1987 Volkswagen Scirocco 16V

I can say with utter confidence that I’ll never own a Scirocco II. Here’s the weird part – I’m not exactly sure why.

It’s not as though I don’t appreciate the design, though how it came about is somewhat suspect. Volkswagen canned Giugiaro as the replacement designer for the exceptionally beautiful and unique first generation car, moving in-house to Karmann for the second go at the Golf-based sport coupe. The result looked suspiciously like Giugiaro’s Italdesign Asso di Fiori from 1979, though – the car that became the Isuzu Impulse. Two years later, and Viola! the Scirocco II debuts from Karmann with a near identical shape. On top of that, the mechanicals continued to be based upon the first generation Golf, while the A2 series went upwards in refinement. To me, because of the short wheel base and long overhangs – especially highlighted with U.S. spec bumpers – the second-generation Scirocco has just never looked quite right. The visually similar Audi Coupe was better balanced both in design and driving characteristics, and ultimately there wasn’t a huge price gap between them. A 1986 Scirocco 16V, with a few options, was yours for about $13,500 – only about $2,500 shy of the basic Coupe GT. But the performance nod went to the later 16V version of the Scirocco.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Volkswagen Scirocco 16V on eBay

Right Hooker Week: 1991 Volkswagen Scirocco GTII

Okay, enough Audi dreaming. Are there any interesting VWs over in England? You bet! While production of the U.S. bound Scirocco was long over, Volkswagen continued to produce the second generation Scirocco right through the 1992 model year. This particular model, the GTII, was the model which finally wrapped up production a decade after it began in mid-1992.

The GTII was the mid-range model in the Scirocco lineup. Top of the range was the Scala [née GTX(née GTi)] with its 112 horsepower 1.8 liter motor borrowed from – you guessed it – the GTi. Below that model lay the GTII [née GT(née CL)], which shared the bodykit and 1.8 liter displacement, but only had 90 horsepower and steel, rather than alloy, wheels fitted. While not as sought as some of the range-topping models like the GTX or special “Storm” models, this GTII offers classic looks on a modest budget:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Volkswagen Scirocco GTII on eBay.co.uk

1986 Volkswagen Golf

Do you ever see a car and think ‘I’d love to know the story behind that one’?

I do, all the time. But something in particular caught my eye about this 1986 Golf. Well, first off, it’s become rare to see a 1986 Golf anymore. The ’85 and ’86 model years were a bit unique, since the base and diesel models were manufactured in Westmoreland, Pennsylvania. There were minor trim differences, but the easiest way to spot them was the Rabbit-inspired sealed-beam headlight and unique grill. Unlike today’s market where the Golf has gone upscale, with the launch of the A2 chassis for the U.S., the diesel Golf was the cheapest way to buy a VW – and the gas unit was only a hair more money. But they were fairly basic transportation; the 1.8 liter inline-4 GX motor was rated at 85 horsepower for adequate acceleration and fuel mileage. Interiors were basic tweed in a few colors, you had to option in things like a radio and power anything (including steering!), and they came with 13″ steel wheels. If you wanted more upscale, you either spent another $1,000 and bought a Jetta or in 1986 Volkswagen added the Wolfsburg package to make you feel a bit more special.

But this car isn’t a Wolfsburg package. It’s a basic Golf. So why am I interested? A few reasons. First, I had one just like it, and it was a great car all things considered. My ’86 Golf was also a Westmoreland model, and quite basic. Mine had been bought new by a teacher who needed it to commute; after 10 years, she’d accrued just north of 200,000 miles on the odometer, but it still ran like a top. Yet this one, some two decades after I owned mine, has only 44,000 miles since new.…

1987 Volkswagen Jetta Coupe with 5,581 Miles

In 1987, there were quite a few Jettas to like (as Jettas go, that is). If you absolutely had to have a trunk, you could grab a turbo diesel for its last year until the 1990 Ecodiesel arrived. The “GL” trim package gave you power options like windows, mirrors, locks, and even a power antenna – remember when breaking antennas off cars was a hoodlum pastime? Your GL would even come with a ski sack! There was the new Wolfsburg Edition, which gave you all the options of the GLI without sport seats – so you got the special Pirelli P-slot wheels, deeper spoilers, and even a power bump to 105. Did I mention the GLI? For good measure, there were two that year, with the 8V bowing out to the incoming 16V model.

This car is not any of those trim levels, though. This is a plain-jane Jetta; steel wheels, the lowest power available, and manual everything (except, predictably, the transmission). So why look at it? Well, two reasons – and they both open. Oh, and it only has 5,581 miles, too.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Volkswagen Jetta Coupe on eBay

1986 Ford RS200

Now, before you start shouting at your screen that there’s a blue oval appearing here, I’m aware that Ford is an American-based company. I could go into theatrics about how we’re actually speaking a form of German to attempt to rationalize a Ford appearing on these pages, or I could point out that Henry Ford was awarded the Grand Cross of the Supreme Order of the German Eagle on his 75th birthday – the only American to ever receive this award. Of course, that and Ford’s inclusion in Mein Kampf probably aren’t highlights in the storied history of the family or the company. But it does point towards Ford’s reach across the globe, and indeed the European branch of Ford is Ford of Europe AG, headquartered in Cologne, Germany. If that still isn’t German enough for you, let’s just say that once in a while something that’s partly non-German pops up that we’d like to cover. While usually that’s a Swedish car, today it’s a Ford. But this isn’t just any Ford, okay?

