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.
Unlike the last string of cars, the Scirocco presented for your consideration this morning is not perfect. It’s not low mileage, and it’s not all original. If you’re into Amelia and Greenwich Concours, you’re not going to be invited onto the law.
But maybe you’re more the type that wants to roll up to those events, rev it to the redline and drop the clutch in a smokey burnout while you chuck the deuces up at the stiff upper lips?
I get it. Cars are meant to be driven, and driving can be fun. Can you believe that? So this 1988 Volkswagen Scirocco has been built to enhance speed rather than paint shine, lap times instead of originality, and performance opposed to preservation. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing!
Way back in time, before the proliferation of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook – indeed, before the Internet really got off its feet at all, dreams were made not with by-the-minute browser refreshes eagerly anticipating the next clever comment or picture of someone eating an avocado. If you weren’t actually traveling the automotive scene, you were totally reliant on your monthly delivery of new automobile magazines. In high school, I had at one point four different subscriptions and poured over the details of every single car that graced the pages of what was my Bible. But it was in the mid 1990s that I stumbled across a magazine that really spoke to me much more than the BMW-loving Car and Driver or the fairly vanilla Automobile; I found a copy of European Car. It was a complete revelation to me, to see the cars that not only I dreamt about but could actually afford parts for. Nearly as good, if not perhaps better, than the feature articles were the advertisements. The “Dr. Feelgood”s of the European tuner scene, companies like Techtonics Tuning and Total Audi Performance spoke to my specific needs in ways that the mainstream magazines couldn’t. And within those advertisements, one particular company became something of a legend among a small group of friends who all shared the enthusiasm for Volkswagens. That company was AutoBahn Designs, better known as ABD Racing – and what they had created was an absolute monster. In the days before the ubiquitous VR-swap for VWs, dropping a 16V into the nose of your car was about as hot as you could get. But ABD took that recipe to the next level with a custom-built 2.1 16V with massive compression and side-draft carburetors. But it was really what they put it in that set them apart, as ABD chose a Caddy for the massive build.…
The Volkswagen Scirocco 16V needs little introduction. In the U.S., this was as hot as the A1 VW chassis ever got. If you really hoped that Doc was going to tell you to kick it to 88 mph and you were 18, this was as close to a DeLorean as you were going to get. But the 16V wasn’t just about 80s door stopper styling; it had some good for the day performance in the form of the DOHC 1.8 stuffed under the hood. Remember when cars proudly displayed their DOHC and 16V stickers? Okay, so it was a bit overdone, but it was sort of like a Boy Scout badge of speed. The Scirocco 16V was no exception to the rule even though it wasn’t the quickest wedge on the block. Still, most were thrashed and trashed so it’s not often a nice one comes around for sale, like this splendid Tornado Red example:
Engine: 1.8 liter inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 114,350 mi
Price: No reserve auction
This is the nicest 16 Valve Scirocco you will find, it runs like new. Rust free, a great collector car. It is perfect in every way. It really drives like a new car, tons of power and the motor sounds great. Need sunroof shade and sunroof a little faded. Other than that it really is perfect. It really should be in a new VW showroom. If you have any questions please call 518-229-7280, Shane. Look at pics, they show you how amazing the car is.
Okay, the good first. Seriously, it’s just very difficult to find an unmolested 16V Scirocco. Red is a great color for that car – I always seem to see black or white ones, and Tornado Red suits the design well and stands out from the crowd.…