been telling people about that ad forever and no one besides me seems to have ever seen it.

11GTCS Reader
8/6/20 12:18 p.m.

Kleine GTI! Kleine GTI....  wa wa!       I remember seeing that on TV, God I'm old...

rustybugkiller Dork
8/6/20 12:56 p.m.

I remember that and other fun commercials. Joe Isuzu is one that comes to mind.

However, it's sad to me how the manufacturer's commercials and their cars have gone from exciting and engaging to isolation and computer driven blocks of metal.

Oh how I hate SUVs!

SVreX (Forum Supporter)
SVreX (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/6/20 1:01 p.m.

On an MK1??

Im pretty sure that's a good way to bust loose every weld on the car!!

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/6/20 1:14 p.m.

That's one of my favorite 80s car commercials. Along with this one:


Datsun310Guy MegaDork
8/6/20 1:33 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
8/6/20 1:40 p.m.
SVreX (Forum Supporter) said:

On an MK1??

Im pretty sure that's a good way to bust loose every weld on the car!!

They are still A1s to me.

I had a PDF of an article detailing how they prepped them for stage rally.  Not much chassis upgrading.

Probably not much speed, either.  Front drive on gravel wasn't too figured out yet, and there is only so much you can get from a 1.6l 8v.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
8/6/20 1:50 p.m.

I always wondered if they paid royalties to whoever owns the rights to the song "Little GTO" by Ronnie and the Daytonas.

wreckerboy SuperDork
8/6/20 4:52 p.m.

This ad was the reason my first ever new car was a 1984 GTI.

What an unmitigated piece of E36 M3 that car was. Every interior panel rattled. The sunroof leaked. The sway bar brackets broke on a near constant basis. I kept it for 11 months and sold it to buy a '67 Bus and never regretted the decision. But I was a glutton for punishment - a few years later we bought a '87 Jetta.

The best part of my divorce was that she got the Jetta. They deserved each other.

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
8/6/20 5:32 p.m.
SVreX (Forum Supporter) said:

On an MK1??

Im pretty sure that's a good way to bust loose every weld on the car!!

My former boss worked at VW in Pennsylvania back when Rabbits were racing in Showroom Stock or IMSA or whatever. The assembly plant would run the shells through the weld line twice , with the second pass about and inch and a half out of true. Unless someone counted the spot welds they were pretty much unnoticeable, but added to chassis stiffness considerably.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
8/6/20 6:43 p.m.

In reply to DeadSkunk (Warren) :

Dodge did something similar, except they had some guys with MIG welders stitch them by hand, then returned the "stock" shells to the assembly line for paint and assembly.


11GTCS Reader
8/6/20 10:20 p.m.

In reply to wreckerboy :

My first new car was an 86 Jetta GLI.  For the day, it was fun on twisty roads and let me get away with a lot of things I probably shouldn’t have.  That said, it needed a new FI computer and catalytic converter (warranty fortunately) and ate Bosch plugs, rotors and distributor caps every 15 K at around $100 bucks each time for the parts.   I remember doing the struts at least three times as well.  More problems on that car than anything since but I loved it at the time.  

RichardNZ New Reader
8/6/20 10:50 p.m.

I was told, and one of the Escorts I rally serviced in the 1970's  was like it, that shells destined for Ford AVO were lifted at the end of the weld line, all the seams were brazed / bronze welded and then returned for paint etc. Not a technique available to Joe Average because as soon as they were painted you couldn't ever get them clean enough for the filler rod to run.

Once again "allegedly".

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/7/20 9:14 p.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :


ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) Reader
8/8/20 7:44 a.m.

I remember seeing that ad on TV as a 10 year old lad.  Left such a deep impression on me that I got an '84 GTI.  In '95. With 180k on the clock. It was still awesome even though it was mostly made of rust and leaks by then. 

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