Updated: April 7, 2014 9:00 AM | By Sean Carson for MSN Autos
VW Golf at 40: a motoring icon in pictures

The Volkswagen Golf is 40

The Volkswagen Golf is 40 (© Volkswagen)
  • The Volkswagen Golf is 40 (© Volkswagen)
  • 1974 Volkswagen Golf Mk I (© Volkswagen)
  • How many different Mk I Volkswagen Golf variants were there? (© Volkswagen)
  • 1976 Volkswagen Golf GTI (© Volkswagen)
  • What engine did the 1976 Volkswagen Golf GTI use? (© Volkswagen)
  • 1980 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet (© Volkswagen)
  • Who designed the original Volkswagen Golf and how many of them did VW sell? (© Volkswagen)
  • 1984 Volkswagen Golf Mk II (© Volkswagen)
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There’s a reason why Volkswagen’s marketing campaign for the Golf has played on the car’s build quality, style and performance for so many years. Because having just celebrated its 40th birthday, the near-classless Golf is still the barometer by which to judge other cars.

The first example rolled off the production line back on 29 March 1974, and went on sale as the Volkswagen Rabbit in North America for model year 1975. Since then the range has expanded to offer performance models, four-wheel drive versions, ultra-eco diesels, and now even a fully electric version and a hybrid hot hatch. It's been popular too, selling more than 30 million examples in its four decades on sale — the VW Beetle only manaaged 23 million sales in 65 years of production.

It really has quite a history. So sit back and enjoy our look back at 40 years of VW Golfs.

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