The RS200 was conceived in a world for a world that, by the time it came to fruition, no longer existed. Built to maximize the Group B rules, Ford spanned Europe looking for the best talent to make the RS200 a winner. The body of the car was Italian in design but assembled in France. The chassis and engine designs were perfected by Formula 1 aces in England. It was a winning formula that unfortunately was launched at an time of unprecedented speed and power in the World Rally Championship; a combination that proved deadly. Barely into competition, the FIA changed the governing rules in the WRC and immediately the RS200 was shelved. The result was a few hundred competition ready cars that were hugely expensive with nothing to compete in.…

1981 Volkswagen Scirocco

Spotting of any first generation Scirocco is cause for celebration these days. Styled by the legendary Giugiaro, the front drive, watercooled sport coupe brought Volkswagen into a new market, ostensibly replacing the Karmann Ghia. While underneath the slinky 2-door body was relatively pedestrian underpinnings of the Mk.1 Golf/Rabbit, the styling of the Italian giant brought a level of prestige to the budget economy range. Some 42 years after it originally launched, the short and squat Scirocco still looks unique and different, a perfect combination of curves and angles that makes me smile every time one crosses my path:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 Volkswagen Scirocco on Seattle Craigslist

Now Legal for Import Double Take: Mercedes-Benz 190E Sportlines

Look closely and you might mistake these two Mercedes-Benz 190Es and you might mistake them for any other run of the mill W201. Dig a little deeper and you’ll notice they are sitting just a little bit lower on their haunches and a small badge on the lower front fender: Sportline. This was an option that added a tauter suspension and differing interior trim to the usual baby Benz package. While the 190E 2.3-16, 2.5-16 and Evo models carried the performance torch for the W201 lineup, the Sportline option gave buyers the ability to have something just a bit different than your run of the mill Mercedes sedan. First up, we have a 1990 190E 2.6 Sportline for sale south of Munich, Germany with just 53,000 miles on the clock.

Click for details: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 Sportline on Mobile.de

Revisit: 1983 Volkswagen Golf Oettinger

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Growing up, tuner VWs were the coolest cars out there to me. I spent hours rewatching the Hans Dahlback videos, and though Eurotuner was entertaining, it felt more legitimate when Road & Track did features with companies like Oettinger or HPA. Carter featured this Greek Golf, complete with Oettinger engine and full Zender bodykit and Turbo wheels. Some great translation errors like “modificated” and less than complete pictures don’t help the fear of buying a car from a country more financially screwed than the US in the Great Depression. I hope it’s legit though, as this would drop the jaws of any American VW enthusiasts. The marks against it have conspired to make the seller drop the price from $15k to $8,999 while driving it some 3km, a brutal 40% drop in what he thought he could get for it. Considering the prices we’re seeing on nice, stock Mk1s, if you can get this safely into the US for under $12k all in you’d have a great car and not a bad investment.

– NR

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Volkswagen Golf Oettinger on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site March 4, 2014:

Tuner Tuesday: 1983 Volkswagen Golf Oettinger

Which came first; the Mk.1 or the modified Mk.1? Of course it’s a rhetorical question, but it points to the popularity of the first water-cooled Volkswagens. Affordable, practical and plentiful, the aftermarket community thrived on providing all sorts of options to modify your Golf/Rabbit to all sorts of levels. With everything from body kits to performance modifications and interiors, there was seemingly no end to the possible permutations of combinations of parts to make your mass-produced hot hatch a bit hotter and different from everyone else. But weed through the plethora of upstarts, and perhaps the most respected name in the Mk.1 community is Oettinger. Though somewhat out of vogue today, we should not forget that Oettinger pioneered the twin cam, 16 valve engine for Volkswagen – in production as early as 1980, a full 7 model years before Volkswagen’s own 16V would enter service. They competed in motorsport as well, developing rally engines and everything from turbocharged diesels to a full 2 liter 16V motor developing 170 horsepower in 1984; Oettinger-equipped Golfs were quick enough to accelerate on par with production Porsche 928s of the period. Today, their legendary status in the Mk.1 community means that fully built, period models demand a premium even if they’re rare to come by:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Volkswagen Golf Oettinger on eBay

1986 Volkswagen GTi

I wonder if the A2 GTi is really as near extinction as I’ve claimed it is. I mean, sure – there are still countless A2s cruising around on Raceland coilovers with too many stickers on a 45 degree on the rear windows with VR6 or 1.8T swaps and too-wide BBS RSs. There are even more crumbling in their decaying potential, smashed and grabbed by owners with the promise that they’ll be something again someday. But clean, original and unmolested GTis? Now, that’s quite rare. Especially rare seem to be the very early models, the 1985 and 1986 1.8 8 valve model. While the GTi was much more fun when the valves were doubled, the original model still sported a higher compression motor capable of making the tossable A2 an entertaining ride. When I was in college, I had a 1984 GTi and worked with a guy who had inherited a 1986 model without knowing or really caring what it was. He told me that it wasn’t running right and asked me to take it for a ride, which I was happy to do. A quick run through an on ramp and onto the highway with a quick blast up to illegal speeds confirmed my belief that he wasn’t much of a Volkswagen connoisseur – it was easily quicker than my ’84 model, especially above 40 m.p.h., where my Italian tuneup yielded smooth and responsive power. No one will mistake the GTi for a Lamborghini, but in terms of sheer enthusiasm, the 1.8 mill is a motor that encourages thrashing – perhaps an indication as to why so few are left today:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Volkswagen GTi on eBay