Wild or Mild? Double Take: 1978 and 1980 Volkswagen Sciroccos

A few weeks ago I took a look at a pretty wild, and fairly famous, first-generation Volkswagen Scirocco. Replete with period details and a Callaway turbo kit, it was a hit for sure as it was when it was the signature car for New Dimensions.

First Dimension: 1978 Volkswagen Scirocco Callaway Turbo


While in some ways the mods took away from the beautiful simplicity of the Giugiaro design, it was still a trick car and brought strong bids, selling finally for nearly $15,000. That money is quite close to the 1981 Scirocco I looked at last year. Completely original and very pristine, it sold for over $17,000. Clearly, the market for these cars values both stock and well modified examples highly.

1981 Volkswagen Scirocco


In light of that, today I have an interesting comparison to consider. First we’ll take a look at a fully original, very clean and proper survivor 1980 Scirocco, then we’ll gander towards a full-on show car powered by a R32 VR6 and a claimed 400 horsepower – about five times what it came with originally. Will the bids follow the historical trends?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Volkswagen Scirocco on eBay

Duck Duck Goose It: 1996 Volkswagen Golf Harlequin Replica 3.2 VR6-swap

The Golf Harlequin is one of those strange creatures that ostensibly would look more at home in a art festival than in a car show. Volkswagen’s “Chinese fire drill” of body parts from primary colored Golfs was an interesting exercise, leading to the moniker Harlequin – a reference to the colorful and semi-psychotically eyed ducks, themselves named after a colorfully dressed character in Italian 16th century theater. Now that you’ve learned something, these Golfs have become legendary and desirable in their own right despite effectively being a base model underneath, leading to the replica color scheme not only extending to copies of the originals, but even to replicas utilizing other Volkswagen models. My local Volkswagen dealer, for example, has used the scheme not only on post-Mk.3 delivery Golfs, but even their Chevrolet Express parts vans have the mismatched tones. But today we’ll look at a replica GL which has gone to great lengths to mask itself in the colorful attire. Unlike the originals, though, this one has a serious weapons-grade revision in the drive department:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Volkswagen Golf Harlequin Replica VR6-swap on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: A Tale of Twin Tornados – 1990 Volkswagen Corrado Magnum Wagons

We live in a world of soundbites and short attention spans. Some days it seems like a bit of a coup to remember just what you had for breakfast or where you left the keys last night – never mind to go back a week, a month, a year, or a decade. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a history teacher when I’m not doing this, and I’ve found it increasingly difficult to keep the attention of my students through the 1.5 hour lectures and if it’s a night class, forget it. The proliferation of the internet – the promise of limitless and immediate information – instead seems to be a flood which has washed away the interest, the researching, the enthusiasm for finding something new. But I came across something very interesting when looking for more information about an interesting duo of Corrados that our reader Jesse sent in. It was an internet thread on a forum – nothing special there. What was special was the timeline that thread covered and the subject matter. It started with the announcement of the purchase of the two prototype Corrado Magnum wagons in February, 2007. What followed was 15 pages of comments that spanned an amazing 9 years in what must be one of the longest threads out there documenting the owner trying to get these two unique G60 Corrados to the U.S.. If you want a snapshot of the development of the internet fora in one spot, look at the comments here. In typical VW Vortex style, there are insults tossed, claims the cars don’t exist, that the seller is a liar, threats to steal the cars and that they’re ugly. But there’s also adoration for the buyer who endured an arduous 7 years of storage in the Netherlands before finally getting the clearance to bring the forlorn Volkswagen prototypes to the U.S..…

1987 Audi 4000CS quattro

I’ve taken a fair amount of heat over the past few weeks for posting front drive B2 models. But, in fairness, there was reasoning behind it; several of the examples were far above average, if not the best examples for sale anywhere today, and the fact of the matter is that the front drive Audi B2s are really fun to drive. “Quattro” becomes this obsession that overshadows the rest of the model run to the point that even Audi fans dismiss the two wheel drive variants as worthless. However, the much larger issue is finding good examples of 1980s quattros for sale. They do pop up from time to time, but largely what comes to market is used – and used hard. However, I came across one that appears to be in above average shape, so let’s take a look at it:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Audi 4000CS quattro on Spokane Craigslist

Wednesday Wheels Roundup

Time for another wheel roundup, and today I’ve focused on some great looking 5-spoke wheels. One of the cult BBS designs in the RF 3-piece wheel that was sold alongside the more common RS, RM and RA wheels in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This set looks awesome! The MOMO Stars look great and period correct on that M3; they’ll need some work but would be a cool winter project. The 993 Speedline Targa wheels are some of my favorite OEM Porsche wheels, and the Speedline Mistrals are a favorite aftermarket design – I’ve owned a set of one-piece Mistral wheels for some time that are for sale in the self-service classifieds right now. Then we have some great OZ Mitos, a popular design with the Porsche crowd, along with some Borbet Type As that are popular with the BMW and VW crowd. Both to be great in their custom configurations. Lastly we have some Fittipaldi wheels that were likely intended for a Fox-body Mustang but could work on a B3 Audi Coupe Quattro and would be really neat. I think the offset is a bit too aggressive for the early B2 cars but with some flares and stiff springs you might be able to make it work. What’s your favorite?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: BBS RF 17×8.5,9.5 5×112 Wheels on eBay

