Olive Tart MK1: 1981 Volkswagen Scirocco S – Sold?

by | Mar 2022 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Free For All Friday

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April 21, 2022, Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

March 20, 2022 Update – Oddly, just five days after posting their Craigslist ad, the seller of this Mk1 VW Scirocco raised their asking price by one thousand dollars to an even ten large. All we can think is that the few results seen on BaT may have them thinking they can get a bit more for their Mk I. Time will tell.

The Volkswagen Scirocco came in two primary flavors: the early model, which is universally seen as being part of the MK1 family, and was offered stateside with minimal frills. Then there’s the later generation that is still technically an MK1 but gets lumped into the MK2 era, and was offered with the snorty 16-valve engine. As far as which one is better, well – that’s a hotly debated topic. But this 1981 Scirroco originally listed in March 2022 on Craigslist in Denver, Colorado displays the charms that typically set the earlier cars apart, with some additional attraction baked in courtesy of the seller’s improvements. He’s currently asking $10,000 (the original ask was $9,000), which compared to the NADA Price Guide seems like quite a premium with “High” retail clocking in at $2,875 – but that doesn’t take the scarcity of early Sciroccos into consideration.

The Scirocco is one of the more memorable models ever offered in Volkswagen’s domestic lineup, and not because it was a world-beater in any particular way. In fact, it didn’t break any molds except for being decidedly un-Volkswagen-like, owing to its sexy profile and racy aspirations when equipped with the 16-valve engine. The deeply-bolstered bucket seats, low stance, and plethora of aftermarket add-ons like air dams and BBS wheels made it a tuner’s dream, even if an engine swap was required to make it a threat to domestic V8s. It’s the same reason why the Corrado stands out in the early 90s – Volkswagen simply wasn’t known for building cars like this. In some ways, the GTI made it impossible for the Scirocco to be more of a standout, as anyone looking for a “quick” Volkswagen almost always puts those three letters ahead of the low-slung coupe.

The Kass73 YouTube Channel features this 1981 Volkswagen Scirocco TV commercial:

Having owned a 1988 Scirocco 16-valve for a short while, I can attest that I did not fall head over heels in love with the model; in fact, I turned around and sold it quite quickly (for a loss, I might add). The seller went the other direction, deciding to improve his early-model Scirocco following a deer strike that would have likely sent the car to the scrapyard if not for enthusiast intervention. While fixing the accident damage, the seller also fully blocked the entire body and eliminated visual distractions by shaving the passenger-side door handle, sunroof, and side marker lights. The engine was swapped out for a 1.8-liter eight-valve mill from a later MK2 and upgraded with an Autotech 270 camshaft, and the suspension features Bilstein shocks with H&R lowering springs and aftermarket mesh wheels. The most obvious improvement is the Olive Green Porsche paint, which really does look fantastic on this modified MK1. You have to give credit to enthusiasts who keep cars like this on the road, but getting close to $10,000 for it may be a stretch.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1981 Scirocco S. Originally cirus gray with red pinstripes. I have owned it since 2006 when I purchased it off eBay. Largely rust-free (see the spot on the passenger fender and door).

In 2012 (or so) I hit a deer on the way home from work. Hood, radiator support, and driver’s fender took the brunt of it. I decided to fix the car instead of scrap it, like the fate of most low-value cars with any body damage.

During the resto I figured a little modding was in order and settled on a 911R-themed build, simple and light with a little more horsepower. I fixed the damage, repaired some passenger side rocker rust, and fully blocked the entire body. It is pretty straight and the shut lines are better than any MK1 out there. Shaved the marker lights, passenger door handle, and sunroof. Had it professionally painted in base clear Porsche Olive Green (look up “olive tart” on Porsche Excellence for an example of the color). Threw in a late model 1.8l 8valve from a 1991 mk2 with a 270 Autotech cam. Stock replacement clutch and 5-speed.
Stripped out the interior and carefully replaced the worn rattly plastic pieces with simpler items. The suspension got some work with Bilsteins, H&R sports, autotech swaybars and strut bars. Brakes are manual with no brake booster, EBC Yellowstuff pads. Wheels are unknown 15″ basketweaves with some serious offset.

Contact me for further details.”

VW coupe debate: which one wore it better, the ultra-basic MK1 Scirocco or the VR6-equipped Corrado?   


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