03 October 2010 ~ 2 Comments

Polo 1975-1981: Dan Higgins’ 1980 GLS

Back in 1979, the Polo GLS was top of Volkswagen’s baby car tree and was quite the luxurious supermini. With chrome trim embellishments and polished hubcaps, the GLS certainly looked more upmarket than its N and L brothers, and Volkswagen claimed it offered ‘a bit more power and a little more style.’ Dan Higgins must have thought so, too, as his plans for modding this particular flawless example soon took a back seat. We caught up with him at the Stanford Hall 2010 event, where he told us his part in PLM 686W’s story

Dan Higgins has been the proud owner of this concours clean 1980 Series 1 Polo GLS for almost two-and-a-half years. Totally standard and original from its polished hubcaps to its dealer sticker in the rear window, the car has just covered over 22,000 miles in 30 years. It very nearly didn’t stay a remarkably unmolested piece of Polo history, though; when he bought the car in November 2008, Dan had all sorts of Euro-look plans brewing, including taking the car to the deck on a set of 13” rims. But, he couldn’t bear to do anything to it. ‘I soon came to realise that this wasn’t going to happen, I just couldn’t do it. The car was immaculate and it would have been a shame to alter such a great example. With the car being in flawless original condition and with only 16,000 miles on the clock, I know I wouldn’t have made many friends if I would have begun to alter the car in the slightest,’ he says.

[Click ‘Read More’ below for gallery of pictures at end of post.]

Since ‘Higgo’ took ownership, the car has been taken to many events and driven with great pleasure during the summer months, picking up a few prizes along the journey. ‘The car isn’t perfect and I’m rather picky with little niggles. Therefore, my future plans for the car are to sort out the little bits that need sorting and then after that just keeping it dry and clean,’ Dan says. Not perfect? It looks it to us! PLD 686W is almost the stereotypical one lady owner from new car, and was first purchased from Volkswagen in part exchange with a 1976 Polo, so the GLS was somewhat of an upgrade for the then owner.‘I still have the original bill of sale as well as a folder full of service history and previous MOTs. Since the first owner, the car changed hands once more within the family before it fell kindly into my hands, to where it shall stay for a long time,’ Dan enthuses. At the Stanford Hall 2010 event, Dan and the GLS finished a credible third in the Polo class, testament to the car’s fantastic condition.

In 1979, the GLS stood at the pinnacle of Polo’s production models, boasting a powerful 1093cc 50bhp engine and a host of standard features that took inspiration from larger, more luxurious cars. Among its appointments were chrome trims; however, Dan’s version of the car received some extra special touches, including optional Wolfsburg crest mud flaps, a push-button radio, and rear fog lights. Embracing its originality and rarity, Dan has decided to preserve the car in its authentic state, resisting the urge to modify it like his other cars, including his 1981 base-model Polo N, which serves as his project car for all his retro/Euro-look Mk 1 Polo dreams and ideas. While he plans to execute his creative visions on the Polo N, the GLS, in all its splendor, shall remain untouched and factory fresh for the foreseeable future. Dan’s passion for cars also extends to owning an F 150, making his collection a delightful blend of vintage and modern automobiles. It’s a perfect idea, just like the car itself, in our opinion.

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