Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!  

Volkswagen's first spate of watercooled cars - discounting the K70 - were all named after winds. The sportiest of those was the Scirocco, and today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe MkII GTI looks as though it could still run like the wind. The question however is, does its price blow?

Speaking of blowing, the draft caused many an American to emigrate to Canada as way of avoiding being sent instead to Vietnam. Those who did hightail it were disparaged as draft dodgers, however that was a title that many of them found preferable to MIA or POW. Yesterday's LS1-powered 280Z, also denounced its U.S. citizenship for life as a Canuck, however 55% of you thought that paying twenty six-grand for it would be pretty loonie.

Less Canadian, and hence not so loonie is today's 1985 MKII Scirocco GTI. Originally intended as the Karmann Ghia's replacement, the Giorgetto Giugiaro-designed MKI Scirocco was drop-dead gorgeous, and possessed handling prowess that backed up its sporting good looks. It held the not only mantle of VW's sporty car throughout the seventies, but also represents one of the few bright spots in the automotive wasteland that was the era of malaise.

Then something happened.

When the Scirocco wasn't looking, its more practical brother, the Golf, grew some serious sporting cred, and suddenly everyone was fawning over that upright four-seater with a GTI badge on its grille, ignoring the long in the tooth ‘rocco. The MKII Scirocco tried to recapture the limelight, eschewing its predecessor's Italian duds for a sensible German suit that unflatteringly looked like it may have been tailored on the East side of the then-standing Berlin wall. The new Scirocco wasn't butt-ugly or anything - and in fact its curved hatch glass split by a rubber duck spoiler was kind of a cool feature - but overall it lacked the classic beauty of Giugiaro's MKI design.


This one makes the best of the situation, having been the recipient of the Euro-edition's glass brick headlamps and tiny bumpers. Both those changes go a long way in overcoming the dumpy appearance of the American MKII. Out back, the subtle spoiler has grown a much more pronounced aftermarket appendage, while ATS 15" alloys and a Kamei grille help to accessorize this stealth grey VW.


The seller says the car has the 2.0 ABA block from a mid-nineties Jetta, while the head remains the earlier non-crossflow edition. He says the swap was done by NGP Racing in 2002, and that while not rebuilt, it does benefit from a number of fuel and air metering updates. The transmission is claimed to be rebuilt, and is likely an 020 5-speed which is shifted through a Neuspeed short shifter. Konigsport adjustable coilovers hold up each of the car's four corners, and under the hood where you would expect to find a beefy tower brace, you will not be disappointed.

Inside there are Recaros, and the seller says that the back seat has been reupholstered to match their appearance which is always an appreciated attention to detail. The dash - like the MKII's exterior - was a bit of a letdown from the earlier car's simple rectangular face, but at least this one is relatively crack free, as that's a major problem in ‘80s VWs not having spent their lives in caves.


The seller does say that this one spends a good deal of time in the garage when not on the road, and its opportunities for exercise have not been too frequent during his ownership - with little more than 10K on it since he bought the car in ‘05. Right now it has 84,000 and change on the clock, however it seems that miles alone are not the single cause of ‘80s VW aging, and time does take its toll. Evidence of that is what the seller calls a small blemish on the driver side front fender flare but what you might call enough road rot to warrant a thorough inspection of the underbody and all suspension mounting points before setting tire to tarmac in the car.


Baring any additional creeping crud, the remainder of the car looks to be in fine shape, and it's been made up to look like a GTI- a 110-bhp model never officially offered in the U.S.. Maybe it should have been as even though the ‘84 and later Sciroccos gained a bigger gas tank and a pair of wipers replacing the cycloptic single one, none of these changes could prevent Volkswagen from taking the Scirocco out behind the shed in ‘88.

Of course there were survivors, and this one seems to have also survived the urge to douche it up over the years. Sure there's stuff to fix - that raw fender flare and the claimed tepid A/C being prime candidates, but for $3,500 it seems to be a solid car. Or is it? This has been on the market for over a month at least, and from the looks of the eBay ad the seller has dumped the price by $500 at some point. Is the MKII really that unloved? Or, is it just that this one is that overpriced?


You decide!

eBay or go here if the ad disappears.

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