I agree - it doesn't matter since the original transaxle isn't being used. There may be less of a shifter hole in the tunnel to fill with an automatic, but that's a really minor factor. The automatic also won't have a clutch pedal and master cylinder or cable mechanism, so that's one less item to get rid of.Question is - should I start with a manual or auto golf ? I assume it doesn't matter as I am deleting the original gearbox anyway.
It probably makes sense to get whatever you can find in the best body condition, given the age.