Sello S Alcock
Sello S Alcock

Goodbye Citi Golf…

The announcement by VW that they are going to discontinue the iconic Citi Golf range left me all warm and fuzzy inside and took me down memory lane.

Getting my first car, which was a 1.6i indigo blue Citi Life with massive wheels, stunning rims and dropped suspension, was a bit like falling in love for the first time.

I still remember when I first saw her on the shop floor at the Northcliff Lindsay Saker, I knew I was in love.

So we bonded a bit and I took her up one of those Northcliff hills and gave her stick, my car-crazed best friend could only look on like a voyeur but judging by his eye-to-eye smile you could tell he approved.

By the time we got back to the dealership I was ready to sign away my life convinced that this is what they meant by till death do us part and of course later the Citi Life did almost become the death of me.

I can remember it as if it was yesterday coming down the notorious Siemens Hill near the Brixton tower on a rainy night and eager to impress the two girls in the back seat, I gave my baby my all but we ended upside down.

I remember the girls screaming in the back and my buddy, who is now a big shot in government, being tjoep still, almost ready to meet his creator.

To this day he tells me he was merely “watching events unfold” but I got it on good authority that he remarked to another friend, once I was out of sight of course, “Yoyoyo, I almost died”.

That of course only happened much later when I started taking our thing with my Citi Life for granted.

Some of my fondest memories of that time, which are forever rekindled every time I hear certain songs, were of being all alone with my baby and music blaring through the speakers and reflecting on the coolness of it all as I drove through the streets of Soweto.

Races down Chris Hani Road were a common feature then as I rolled up towards The Rock in Rockville.

After more than four incidents such as the Brixton tower one, I guess she had to let me go and I did it with a sore heart but I have been a VW man since.

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  • Lethabo

    I’m a previous owner of a Citi Golf, and I have yet to find an owner who has never crashed the vehicle. It says a lot about the people behind the steering of the car…

  • Grant

    Nice one. That car held its shape for decades, a true icon. Ironic that VW tried to bring back the beetle when they actually had the new beetle in the Citi Golf already.

  • Muzi

    Good riddance to this dinosaur with it’s pathetic security.

  • Henri

    As much as I understand the nostalgic feelings towards Golfs, it is about time they stop making it, it must be one of the unsafest coffins on our road.

  • Just Me

    I struggle to comprehend obsession people have with their cars. My first car was the same CITI Life, I liked the thing but did not even once dream about it, let alone call it my LOVE….disgusting!! I am no holier than thou but a car is just a that – aa soul-less machinery on wheels.

  • Zinzi

    I had the Citi Rythm and it was started by a choke in cold days.

    It was my first love(first car I owned) and man thats a car I will never forget. The car was fast, good jumper on robot to robot, admired by the ladies and energetic.

    I must say the first time I dented the car is when my flat door fell on the top edges of car, then could not fit it in in a parking and hit a pole.

  • Kay Matthews

    Sweet :-)

  • Daniel

    @Just Me Me suppose uyou have never driven a BMW then huh?

  • Roy

    You seem to be blaming your failure to make it into government on your car – that’s unfair.

  • Craig

    The City Golf Clutch story:

    Not out enough..
    Not out enough…
    Not out enough….
    Not out enough…..
    Not out enough……
    Tiny band of acceptable engagement

  • Blip

    I replaced by 18 year old Beetle with a new Golf 1 GL (1300cc, 4 speed) in 1980. It was such a bad mistake I’ve never bought a new car ever since. My lovely new Golf burnt all four the exhaust valves by 10 000km and I had to fight Uitenhage for 6 months before they agreed to supply free new-improved sodium-cooled parts under the warranty — I still had to pay the labour, which came to nearly a whole month’s pay at the time.

    It was a rubbish car. I should have gone for the Toyota Corolla, or even the Mazda 323 or Datsun Pulsar, but it had a motor which whined alarmingly.

