RE: Shed of the Week: VW Scirocco

RE: Shed of the Week: VW Scirocco

Friday 10th August

Shed of the Week: VW Scirocco

The far side of 30 it may well be, but the Scirocco is Shed gold



1974 was a big year for Volkswagen. Not just because it marked the debut of the Golf as successor to the horribly dated Beetle, but also because it was the first year of the Scirocco.

Like the Golf, the Scirocco coupé was delicately drawn by styling superstar Giorgetto Giugiaro (still going strong at 80). It was about as far removed from the nasty little Beetle as you could imagine, and the Scirocco represented an equally huge swerve for this highly conservative carmaker. Up to that point, 'Volkswagen' and 'coupé' had only appeared in the same sentence once before in the very un-Volkswagenish shape of the Karmann Ghia, a swoopy 50s creation that owed more to American design cues than German ones.


The Karmann Ghia did pretty well despite being twice the price of the Beetle from which it had sprung. VW's decision to launch a sharp-suited Golf-based coupé may well have been influenced by the Ghia's success. One thing you can be sure of, though: the Scirocco didn't take many stylistic leads from the only other VW to have sported a rear windscreen angle of less than 80 degrees, the ghastly Pininfarina-penned Type 4. Seeing a 'fastback' 411 LE in the flesh was like accidentally seeing your auntie in a translucent nightie. You just didn't know where to look.

Now, before you young 'uns put your Lambast-o-Matic keyboards into full phaser mode, you need to understand the seismic impact that this three-door 2+2 had at launch. In 1974, Britain was reeling under the three-day week, Lada was infiltrating the UK market with its £999 Fiat 124-based 1200, Bagpuss was making his hairy debut on the telly, and Mrs Shed was thinking long and hard whenever she saw her husband-to-be. It were right grim.


The all-new and very fresh Mk1 Scirocco cheered us up. It got the public cautiously interested in the idea of cool VWs, but the in-house designed and considerably more refined 1982-on Mk2 cars like our Shed really rang the cash tills, with nearly 300,000 cars sold.

The ad gives our carburetted 1.6 eight-valve Shed just 55hp, but what it actually means is 55kw. Okay, that's still only 74hp. The idea of a 74hp GT seems ludicrous now, and to be honest it wasn't that impressive at the time (the GT actually started out as the cooking CL), but remember that cars were a lot lighter then. As usual, coming up with a definitive weight is about as easy as photographing Bigfoot, but 875kg seems to be a reasonable ballpark average.


That lightness helped it do well against more powerful contemporary opposition. In one 1985 test, the fuel-injected 112hp GTX 1.8 duffed up two 130hp-plus turbocharged cars - Renault's £9,645 Fuego Turbo and the £9,545 Nissan Silvia Turbo - in the 0-60mph dash. The Renault beat the VW on handling, and both were criticised for their ride quality, but not as much as the confused Nissan. The Scirocco clawed back some ground on refinement and seat comfort, but lost some on headroom, steering wheel adjustability and the mean specification for which VW became famous. Overall though, the Scirocco won the test.

Getting back to our Shed, it's an honest-looking ad for an interesting project. How Many Left doesn't go back far enough to tell us exactly how rare Mk2 Sciroccos are nowadays, but if there are more than a couple of hundred scudding about the place it would be a surprise. Six owners and 180,000 miles over 31 years is not that much, and the MOT history from last November throws up no major fears. Advisories included some steering column play (a replacement column needle bearing brace comes in at under £50) and a minor blow from the front exhaust (which has since been sorted by the current owner).


It may be a trick of the light, but Shed is wondering if the slightly redder passenger door is perhaps not this car's first. A quick look on t'internet shows us that serviceable replacements are still available, though. We found a solid looking one on a well known auction website for £75. The Scirocco section of the VWOC or the Scirocco Register are both useful venues for info and bits.

After that, a quick machine polish and wheel refurb and you're away. Maybe. The wheelarch and sill covers are good at concealing corrosion. Rust can pop up in the tank filler neck and hatch lip too. Worn top mounts are a straightforward fix. Bush kits for the suspension will spruce things up nicely, ditto for the gear change. If the cambelt is more than 60,000 miles old it needs binning. If this car has still got its original Pierburg carb and it's still working OK that will be a pleasant bonus. Sure, £1,500 may seem like stiff money in 2018, but five years from now you might be kicking yourself for not investing.

