: Let's hear it for the Volkswagen Scirocco!

07-08-13, 08:57 PM
It seems like every car person has had a run in with a Volkswagen Scirocco at sometime in their past. These eighties pocket rockets seem, whether purchased new or when they were long in tooth, to have endeared themselves to several generations of drivers.

I bought my 1983 Volkswagen Scirocco Wolfsburg Edition in the Summer of that year. I had been looking for something with a stick shift that was both fun to drive and comfortable for my wife and I and our young son to run around in on weekends. I had driven several cars that could be considered "fun" in the early eighties including the Honda Prelude, the Renault Fuego (great sun roof and good looking) and Lancia HPE (shooting break), but it was the Scirocco, despite it being pricier than the rest, got my vote in the end.

My car was bright red with a black interior with real leather face Recaro style front seats, a light reasonably precise five speed with a light pressure clutch, no power steering, but disc brakes all around, good air conditioning, the convenience of a hatchback, a manual sunroof, power windows and a simple but very functional instrument panel and dash. By today's standard a pretty Spartan automobile ... but what fun it was to drive! The little four banger was happy to rev, the gears were easy to shift, the steering was direct and gave excellent feel and the seats were very comfortable making long rides in this short wheel base car a pleasure. It got great gas mileage and compared to other cars in my scuderia at the time was cheap to get serviced and fixed when on the rare occasion it needed repair.

I have to say it was probably the most "fun" car I have ever owned ... the more so since the price was right to begin with and the cost of owning it a bargain.

Let's hear about your experiences with one of these cars!

07-08-13, 09:59 PM
I always loved the design and concept, only experience was having a trade-in one for a weekend was a fun car. Never was in the market for one of those type of cars. had the Cadillac and the Triumph for play, and motorcycle so just never had the desire/need for one. I am sure I would have enjoyed one though.

07-09-13, 09:02 AM
They must have changed dramatically. I bought a new one in '79. Road and track rated it best in category. It was mediocre at best. It only came with a 4 speed - really needed another top gear. Had drum brakes in back. The a/c dragged on the engine power. The front fenders started to rust out after about 3 years. And that stupid single front windshield wiper was idiotic, not to mention dangerous in heavy rain! I sold it and bought a used 280Z. Now that was a rocket.

ted tcb
07-09-13, 10:30 AM
My neighbour in the mid 80's had a Scirocco, while I had a Prelude. He also owned a Civic CRX.

He had a pretty good analogy, comparing the VW to the Honda.
Both cars were fun to drive, but the VW felt like every nut was given that extra turn, compared with the Honda.
Heavier, more solid feel to the Scirroco ... it also had a great design for that period in time.

Now, the Honda was definitely the cheaper car to own long term, but the Scirocco felt more exotic, more expensive.

07-09-13, 03:54 PM
I think your comparison is pretty accurate. When I drove both the Honda Prelude and the VW Scirocco I also thought the VW was the more fun to drive, although the Prelude was a close second when it came time to put up my money. If I remember correctly the Scirocco had a sticker price of over $13,000. in 1983 and the Prelude was several thousand less. In the end it was the Scirocco's "personality" that won me over! When I bought it it surprised many of my friends because I was certainly no Volkswagen fan. But in the early eighties VW had two cars that were really unique on the marketplace, The VW Rabbit GTI and the similarly performing Scirocco. I chose the Scirocco due to its' Karmann built body and high quality accessories that came with the Wolfsburg edition (all those mentioned earlier) plus some handsome alloy wheels).

The car was such fun and served us so well it stayed around till 1991. My wife learned to drive stick on it and then took the car over for her daily 50 mile commute to Orange County. It served our weekend needs as a runaround very well, being the car of choice. The only reason we got rid of it was because my son had out grown the back seat! I sold the car to my mechanic (another anti VW guy) who fell in love with it and drove it as his personal car for another ten years, selling it to a mechanic who worked in his shop. This is really saying something because my mechanic was an SCCA Formula II Lotus race driver and was very respected as one of the top Jaguar and and exotic mechanics in Southern California.

The VW GTIs and Sciroccos were special cars supplying great fun at an affordable price, todays versions, like most German cars of today, have become so automated and so heavy they really are not the fun cars that their predecessors were.

cadillac kevin
07-09-13, 07:23 PM
There's a house I pass everyday that has a sweet red one in the driveway. They used to have a really nice black one before the red one (but maybe the black one is in the garage?)