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

Tuner Tuesday: 1938 BMW 327 Sport Cabriolet

Pre-War cars aren’t often featured on these pages; for Germany, the number of available machines manufactured before 1939 just isn’t huge compared to some other countries. That’s because in part the image of the modern nation of Germany rising like a Phoenix from the ashes of World War 1 to become a nation of drivers was entirely a construct of the Nazi party. If anything, pre-World War 2 Germany was a nation of riders, as motorcycle ridership far outstripped automobile ownership. Hitler spent considerable resources not only building the Autobahn, but in advertising its success by having cars do loops up and down the road while cameras filmed. By the time the German economy had rebounded to the point where people could actually buy cars and companies had the productive capacity to provide them, material shortages due to rearmament meant established companies like Daimler-Benz and Auto Union – fresh from their victories in international Grand Prix races – could not deliver cars to meet the demand. Imagine how it was for an upstart company like BMW, then, who struggled to put together a race program based upon its sporting 328. Yet achieve success it did; while BMW failed to get the headline attention of the Silver Arrows, the 328’s success drove sales of the more pedestrian 326 sedan, and the 327 cabriolet model which was derived from it. Light, nimble and quick, they were driver’s cars in the great tradition BMW has come to be known for since. But since only around 1,400 were manufactured in Germany before the War and how many survive today is far short of that number, they’re pretty rare to see today. And, generally speaking, if you want to get into a nice one your bank account better have a quarter million dollars that you’re ready and willing to part with.…

1970 Opel Rekord C 1900 with 10,000 Miles

I know what you’re saying. “Carter, that Opel from last week was boring”. Okay, how about two Opel Rekord C models in a week, then? That’s got to be worth something? As with the last example, this blandish late 1960s-early 1970s GM/Opel coupe has been presented in all the brown color spectrum – but in this case, it’s an all-gold affair, as the matching tan cloth interior provides continuity to the gold exterior. But with some shiny details and ridiculously low mileage, isn’t it worth a look?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1970 Opel Rekord C 1900 on eBay

1971 BMW 2800

When considering the large BMWs that preceded the 7-series, most in the U.S. will only remember the Bavaria like the 1974 example Paul wrote up the other day. But before the name Bavaria tipped its hat on these shores, BMW was importing both 2500 and 2800 sedans of the New Six platform. The E3 isn’t usually a fan favorite but it really did pave the way for models like the later 5 and 7-series cars; luxurious, sporting sedans. Largely forgotten and with most rusted to oblivion, today we have a neat 2800 that really ups the sport quotient of the E3:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1971 BMW 2800 on eBay

1976 Porsche 911S backdate

We’ve seen cars like this before. An impact-bumper Porsche 911 that has been backdated to the look of a long-hood 911, but all the while retaining its higher output engine. These 911s come in all sorts of builds, but I think this one stands out for two reasons. First, I find it incredibly striking. The Slate Grey paint looks wonderful and works well on the widened rear. It also works really well with the red accents that are eye-catching, but do not overpower the overall look, especially of the interior. The second factor in this car’s favor is that it lacks the typical six-figure price tag we see with many such builds. One of the most common criticisms of these cars is that the sellers simply are asking way too much money. Not only does this one not have a six-figure price, but the reserve on this auction has already been met so it looks like it will be going to a new home. It still isn’t cheap – bidding currently sits at $60,300 – but at least the market is having a chance to establish the value rather than an overly ambitious seller.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1976 Porsche 911S backdate on eBay

