Classic Cars

Unearthed: 1987 Volkswagen Scirocco

The Volkswagen Scirocco may once again be on American roads in the very near future.

There was a time when the Volkswagen Scirocco was sold in the U.S. While the current third generation remains a Europe-only model, the Scirocco certainly made a big impression when it was available stateside back in the day. That day began in 1974 when VW launched their replacement for the outgoing Karman Ghia. It was built on the same platform as the Golf, but many components, mainly the exterior, were different. While the Golf is all about simplicity and function, the Scirocco added some lemon fresh Italian style.

The first generation was styled by famed automotive designer Giorgetto Giugiaro. Also like today, the Scirocco was sportier and sexier than the Golf, but its underpinnings were the same. The original was powered by a range of four-cylinder engines, displaced between 1.5- and 1.7-liters. Originally available only with a four-speed manual, VW didn't offer a five-speed manual until 1979; automatic gearbox models were also very rare. 1982 saw the introduction of the second generation model, which remained in production until 1992 (it wasn't sold in the U.S. after 1988).

Although it remained on the same platform as the first generation, the Scirocco underwent some exterior styling updates that mainly just smoothed out the car's lines. Aside from some other mechanical improvements, VW offered leather seats, power windows and mirrors, air conditioning and even a manual sunroof during this time. For a foreign-built hatchback in that era, those types of features were somewhat unusual as they were found on more higher-end makes and models. The Scirocco was later replaced by the Corrado, but during its first lifetime, it gathered a loyal following.

So when the third generation was revealed years later in 2008, many of those original fans must have been thrilled to see the Scirocco name once again. It's been a solid success ever since it first went on sale throughout Europe. Compared to the Golf, in which it shares a platform once again, it looks quite striking and it's almost hard to believe at first that both are from the same automaker. The latest word now is that VW is considering bringing the Scirocco stateside once again due to high interest amongst enthusiasts and a growing small car segment. For now, Americans can still get their hands on those first and second generation models.

This 1987 Scirocco was bought by its current owner just a few years ago. Although the body was in good shape overall, it was the mechanics underneath that were a potential nightmare. After some cleaning, detailing, and buffing, he put the car up on stands in his garage and got to work. Although he's kept the original engine in place so far, he's replaced just about everything else. Some of the work includes new rotors and pads up front and rear, four new calipers, new battery and master cylinder, and all-new tires. He then installed a modern stereo and momo knob.

The list goes on a bit more, but his future plans call for a headlight conversion, a euro intake cam, front upper stress bar and a beefier rear antiroll bar. For a car that's 25 years old, its latest owner has managed to nicely update a VW classic that still fantastic to this day. And for that, we can thank the one and only Mr. Giugiaro. Photos courtesy of 16vDOHCvw.

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