Wednesday Wheels Roundup

It’s a rainy day here in New England, so I spent some time finding my favorite wheels on Ebay. Most of these are period option or aftermarket wheels, but all of them are pretty cool. I especially love the BMW Ronal wheels, the ATS AMG wheels in nearly new shape and the amazing BBS magnesium Bugatti EB110 wheels. Which are your favorite?

Update: thanks to reader KevinR for correctly spotting the Mercedes-Benz wheels were Centra Type 31s. Thanks!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: ATS AMG 16×8 5×112 Wheels on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1996 Volkswagen Golf Supercharged Harlequin Replica

Pretty much everyone knows that Volkswagen enthusiasts are a special breed, but even within Volkswagen enthusiasts there are some really devoted fans of a particular sub-model. One such example of this is the Golf Harlequin, seemingly a joke by Volkswagen dealers to get rid of excess body panels. In truth, it’s one of the really neat exercises by a major that reinforces my belief that Volkswagen just does things differently than most other manufacturers. Seriously, could you imagine Mercedes-Benz shipping a bunch of S-Classes out to dealers in different colors and telling them to swap body panels around? The Harlequin Golf was and remains a neat page in Volkswagen history that generally brings a smile to VW fans. So, it’s no surprise that the Harlequins are very sought after, even if they appear all in one color because the dealer was lazy – no joke! But are they sought after enough to warrant a replica?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Volkswagen Golf on eBay

1986 BMW 325es M60 swap

Motor swaps are always a lot of fun, especially when someone else has done the heavy lifting. In the case of the E30 platform, it seems there is no end to the different motors that get swapped in. We’ve seen S14 retrofits into 325s, plenty of S50, S52 and even a few S54s pop up. But let’s say you really like torque. And aluminum. What’s an E30 enthusiast to do? Well, of course you could swap a M60 4.0 V8 out of the E34 540i into a 325es. In its original form, the 325es was a bit of a slowpoke good handler looking for more power. The E34 540i was a great motor toting around a fair amount of weight. Couple the two together, and Viola! You make the folks at the local tire depot quite happy. Take a look at this tuned 325:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 BMW 325es on eBay

1987 Audi 4000CS Quattro

The Audi 4000 Quattro is one of those cult cars that was too good for its own good. Why? Well, they were so good in the snow and ice that they were used – hard – and put away wet. That means today that there are precious few of the 4 year run of these cars still hanging around. Especially rare are the early 1984 models, but later models that were saved are often either red or white. Occasionally you get the grey-scale models of color in with a Graphite Metallic or Zermatt Silver, but it’s pretty infrequent that you see the three blues; Copenhagen Blue, Oceanic Blue Metallic, and Sapphire Blue Metallic. Today’s last of the run 1987 4000 arrives in that last shade, with a host of upgrades:

Year: 1987
Model: 4000CS Quattro
Engine: 2.2 liter inline-5
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 224,000 mi
Price: $2,750

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Audi 4000CS Quattro on Craigslist

Sadly the time has finally come for me to part with my beloved 1987 Audi 4000cs quattro. This is the 5th one of these that I have owned over the years. I shipped it from Seattle 10 years ago with around 70k miles on it, now it has 224k and still going strong. Some details about the car:

kinda rare sapphire blue color with very nice gray cloth interior
very well maintained, huge stack of receipts
AC works great
has trip computer
factory wheels with snow tires

many upgrades including:
Stebro stainless cat-back exhaust (great sound and will not rust)
H&R lowering springs and Boge turbogas struts
drilled and slotted rotors, braided stainless lines, Ate super blue fluid, new rear calipers
Borbet type C 15″ wheels with great Toyo tires
E code headlights with relays

known issues:
some rust starting around the edges, solid underneath though
outer sunroof panel needs replaced (have it)
minor oil leak, as yet unknown origin
needs coolant flush (have everything to do it)
cable that switches vents to defrost not working (simple mech fix)
rear windows intermittent (likely broken wires at door jamb)
intermittent rattle in exhaust (probably loose cat internals – it has a lifetime warranty though 😉 or you can just remove the loose parts… )
minor dent in left front fender where some jack@ss “rubbed” it with his giant suv in a parking lot
crack in right headlight – sealed up and been like that for over 9 years

Here’s the big plus – this car comes with my 15 year collection of spare parts.