    My Beetle would sometimes break down — it was always the points which slipped and I lost the timing — but I could effect roadside running repairs with a pen-knife and a Rizla cigarette paper and a bit of elastic bait-cotton.

    The Beetle was brilliant; the Golf was just junk.

  • Sipho Hlongwane

    I don’t understand why VW Golf owners are getting all weepy now that this terrible relic from the 70s is finally being sent to the great garage in the sky. It’s a terrible car. It looks horrible, drives horribly and lasts for about 4 months. After that, it becomes a public menace on wheels… thank the Lord someone at VW finally saw the light.

  • Sphelele Mkhz

    @Muzi, I second that. It performed it’s function, I got my wish this year or I may be clairvoyant.

    I’m tired of the new Citi Golf every year it’s the same thing but they call it ‘new’. They keep changing one feature per year. One year they change the tail light design, the next they change the dashboard. From Citi Golf to Velociti to Death. Good riddance!

  • Sphelele Mkhz

    Death to the Citi Golf, now would the people who keeps giving birth to taxi drivers stop having sex. This is is not funny anymore. lol.

  • http://hardtalk Siphiwo Siphiwo

    Good riddance of this bad rubbish with stiff stirring wheel, thin doors, zero security features, unrealiable brakes, easy to manipulate speedometer, spaceless dinosaur. I’m glad that VW has finally taken heed from Toyota with its Tazz dinosaur.

    Polo classic/playa still my favourate “entry level” vehicle.

  • Jaco

    It’s funny how people criticize the most successful and highest selling car in South Africas automotive industry’s history.
    Just so “by the way” the citi golf range saved VW SA from a financial disaster. And today, do not sound too surprized to hear how VW SA is flourishing, even with export customers. Think twice before you jump off and bad mouth this little diamond, it has helped you one way or another in your life.

  • http://hardtalk Siphiwo Siphiwo


    “…it has helped you one way or another in your life”

    Yep, it has taken soo many innocent lives as well. That, too, will go a long way in our hearts and minds,

  • Marko

    A true Legend coming to its end…
    True facts made by Jaco’s comment!!!

  • tom

    Yes, we’ll miss the citi – its departure perhaps goes hand in hand with the passing of our youth and, for some of us, the exciting entry into the world of adulthood. I’ve driven across the country many times in mine – Siphiwo Siphiwo, you seem to miss the point – a bit of nostalgia’s good for the soul – but then again, you miss the point about everything, it seems. tough luck , buddy.

  • http://Firefox old, female, paleface

    I bought the first ever from – “Can load everything including the kitchen sink” adverts of VW Golf. Citi was the suped-up offspring.
    It was my 3rd car in 1970+ ? It cost all of R2000.00. It had front wheel drive, steering as heavy as a tank, took 5 mins to get to top gear, let alone any speed. Every car could pass it effortlessly. BUT it could cart everything, even furniture.
    It used up Radiators faster than front tyres (let us not go there) and by 1994, servicing cost more than 3 times its original cost.
    AND to add to my misery – I had exchanged a mini missile for this clunker.

    I stupid to sell my Mini-Austin that passed everything on the roads in the 1960’s and dropped behind everything on the hills. Oh yes – my 3 teenagers complained.
    Now THAT was a car and seeing them now rejuvenated – is de ja vu of my hey days.
    It accelerated and maneuvered like a motor bike and my eldest daughter’s future husband was terrified to ride with me being “hell on wheels.”

    Those were the days.

  • Jaco

    Siphiwo Siphiwo
    Nobody is forcing you to like the car, you see it is a matter of preference.
    “Yep, it has taken soo many innocent lives as well. That, too, will go a long way in our hearts and minds” -that is a totally and utterly irrelevant comment. There are thousands of models of cars on the road, and bloody taxis take more lives than any one of them- besides that, accidents do happen so that could be applied to ANY car. It is also a matter of who is driving and under what conditions. Those are factors that doesn’t cross your mind. Like tom says, you usually miss the point.

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