Here's the ad.

Author
Discussion

HardMiles

Original Poster:

145 posts

18 months

Friday 10th August
quotequote all
Decent looks and a retro vibe for shed money, but 74 horses from the factory is woeful! Good find shed and as usual, st job Volkswagen! In the wise words of dick TV; “They don’t do good ones!” :-)

eggbod

91 posts

118 months

Friday 10th August
quotequote all
ive owned 2 of these, an early 1.6 and a later red scala (1.8i). the later 1.8 was fine

the older 1.6 wasn't; the fuel filler pipe rusted through, and then the cam shaft snapped , when i finally got the head off it was full of swarf from when it was made which was partially blocking the oil way to the cam shaft bearing

i still loved it.

they all have crap brakes.

they dont handle as well as a golf of similar age, but i still prefer them.

oilit

405 posts

110 months

Friday 10th August
quotequote all
i always liked these - had forgotten all about them tbh

looks like pass door and tailgate have corrosion as a minimum, bonnet leading edge looks like it may be on the way...

But given it's got a dash cam now - it makes it a 'no brainer' for me ......getmecoat

Seriously though - good find shed !

2smoke

49 posts

43 months

Friday 10th August
quotequote all
Wow, that's done well to survive on the Isle of Arran. Only an 8.5hr car journey (each way) from here!
Nice car though, fond memories of driving my friends GTX.

Edited by 2smoke on Friday 10th August 07:20

Turbobanana

1,039 posts

133 months

Friday 10th August
quotequote all
I was passing a 3 hour train journey on Wednesday by browsing the Classifieds and trying to guess what SOTW would be.

I was right.

Good Shed. smile
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Tyre Smoke

10,561 posts

193 months

Friday 10th August
quotequote all
Cracking shed! Much better than last week's glittery turd.

A future classic and easy rolling resto. Just the small matter of geographical location to overcome.

Anyone up for a road trip from Devon??

ayman82

781 posts

113 months

Friday 10th August
quotequote all
How is the MoT valid for so long?

Mr_Sukebe

197 posts

140 months

Friday 10th August
quotequote all
I also owner a couple of these, and agree with the other poster.
My 1.6 GT was frankly hopeless in a straightline, and the brakes on both were truly terrible.
Making up for that, I really like my 1983 GTi, thought that also had the fuel filler pipe issue.

As for the Silvia. Surprised that a one of the turbo's wasn't faster, as the GTX/GTI really weren't that fast in a straightline. A friend of mine had one of the Silvia 2ltrs (non-turbo, but strangely, faster than the 1.8 turbo). I'm sure that on paper the Silvia was faster.

Billy_Whizzzz

1,043 posts

75 months

Friday 10th August
quotequote all
Had a J reg one. Was the worst car I ever had. Nothing broke but it was awful to drive with a horrendous gear change, horrible engine and horrible driving position. Truly horrendous cars.

VitorioVeloce

4,233 posts

75 months

Friday 10th August
quotequote all
"slight rust damage and needs some TLC"

combine that with a laughable 74hp (when it was new mind you, no telling how many are still left), and i fail to see the appeal here

nosuchuser

733 posts

148 months

Friday 10th August
quotequote all
VW Coupe you say?



SP2 from 1972, admittedly, not sold here but look at it...

Ex Expat

24 posts

7 months

Friday 10th August
quotequote all
Came close to buying one for Mrs EE just over 30 eek years ago. Even then they were cheaper secondhand than the equivalent Golf but we were looking at the earlier 82/83 cars without the black arches and cladding. Ended up buying a BX instead.
As mentioned already this looks a nice project and the interior is particularly clean (protected perhaps by the Virgin Mary). I'd be worried that the rust on the door and arches is coming over the cladding but it could be a usable starter classic.
The brakes are shocking in line with all on the Golf MK1 platform. My 92 Golf GTI convertible was the most underbraked car for it's performance I've owned.

