Ralf Petruck: I still remember exactly when the Polo G40 hit the market. It immediately became my dream car. It was small, agile and the most technologically advanced car in the series at that time. In the late 1980s, it was available in a limited edition; just 1,500 of them were put on sale in Germany.
It was something new, you just had to have that car. But the G40 wasn’t cheap, I could only afford to buy one after I finished my military service. In 1991 I scraped together all my savings and drove 46 miles to work every day in the G40. Another car would probably have been more practical, but I enjoyed those drives.
Sebastian Winkler: The Polo has real recognition value. People talk to you so often. Many had a Polo themselves. Every mother, every beginner. When we exhibit at the Techno Classica, we always hear the same thing: ‘that car got me through university’, or ‘I moved house in that car.’ It’s the starter car. The car before the Golf. The Polo was always in the picture there somehow, and mostly with very positive memories.
Ralf Petruck: I’m often over at Sebastian’s; we like to repair our Polos out front. In the Ruhr valley, many young people in the 1990s didn’t have the money to bring their cars to the garage. So we became true grease monkeys ourselves. When I bought my second G40 in 1994, it cost me 12,500 marks and had just under 125,000 miles on the clock when I restored it in 2000.
Over three weeks I took the whole thing apart. The only things left were the wiring harness and the axles. I overhauled the engine, cleaned out the interior and re-painted it in the original colour. I always talk with Sebastian about what’s on offer in the auction houses and on eBay. Spare parts are increasingly difficult to find.