Project 'Penny' / 1980 VW Scirocco
Crisp lines by the legendary 'Giugiaro'

Crisp lines by the legendary 'Giugiaro'

This 1980 Scirocco fell into my brother 'Blaise's' hands a little over a year ago and it might just stick around.

My first two cars were MK1 Volkswagen Rabbits. These cars are the definition of "slow car fast". I have yet to drive another car that can make a 90 degree turn as fast as these little things. 0-30 mph is where these cars shine and they transform a 2 block drive to the market for some milk into a stage rally. 


Growing up, I hardly ever thought about the MK1 Sciroccos, we wanted GTIs and Mk2 Sciroccos. I don't know how many MK1 Sciroccos were made, but I barley ever saw them growing up and these days they seem to be almost extinct.

When I was in highschool we bought a driving MK1 Scirocco as a parts car to use the engine and trans in my brother's Audi 100.  I drove it home from the junkyard and remember it being way faster and better handling that our 1987 Jetta that I had driven to the junkyard in. That feeling was short lived though, and within 24 hours that Scirocco was sawzalled into little pieces and on it's way to the dump.


When 'Blaise' had the opportunity to pick up this copper/bronze colored 1980  Scirocco for $1,500, I convinced him to jump on it. If he didn't like it, I would happily take it or he could always sell it on 'Bring A Trailer' for four times what he paid...maybe more if he found two buyers that had to have it.  


My first imperssions driving 'Penny' start with sitting down in the cavernous cabin. You would expected it to be a tight fit, but much like a original mini it has tons of room and is a very comfortable place to be. The thin doors and lack of a huge center console area, and low belt line make for an airy cabin that doesn't exist in modern cars. I recently drove a new Porsche 991 Turbo and it felt very claustrophobic despite being about 50% larger than 'Penny'.

After sitting in the comfortable Recaro seat I closed the door and was plesently suprised oncw again. The door closed with a solid THUNK! That made my Porsche 944 jelious.


On the road, It's about what I expected, but better and more solid feeling. It manages to feel extremely lightweight, but solid at the same time. The lack of power steering feel amazing on this sub 2,000 lb car, and the turn in is just as I remembered from my Mk1 Rabbits. The one place where the the Scirocco really shows it's age is the shifter. It's a little rubbery and vague, but it gets the job done and can be considered part of the charm. (since I last drove it, Blaise has replaced the bushings and adjusted the shifter)


Blaise got a screaming deal, and this car is destined to become a sought after classic...if it isn't already.  

-Lane Skelton

In future articles we will go into depth on what Blaise has done to the Scirocco over the past year and what he has planned for it in the future.