Volkswagen has long mastered the art of recognising motoring trends, having popularised the appeal of the mass-produced family hatchback. The company also have a long tradition of producing stylish compact coupes appealing to the more style orientated customer, with a pedigree of small coupes that stem back to the 1950s. However, there's more to the Scirocco than just visual appeal.
Introduced in 1982, the GT was the entry-level Scirocco for the mid-'80s, but as a premium model in the VW pecking order, it certainly was not lacking in appeal. The 1.6-litre GT with around 75bhp included the 4 + E gearbox (basically a fifth gear for economical cruising) while the power output may not raise blood pressures too much, the car was crafted with an exceptionally good chassis. The comfortable ride combined with some handling verve helped to maintain a sporty yet practical image. The Scirocco was also noted for its reasonable running costs, basically summarised; it is a Volkswagen Golf in a party frock, but that is by no means a disparaging opinion given how good the Golf was.
This Scirocco 1.6 GT was registered new to Burton And Deakin Motor Group in Kent in February 1986 and its first two owners had only covered 78,000 miles over 25 years. The current owner bought the car in 2012, motivated by positive memories of their first Scirocco, a 1978 MK1 example. He had to sell that original car due to a growing family but the car stayed in his mind. When the time was right and as something of a gift to himself, he found a very good example of a GT model for sale on a dealers lot in London and became the cars third owner.
He’s had to do very little in terms of work to the car over the years, other than consumables such as brake and service items. One of the many aspects of the Scirocco he holds in a positive light is the ability for the car to fit a set of golf clubs! While we cannot possibly endorse whether that is good enough a reason to buy this car, it does illustrate its practicality rather nicely.
Like many secondary cars in peoples households, the car has not been used as much as it deserves. As a result, it has covered a small amount of mileage since he bought it, having covered around 15,000 miles since 2012. Being a collectable Volkswagen, he has had several people approach him, making enquires on whether the car was for sale. One interested party was specifically looking for a lock-down project, to which the owner replied that there’s not much to restore on the car - it would be more of an exercise in replacing a few worn parts and cleaning rather than a traditional restoration. The owner has also resisted the temptation to upgrade the car, such as alloys and the typically well known weber carb conversions - this, therefore, might be one of the most original 1986 GT models around.
Originality is the theme of this car and comes with its original handbooks. Since being bought by the current owner, the car comes with all of the recent maintenance paperwork, which includes invoices for a timing belt kit, wheel bearing, a new battery pads and shoes as well as service items. The servicing has been carried out by a local mechanic with every MOT. The car has an MOT until April 2021.
The overall presentation of the interior was very good, with the seats in good condition with some wear to the driver's side bolsters sponge, but all seats appear free from rips or tears. The interior trim and plastic have generally worn well, with some minor signs of age but the quality materials certainly help to betray the age of the car. The headlining is good, no rips or sagging. The carpet throughout the car was in good condition, again showing the previous owners duty of care over the years. The mats are in good condition, with the rear offside mat being slightly damp - which confirms the possibility of water ingress, which is likely to be the result of perished door or glass rubber rather than anything major. Potentially, a perfectly fixable task for the summer months. One concession to modernity is the installation of a JVC MP3/CD/WMA Stereo player, which is wired up to the front speakers. The steering wheel and gear stick are in excellent condition. The door cards are in good condition too, with the smallest amount of wear.
The body is in remarkably straight condition, the panel gaps appear to be true and there is no suggestion that the car needs any significant amount of work. The white VW paint retains a decent level of lustre and the finish is even throughout. The Scirocco was known for its propensity to rust, so it's nice to announce that this car has largely been spared of serious corrosion from what we saw. It has to be said that there are very minor rust blemishes on the car most noticeably on the roof, rear panel and the base of the windscreen but have yet to penetrate the bodywork and are easily accessible for treatment.
The glass appears to be all original, with the registration plate etched on the glass. The glass rubber has been well preserved, with very little evidence of splits. The black rubber and plastic trim, which covers a lot of the car, is in generally good condition, with minor marks and scrapes evident on the wheel arches and bumpers - but not enough to distract you from a well presented first impression. The rear and front spoilers are in good condition. There is also a wind deflector which appears never to have been fitted on the car - a neat period piece.
All lighting units, including the front driving lamps, are in good working order and are in good visual condition, with a minor scrape on the near-side rear lamp. All electrical items are said to be fully functional.
A deep dive into the underside of the Scirocco was worth getting one's knees wet for, as the structural aspect of the Scirocco appeared to be solid. The front chassis rails in the engine bay and bulkhead were very clean and there were no signs of corrosion, other than minor surface scabs. The boot was in a similarly decent condition, the spare wheel well, suspension turrets, as well as the back panel, were intact. The sills, inner wings and floor pan appeared to be solid.
The car fired up straight away, it had been a typically wet and cold winter morning and the car had no hesitation in starting. There were no signs of overheating and the dashboard lights remained off after start-up. There was also no evidence of fluids leaking from the engine. The suspension and braking components look good, with the brakes and 2013 tyres offering plenty of life left. The exhaust is in very good condition with no blowing or no excess smoke. The engine presentation is good and with a little effort could come up very nicely.
This well looked after example is a rare opportunity to obtain one of the definable VW icons of the ‘80s, - it's a stylish and a more exclusive take on the popular Golf, yet offers the same quality and ability. This car has really benefitted from a careful ownership profile which is a tribute to both its keepers and to the build quality of the Scirocco. As a rolling restoration, it only really needs a little focus on cosmetic items and would take a relatively small amount of effort to bring up to scratch. Parts are relatively easy to obtain, as it shares much with the Golf but it is reassuring to know that there is also a club specifically for the Scirocco just in case you get stuck. There are not many choices if you’re looking for a reliable, well made, practical (and in our opinion) undervalued 1980’s coupe, and while the lower-spec models may not set the heart racing, who cares if it's this stylish?
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