• History of Club GTI


    The start of Club GTI can be traced back to GTI Treffen in 1987. At the time this show was the largest gathering of GTI Enthusiasts in Europe. At the show some UK based enthusiasts met up and talked about doing the same in the UK.



    In the beginning...

    In all, ten members put in £100 each and formed Club GTI with the proviso that if the club succeeded then the monies would be paid back. Within a year the funds within the club enabled each of the ten to get back their £100. The first member joined Club GTI on the 14th August 1987 and by the 5th September 1987 Club GTI had 25 members. By June 1988 it was reported the Club GTI had over 200 members.
    The first committee members were as follows; Graeme Platt, David Pipes, Carrie Gillies, David Warren, Stuart Wood, Graham Whittaker, Chris Williams, Eddie Fisher, Keith Parrish and Mike Butler.

    Rabbit was born...

    The first Rabbit issued to club members was four pages of typed text edited by David Pipes. Rabbit 14 was the first magazine style issue, this used a black and white picture on the front cover. Rabbit 19 saw the first use of colour with a tri colour Club badge on the front cover. Rabbit 22 saw the first full colour pages (well, all two pages to be exact!). September 1992 saw Rabbit awarded the Car and Car Conversion Club Car Magazine of the year.


    Rabbit, the first colour covered edition.

    The first full colour cover front cover was seen in Rabbit 28 showing a Golf Rallye in mid air. Rabbit 32 was the first full colour issue. Moving with the times, Rabbit 80 was produced in pfd format only. Since then, the speed and functionality of the Club GTI forum has overlapped Rabbit to such an extent that Rabbit's future has been paused.

    Club GTI attended the first event VW Action in September 1987. The write up at the time described this as largely ‘aircooled’ but there was plenty to interest the GTI owners. The first circuit driving days were held in 1988 and these were basically a group booking at a circuit for club members. The first Club GTI Track day was held at Curborough on 28th April 1990. This Track has a long association with Club GTI and today we continue to hold regular track days at the venue.

    Early 1988 saw the formation of regional meetings. The first locations were Bath, Birmingham, Haverhill, Nottingham, Staines and Oxford. Today regular regional meets are held each month. These cover England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland. A full listing of our regions is available in the forum, and if yours isn't listed, the chances are there's a meet in the area arranged independently, but nevertheless welcoming all GTI nutters!


    Millenium Bug!

    As we approached the Millennium, Club GTI switched onto the internet and our online presence was born. The Yahoo Groups were designed to offer basic communication in a typed format. As software evolved we soon had an online chat forum for both non-members, into which information was added with nothing like the sophistication of today.

    Year 2000



    It was seen as the perfect partner to Rabbit magazine, enabling like-minded enthusiasts to communicate faster than ever before, and build a community in its own right. But the information was entirely disposable. Two forums came and went....

    2001



    Webwiz forums? Bet you never thought you'd see those again!



    Later




    ... and when these forums were switched off, we started afresh with zero content. That is until October 2003. Since then, we have built a vast wealth of information for 24/7 reference.


    Today

    Today Club GTI is still dedicated to the Golf GTI, the Original Hot hatch. But this is not purely an “owners club”; it is an enthusiasts club and welcomes anyone that has an interest in the GTI, or an interest in the ever increasing world of performance Volkswagen Audi Group cars. So in a world of shared platform and drivetrain vehicles, if your tendencies lie towards an Audi, SEAT, Volkswagen or Skoda, you'll find Club GTI entirely relevant!

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