Carpenter Kevin Hancock had already owned several Golfs before he discovered the hatchback’s booted brother – the saloon VW Jetta.
And because far fewer Jetta’s were sold, and even fewer with a diesel engine, Kevin’s maroon red mark 1 example sometimes catches the younger generation by surprise.
“I did the whole Golf thing, but then I decided I wanted something a little different and the Jetta seemed a good one to go for,” he added.
“When I’m at shows people do ask me questions about it, and not everyone knows what it is.”
It was at an Early Edition E38 show in 2012 that Kevin not only saved about £170 on insuring his 30-year-old motor, but struck lucky when he won HIC’s annual prize draw, winning back the cost of his cover.
“The quote I got from HIC blew my previous premium out of the water, and I entered the draw without expecting to win it, so I was chuffed to bits,” added Kevin, from Northampton.
The car, which has covered more than 130,000 miles from new, is covered for an agreed value of £2,500 and, according to data on the how many left? website, is one of just four surviving early 1.6 litre C diesels on the roads in the UK.
“I wouldn’t take that as gospel, but there certainly aren’t many around, and I’ve never seen a maroon one on the road,” added Kevin.
“The car’s in good original condition on the outside, and the inside is mint. I’ve owned the car for about five years, and certainly won’t be selling it any time soon.”