mk1 vw polo advert

In late 1978, Volkswagen found itself asking this rather strange question: ‘How long before the law catches up with the Polo?’

It wasn’t that the smallest VW was being accused of anything illegal, of course. No, it was simply a boast about the various safety aspects of the Polo, two of which – dual-circuit brakes and anti-burst door locks – were by then a legal requirement.

The suggestion was that the other features designed into the Polo in the early ’70s – including self-stabilising steering, computer calculated crumple zones and a rigid steel passenger safety cell – would eventually be mandatory.

Volkswagen, however, preferred to stay one step ahead of the law…