1973 Porsche 911 RSR Backdate

One of the consistent criticisms of cars like the one we see here is that their level of execution and performance never seem to match their high price tag. I guess we can call this the Singer problem. Singer, as most are aware, produces bespoke backdated 911s that combine many of the best performance parts with the best aesthetic features, both inside and out. Each build is individual and in many ways a work of art. They are also incredibly expensive. Some builders seem keen to follow Singer’s lead without nearly the same quality and performance, and then hope to still extract high prices (even if they aren’t as high as those charged by Singer itself). The car here comes with the typical very high price tag, but in this case there is a lot more going on performance-wise than in other builds we’ve come across. This 911 started life as a 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Turbo-look. The appearance was backdated to that of a ’73 911 RSR while the engine was replaced with a 3.8 liter flat-six built to 993 Carrera RS specs. The interior received alterations to suit its increased sporting pretensions. The seller describes it as minimalist and that description seems apt. It was then painted in Ferrari Rosso Corso, presumably because the owner was a Ferrari enthusiast. The result is a very striking 911 whose RSR roots are clear on the outside, but which packs a very potent and more modern punch. I would imagine the performance of this 911 would be quite exhilarating and it is in that regard that this build significantly distances itself from many others we have seen. Does it justify the high price?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1973 Porsche 911 RSR Backdate on eBay

1976 Volkswagen Scirocco

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The first-generation Scirocco only gets better with age, the classic Giugiaro design combining rectilinear lines with personality in a way that would characterize German cars for the next two decades. From the low, snub-nose to the glorious, mantis-like C-pillar window frame that exaggerates the Hofmeister Kink to an extreme. Original examples have their own charms, but today’s is just about perfectly done with a ground-up restoration and OEM+ modifications throughout. Some clean Euro retrofits on the exterior combine with an interior that will remind you every day that this car is from the 70s; the plaid makes the Mk1 GTI’s classic fabric look subtle. The 16v 2.0-liter completes the package, making this a looker and a mover – and about as good as VWs get.

Click for details: 1976 Volkswagen Scirocco on eBay

Restomod 1965 Volkswagen Buses

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The Volkswagen Type 2 “Bus” is one of the most iconic vehicles of all time, perhaps second only to the Type 1 Beetle. They draw smiles everywhere they go, and are perfectly acceptable as rusty survivors and perfect, climate-controlled-storage classics. The one my brother drove for a while was of the no-muffler beater variety, but today’s examples are gorgeous, show-quality items that will blow minds with both their looks and their prices. Both are modified to take on the look of the desirable “21-window” bus, but the first one has significantly more than that…

Click for details: 1965 Volkswagen Type 2 Limousine on eBay

1974 Porsche 911S – Lightweight Outlaw

We’ve featured a few cars of similar intent to the one we see here and they are always difficult to gauge, but one of the persistent criticisms of those cars, especially considering the asking price many sellers seek, is that most of them have retained their stock drivetrain. Given the 911 market, there are cogent reasons for those build decisions as cosmetic details can be reverted to their stock configuration, whereas a car without its engine will never be wholly original again. One solution is to use a 911 with a relatively unloved drivetrain and replace it with something more desirable. This build followed that route utilizing a 1974 911S as its foundation and replacing its 2.7 liter flat-six with the 3.6 liter engine from a 993. Transmission, braking, and suspension received similar upgrades and the interior has been stripped and rebuilt with only the essentials leaving a spartan environment that appears bare but well sorted. With a reported 2550 lb weight this is sure to be screamer and for the well-heeled might make for a very interesting track car.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1974 Porsche 911S – Lightweight Outlaw on eBay

1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe Restomod

Backdating an air-cooled 911 to resemble one of its much-beloved long-hood brethren has become quite popular and it’s always a joy to see the various ways in which builders choose to pick and choose from the 911 parts bin in order to create these special cars. The nature of the 911 market means these are never an inexpensive proposition as sourcing the car from which to create the build can itself set you back quite a bit. When done well a builder can affect quite a transformation and produce a car the details of which force us to pause over every angle to get a sense of just how everything has been put together. The car we see here, a 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe backdated to resemble a RSR, certainly is not perfect, but it possesses the vintage look of an early 911 combined with the softer curves of the more modern designs and has just enough detail without coming across as over the top.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe Restomod on eBay