Twoshoe

405 posts

116 months

Friday 10th August
quotequote all
nosuchuser said:
VW Coupe you say?



SP2 from 1972, admittedly, not sold here but look at it...
Blimey, never heard of it! Looks lovely.

Pamoothican

136 posts

24 months

Friday 10th August
quotequote all
I had the pleasure of having a quick look at this whilst on holiday a few months ago.

looked like it was looked after and in quite good condition, seems a good deal at that price.

But 74bhp is pretty poor by today's standards.

Edited by Pamoothican on Friday 10th August 08:55

Lotusgone

96 posts

59 months

Friday 10th August
quotequote all
I liked my mk1 very much (until it developed carb trouble), the missus had a mk2 and cried went it was sold.

Is a shed ever a good present? Discuss...

Steamer

10,482 posts

145 months

Friday 10th August
quotequote all
Loved the look - at the time they looked like they had landed from space...

..drove one and though ‘Jesus H.. are these brakes legal?!!’

JTN358AT

28 posts

70 months

Friday 10th August
quotequote all
Almost a good shed. I had a Scirocco, back in my teens, a 110bhp 1.6 gti. Spent a Summer packing pork pies to raise the £900 to get that car. Used my student grant to insure it. I went out of way to avoid the 1.6 gt or any other carburetor Scirocco. A good shed, Scirocco, would have to be injected, a 1.8 8v, or even better a 139hp 16v, the fastest VW ever up to that point.

I enjoyed my Scirocco; but being a teenager, I did crash it. Racing a Boxster, one morning, I was winning. Problem was, after an illegal overtake a Ford Orion was turning left into a junction and I couldn't slow down in time (crap brakes). I piled into the back of the Orion which flew backwards through the gates of a church. Luckily nobody was hurt and the Old Bill, who arrived on the scene never figured what I was up to. The Scirocco, stood up to it well; a trip to the breakers produced some mismatched body panels and I slapped on some XR4x4 fog lights in place of the damaged headlights. Not even an attempted bribe could convince the MOT inspector to pass it and the car was scrapped.

I did learn a lot from that car and I was not ready for it. My next cars were more fitting of my ability behind the wheel eg Austin Maestro Clubman.

Turbobanana

1,039 posts

133 months

Friday 10th August
quotequote all
JTN358AT said:
Almost a good shed. I had a Scirocco, back in my teens, a 110bhp 1.6 gti. Spent a Summer packing pork pies to raise the £900 to get that car. Used my student grant to insure it. I went out of way to avoid the 1.6 gt or any other carburetor Scirocco. A good shed, Scirocco, would have to be injected, a 1.8 8v, or even better a 139hp 16v, the fastest VW ever up to that point.

I enjoyed my Scirocco; but being a teenager, I did crash it. Racing a Boxster, one morning, I was winning. Problem was, after an illegal overtake a Ford Orion was turning left into a junction and I couldn't slow down in time (crap brakes). I piled into the back of the Orion which flew backwards through the gates of a church. Luckily nobody was hurt and the Old Bill, who arrived on the scene never figured what I was up to. The Scirocco, stood up to it well; a trip to the breakers produced some mismatched body panels and I slapped on some XR4x4 fog lights in place of the damaged headlights. Not even an attempted bribe could convince the MOT inspector to pass it and the car was scrapped.

I did learn a lot from that car and I was not ready for it. My next cars were more fitting of my ability behind the wheel eg Austin Maestro Clubman.
If I'd done that I'm sure I would want to tell anyone about it.

Maestro seems like karma, though.

paulshears

791 posts

129 months

Friday 10th August
quotequote all
Great car's. I've had 3 of them


J4CKO

24,756 posts

132 months

Friday 10th August
quotequote all
All the downsides of a mk1 Golf GTI but less good looking, less practical and in this case, slow as well.

If you are tall, headroom is a bit limited I found.

Most were style rather than performance, though, like the new version, the hatch was generally better looking.

Not much interest from me but as a cheap classic that seemingly hasn’t been hit with any VW scene tax it’s a budget way into something a bit retro, stick a nice 2.0 16 valve in it, sort the brakes (bell crank linkage right to left that presses the master cylinder is hopeless) and it could be fun.