Sometimes you just can't help yourself. A love for one specific thing leads to the acquisition of a second, and a third, and then... a collection. But for one Austrian chimney sweeper, what started as a passion has seemingly gotten out of hand - Austrian Josef Juza has acquired no fewer than 114 Volkswagen Golfs of all types, including, it would appear, a South African CitiGolf.
“When I sat in a Golf for the first time I just had the feeling that this car had been built for me alone. The seat position, driving fun, everyday usability, it was all exactly as I like it,” Juza recalls.
Initially, the "collection" was relatively small. Josef used a Caddy for his daily work, in the summer he jumped into a Cabriolet, in the winter he switched to a Country, a GTI for driving fun and a normal Golf for family use. But then at a classic car exhibition he fell in love with a model from the first series with drum brakes at the front and a dovetail rear apron.
Created by Lunke & Sohn, this Golf featured a sliding driver-side door.
This purchase of this early Golf can be seen as the official start of the collection, as it wasn't really a "necessary" car. This was back in the mid-'90s, and once Juza had found this passion then temptation was to be found nearly everywhere. “I only had to have a quick look in the Internet and I soon found another great vehicle that cost practically nothing. The transport was often more expensive than the price of the vehicle.”
Juza has Golfs for almost every purpose you can think of - there are Golfs for the family, luxury, some were used to collect rubbish and another even to transport the steps to the planes at Bremen airport.
An early attempt at an electric Golf - the City Stromer.
And then there are the special variants, of which Juza has quite a large number. An interesting car is one created by Lunke & Sohn and which was displayed at a number of motorshows in the mid-'70s - it featured a sliding door on the driver side!
For the performance fanatics, there is the G60 Limited of which 71 were hand-built by the Motor Sport department. It featured a 154kW and Syncro four-wheel drive. Juza also has a Golf Rallye II, of which 5 000 were built.
Electrification is big news at Volkswagen today, but Juza has some very early pre-production electric Golf prototypes, including a so-called City Stromer, built in cooperation with energy provider RWE. A small series of around 25 vehicles was built in 1981.
One of the Golfs in the collection boasts a million kilometres on the clock.
Juza also owns an Eco-Golf. Based on the Golf II, 11 test vehicles were built which were used to test future-oriented Start-Stop, for example.
And what of GTIs? Juza has a variety of these performance models, including a second-generation GTI 16v, an Oettinger GTI Mk1 and a Nordstadt GTI Mk1 that was modified for a Sheikh by a tuner from Hanover to include luxury leather and a C-network car telephone.
The collection is not currently open to the public, but Juza has big plans for the future.
Unlike most car collections, Juza's cars are not really on display or "staged". They're as they were found, maintained to the best of his abilities all by himself. As such, a car such as the "million kilometres" Golf wears its wear and tear with pride.
And what is the plan for the future? Juza wants to be the director of his own Golf museum. The plan is for this collection to become an exhibition open to the general public. A plan for the position of the vehicles has already been drafted and additional space has also been made available. Watch this space!