No exception here, then.
Open Your Mind:
To get your brain in first picture the Volkswagen Scirocco as a retro Smart Roadster – only with the VW you can actually break the speed limit before your legs get DVT. The old Volkswagen Scirocco does look a touch yesteryear, even if you can find a pristine one parked in a lay-by somewhere. Its very 80s styling gives off an impression of preemptive disappointment. This is great fun for you (the driver) at traffic lights, being as every suped-up Corsa owning whippersnapper in your sights is sure to come a cropper.
The basic model Mark 2 Volkswagen Scirocco came equipped with a willing 1.3 litre engine. If you spent more you got more – namely a meaty, grabbing, visceral 16v 1.8. If you think we are overselling here, you’ve clearly never even seen the 16v close up, let alone driven it. Imagine the first sip of an ice-cold beer during the height of summer and you’re skating close. It genuinely is that satisfying.
Forget about buying a used 16v though. They cost a bomb and most have been thrashed to shit. If you own a 16v and disagree with this statement you are waiting on the biggest garage bill in history – you just don’t know it yet.
If you remember that car first time round you really are old.
The Mark 1 Scirocco replaced the Karmann Ghia back in 1974. Volkswagen – ever keen to listen to the wants of the market – felt four seats were infinitely better than two. European buyers balk at squashed four-seaters even now; claiming it’s ‘all done for the American market’. We do not pretend to understand what they mean. Americans have more friends? They’re shorter? Their kids refuse to stay at home without stealing the batteries out of the smoke alarm? Fact is that those two extra seats do a great job of keeping your social life intact.
‘55 mph in a 1984 Volkswagen Scirocco is faster then 55 mph in a mere car’:
…so said a magazine advertisement of the time. Safe stuff for the eighties. Though nowadays that ad would be even more uninspiring. Try arranging ‘emissions’, ‘mpg’ and ‘catalytic converter’ into some kind of sexy order and you might pity the poor copywriter for ten minutes.
What’s great about piloting a Mark 2 on today’s tarmac is the sensation of being intrinsically linked to the inner workings of precipitation. In other words, the Scirocco does what you want when you tell it to. It doesn’t get out of hand. Corners grab you like a child grabs e-numbers. Every now and then you will lose it slightly, but not enough to fear the reaper. You’re not a scared driver in a Mark 2, although you do remain cautious. It’s what traction control and eight billion Mercedes driver aids can never teach you – anticipation. You second-guess the road because you have to, though it is bloody good fun at the same time.
You should definitely think about it. Extra spending money on Stephen and the Twins or something to escape a family argument in? Actual fun or another broken iPod? Are you positive your granddad really needs that new wheelchair?
If you have any means to get the cash, buy a Mark 2 Volkswagen Scirocco. Visit any number of worthwhile fan sites dotted around the net for help on sorting the lovable from the deadly. They are all search engine friendly…
We have located a potential Mark 2 on eBay.co.uk. Take a look for educational purposes if you’re still deliberating. Learn the lines and the rust spots and – just for the sake of common sense – find out what a dry sump is, too.
Since 1934, Volkswagen have been making Cars for the People. The Mark 2 Scirocco is certainly one of their best. If not the best. Too much? Yeah, maybe, but it’s a better choice the Mark 2 Golf. It’s cooler, faster, more comfortable, and even cheaper in some cases.
The Volkswagen Scirocco might just be the best (rubbish) car you’ll ever own.
[story by Chris Laverty]