27 Comments

  1. Joseph

    Looks fun. The car is okay, and the scenery is nice. It would be great to have a caption under the pic with the location of the pic.

  2. Fred R

    Nice drive. Thanks you for doing that in a GTI that matches my old car exactly. As a washington state person, I’m glad you made it and were able to enjoy the scenery that is this great state, while wandering the greatest country on the planet. Keep it up!

    • Graham

      Glad to provide some relevant entertainment for you then. The most difficult part of the post was narrowing down which photos to include. We had some of the best clear days in Washington, which made for excellent mountain views.

      Also, I see that you might be a 164S owner, present or past? Feel free to read about my 164LS with Q runners here: http://blythbros.com/bought-an-italian-saab/

      Cheers!

      • Kristian Due-Hansen

        Hi Graham,

        Lots of fun to read about you guys’ passion for European cars in the US…;o)

        I live in Copenhagen, Denmark (no mountains or deserts, lots of rain, salt and rust, and a 205% Registration Tax on new cars), but nevertheless I am a young timer and classic-car nut.. I drove many of the roads you were on in your GTI too, love road tripping in the US.. In Denmark I have a 1981 Golf GTI, that I’ve owned since ’97 (currently in storage though, while driving a Peugeot 205GTI 1.9, are you familiar with those?) I also kept my very first car, a VW Thing, which has made it to southern Europe several times.. I love the sound of the Alfa 3.0, haven’t had the guts to Italian yet, though.. I get my dose of Italian mec’s and lines through many of my friends being more wealthy and more courageous..

        If you want, let’s hook up on Facebook?
        Best, Kristian

        Kristian Due-Hansen (I’m the only one with that name..)

        • Graham

          Kristian,

          I’m glad you enjoyed the site! First, I’m impressed with your automotive tourism experience. Was it just that – a trip to the US to roadtrip? It sounds like you have an excellent stable. If you look at my dad’s post here: I think that he mentions the 205 GTI that my parents owned when they lived in Germany. Needless to say, I envy your 205 GTI, and would like to import one here myself. Credit is due to you as well for keeping your air-cooled B).

          I’ll find you on facebook – meanwhile, you can find the blythbros page with the links on the sidebar/footer. I’ve been adjusting those to make a suitable setup recently.

          Best,

          Graham

          • Kristian Due-Hansen

            Except maybe from cops and speed limits, the US is my favorite country in the world for road trips.. I did coast-coast once, and several smaller trips here and there..;o) Good luck with the Alfas, their sound give me goosebumps! Let’s stay in touch! :o) Kristian

  3. Kelvin

    Nice job…..I live in Vancouver bc and have driven many to the roads you been on….selling my 83 gti was a sad sad day ( even though i didn’t know it at the time……) bought mine off the showroom floor when I was 18…..I have been trying to buy another for a few years now….keep looking I guess…..

    • Graham

      I have BC on my near-term list of places to visit. I’m going to attempt to avoid your unfortunate sadness by holding onto my GTI. Good luck with your search!

  4. TSK

    What a great way to see a whole lot of the country. At so many different points in my life I have almost bought a GTI. Someday! I need to buy one on the other side if the country and drive it home.

    • Graham

      It really was a great way to see the country, tall greenhouse and all. Hopefully you get your hands on a nice GTI. If not, there are many great cars and perhaps better cars for a trip like this.

      If you chose to follow the blog, look out for posts from Taylor, our resident Cornell grad. He is working on a post about our recent trip to the Dragon in North Carolina and Tennessee.

  5. Andrew K.

    I particularily enjoyed driving Graham’s gti to York, PA. That small road trip definitely placed the mk1 gti on my bucket list of cars. The 13 hour return trip in my ’79 x19 also went well. Someday Graham, we will have to do a road trip in one of my Fiats and your Alfas or gti.

    • Graham

      Those were both memorable trips – picking up your Fiat, and picking up my Alfa. I have quite a bit in store for our Italian car adventures in the spring!

  6. Craig S.

    Great story and photos! My first new car was a red ’84 GTI that was my daily driver and occassional rally car. It served me well for four years and 90k miles, and also my friend who bought it for another 60k miles. Aside from routine maintenance, I just needed to respray the black paint on the front bumper every six months or so…Thanks for bringing back some good memories!
    Cheers!

    • Graham

      Occasional rally car? Nice! I’ve been tempted to rallycross mine, but I think I’d like to find a MK2 to do that, since they’re a bit more available and not quite as special to me.

  7. Jason L

    Great story! Consider me considerably jealous of your trip. I just picked up an 84 GTI with 75K miles on the clock and I would LOVE to do something like this. I still have some maintenance to sort out on it (especially the magical right turn fuel starvation due to the gas tank and some CIS starting issues) but I love the car so far. I’m looking forward to driving it to Ocean City, MA for the H2Oi show or down to Helena, GA for Southern Worthsee someday. It’s a shame that both of those will be a 20 straight hour challenge of common sense and trial by fire road testing of mechanical components that I hope doesn’t leave me on the side of the road instead of a week long leisurely sight seeing trip like the one you went on.

    • Graham

      Thanks! Awesome purchase, by the way. That fuel starvation issue sounds terrible!! Annoying, at least. Hopefully you can get it sorted out in time to make one of those trips. My advice would be to stock up on any parts that you think you could replace in a parking lot. If the timing belt and H20 pump haven’t been serviced in the last 3 years, I’d just take care of them now, since they are cheap and easy. And, while you’re doing the timing belt, you might as well replace the passenger engine mount, if that’s worn.

  8. KT Laguna

    Great Pictures. My first VW was an 84 GTI. My soon to be wife and I did a winter trip from Chicago to Colorado I it and had a great time. Hard to believe it’s been 30 years…

    Now have 5 vw’s ( TDI/ New Beetle/ Jetta 1.8 turbo/ VR6 GTI / Touareg ) as well as a 911 racecar. Still remember the fun of that Gen 1 GTI.

    Keep driving…

    • Graham

      Thanks! Wow, a winter trip would be incredible. I’ve driven mine in the snow a bit, and would buy snow tires, but I’d probably be out in the salt too much if that were the case. I don’t mind getting the GTI dirty, but I’d like to do my best to keep rust at bay.

  9. Neat trip, nice write up. I have a twin to your car I picked up last winter and have been working thru rehab-ing it. 200+K local Seattle survivor in original (tired) condition. I also owned a 164L that I bought new from the Alfa dealer (when there were such things) and ran for over 10 years. Sill miss that Busso V-Sei…

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