VW Gol 1000
The Brazilian "Fox" hatchback
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What is the VW Gol 1000?

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More info
This is an e-mail I received from Rindert Wesseling.  It's got lots of info on the Gol 1000.

Hi,

I liked your site on the "Brazilian" VWs! I think it's great that people have an interest in these -umm- unamerican small cars... Of any Fox-family member, the Gol 1000 must be the least suited for the US market: Its 4cyl 1000cc engine of 50bhp would compare unfavorably ?!

You are right, it is is an economy version, stimulated by tax law, to enable less wealthy Brazilians to buy a car after the Beetle (locally Fusca) and derivatives became obsolete. There are still '1000' versions being made of the current Gol, likewise for other compacts from the big car makers in Brazil (Fiat Palio, Chevrolet Corsa, Ford Ka are the biggest sellers). They account for a substantial part of new car sales.

Apart from the smallish engine (which the brazilians themselves don't like, they are used to a little more engine in comparable cars than the Europeans), they are really stripped bare! One of the heavier models used to be the Ford Escort (I don't know if Ford ever sold these European models in the US) with a 1000 engine, I drove one a few times, you have to shift a lot of very short gears to keep moving!

The current Gol 1000 comes with a 8V or 16V engine, the latter "pumping out" 70bhp, which isn't bad considering fuel quality (mixed with alcohol) and reliability considerations.

Who am I ? I am Dutch, my wife is Brazilian and I've been there a few times.  We live in Holland now. My family had two VW Passat Variant (Quantum in the US and Brazil), a '75 and a '83. I had two Golfs, '79 and '80, a 1300 and a 1600 GTI. After that I had the '83 Quantum for a while, a 1600 4-speed (yep, cars get pretty basic in Europe). At the moment I drive a '89 Golf GTI 16V. So you see VWs have been around me for some time.

Back to the Gol: Perhaps you already knew the following but here goes anyway: When VW switched to watercooled around '73, first came the Audi 80/VW Passat platform, next the Golf with transverse mounted engine. The Passat got to be made in Brazil pretty much from the start, and got very popular as a reliable car and a snappy performer. A smaller model was needed to fill the Fusca market, so they chopped some of the back and the Gol was born. At first it had the aircooled beetle engine - but in the front, can you believe it ??? Later versions had a water cooled 1600 like its bigger brother. Around that time a sedan version was made, the Voyage or Fox.... which I was amazed to see on US highways last June!

The newest Gol (it was redone for the '99 model) looks pretty sharp inside and out ('99 Golf-like interior) and still has the engine/driveline configuration of the original family, unlike its competitors which are all transverse mounted layouts. If you were to drive it, I'm sure you'd recognize the feel of the gearbox with its short stubby lever.

I hope you will enjoy VWs for a long time. Personally, I like the fact that a lot of these engineering things are recognizable in other models, newer models, etc.: In a sense, my 1800-16V has the same engine block as any US Fox, and all are derived from the first 1500 watercooled engines of the seventies...

Hope you found something new and interesting,

Rindert Wesseling

Yes I did!! Thanks!

Guilherme von der Heyde Fernandes also tells me that in addition to the Gol 1000, other options were available.  The most powerful of these was a 2.0L 16v engine Gol GTI; essentially like our North American Golf GTIs.

Credits
Please E-mail me if you know something about the Gol 1000 that isn't written here
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