There aren’t many car nameplates that are as storied as the Golf, and still going strong. ‘Corolla’ and ‘Civic’ of course, but for Europe, nothing comes close to the Volkswagen Golf. A new one is coming in November, and Wolfsburg is taking the opportunity to remind us of the Golf’s story, which started in 1974.

That was the year when ABBA won the European Song Contest with “Waterloo” and Germany won the World Cup for the second time. The year when Muhammad Ali defeated George Foreman in the most legendary boxing match of all time. The year when the first Golf shocked the car-buying public with a revolutionary package – FWD and Giugiaro-penned sharp lines.

It may have been a “total 180” from the rear-engined Beetle (which fit in perfectly with bell-bottoms and flower power), but it was an instant success – one million on the road after two and a half years and 6.99 million sold in total.

“The main design elements of the Golf Mk1 were the side profile with its upright, solid C-pillar; the distinctive wheel arches; and the horizontal front with the slim grille and downwardly protruding head-lights – present to this very day in every Golf,” explained Klaus Bischoff, head of design at Volkswagen.

The new car will feature evolutionary design, as it’s not wise to mess with what works and what’s iconic. “There are only a few cars in the world other than the Golf which have so consistently continued to develop their design from generation to generation,” Bischoff said.

“Vehicles which successfully manage an evolution of their design over decades have the potential to one day be celebrated as an icon. The most prominent example of such a development is the Porsche 911; in the high volume models segment, however, the Golf is clearly a member of the automobile Hall of Fame,” he added.

Not sure about you, but these ‘through the generations’ videos are the most enjoyable ones for this writer. It’s also fun to see people recall their ‘sweet memories’ (at the drive-in movie theatre for one lucky bloke) with an iconic car. The start and end of this video shows the Golf family zoom past, Mk1 to Mk7. Looking forward to the next episode. While you’re at it, also check out the similarly revolutionary hot version of the Mk1, the first Golf GTI.