Clean MK1: 1976 Volkswagen Scirocco

This handsome 1976 Volkswagen Scirocco is a compelling alternative to an MK1 VW GTI if you’re inclined to the German breed of hot hatches. The Scirocco in general is an emerging favorite from the 1980s with the later 16 valve-powered cars the obvious choice, but the earlier models – even with less power – is often thought of as the purer of the two model generations. The seller’s car is a nice driver but far from perfect, and while the cosmetics look good in the photos and it has been resprayed, it’s by no means restored. Find it here on eBay where bidding is over $7,000 with no reserve.

The Scirocco is considered an MK1 in Volkswagen-speak, even though the later 16V models were manufactured during the height of MK2 production. A confusing fact for sure, but if you want the one that is more closely aligned in design and driving style with the MK1 lineup, finding an early Scirocco like this one is the way to go. The MK1 cars are lighter, simpler, and arguably more enjoyable to drive for the purity of the experience. They were not powerful by any means, but it’s one of those cars that feels fast even when you’re doing the speed limit – much like the MK1 GTI. There’s a little spot of rust noted on the driver’s side rocker panel but it looks quite clean overall.

The interior is a weak spot, and those covers over the seats apparently reveal plenty of trashed upholstery. Still, you have to love the purity of this cockpit, with a simple array of gauges, a classic three-spoke steering wheel, crank windows, and a tall shiter that falls right to your hand. Although I did not love the 1988 Scirocco 16V I owned for a very short time, I did like the shifter – it was tall but still pretty racy, and at the perfect height for your right hand. The seller notes this is a non-sunroof car which should make an already rigid handler even more responsive. The headliner is said to be in good shape with some areas needing repair on the C-pillars.

The seller lists “unknown engine mods” which is a curious detail as it makes you wonder what made the seller believe it’s been modified. Does it have an aftermarket camshaft? Air filter? Bigger injectors? Nobody knows, and no details are offered as to why the seller believes this to be true. The suspension has also been modified and he does know the specifications of what’s been added, which includes upgraded springs and sway bars. Tires are new as well, as is the battery. Overall, for the current bid price, you won’t find much else out there that’s as fun to drive and and as hard to find in good shape as an early MK1 Scirocco.


  1. alphasud Member

    First time I’ve seen a mark 1 Scirocco in a long time. These cars have all but disappeared. Not a whole lot of engine mods for a 1.5-1.6 VW engine unless it has the Heron GTI head from the euro GTI. It’s definitely not a 1.8 GTI engine as identified by the placement of the upper radiator hose on the head. My dad had a light blue 81 Scirocco S. That was a fun car. A while back I was looking for one of these but gave up. Finding body specific parts is very difficult.

    Like 9
  2. Wayne

    This is a 1977 engine and I don’t believe this color brown was available until 1977. My first new car was a 1976 Ancona Blue Scirocco. And all 1976 Sciroccos to my knowledge were carburetored, not fuel injected. And judging by the stock appearance of the engine bay (the missing cam belt cove not included) I believe this car to be a 1977. I have had 3 MK I Sciroccos and an additional ex-Bilstein Cup cup car in the family. No need for sway bars on these cars, lower 2 inches, Bilstein sport setting shocks, tie the lower control arms together with the proper brace and tie the upper strut mounts together and you have a great handling front wheel drive car with slight oversteer. (with the proper tire air pressure) What fun! I auto crossed mine with great success, two years running ice autocross champion, and did quite well in pro-rally also. I would buy another in a heartbeat if I could find the right car. I would be leery of this one with a 1976 title. But really interested with a 1977 title.

    Like 12
    • alphasud Member

      The 77 Sciroccos and Rabbits were the best running of all the years. First year CIS with a 1600 engine. I think for 78 to 80 they dropped it to 1500 and then stroked it to 1.7 for 81 when they started using a cat and O2 sensor but they still didn’t run as strong as the 77’s

      Like 5
      • BobinBexley Bob in Bexley Member

        My 78 Champagne Edition ran just fine red lined in every gear.

    • Eddie Lemmon

      Yuuup absolutely correct all Rabbits and Sciroccos were carburated up to 1976 CSI after that‼️

    • biobug Member

      I purchased a 19761\2 Scirocco in 1976 .It was the only car I purchased off the showroom floor. It was identical to this one and from Milwaukie Oregon. It was basically a 1977 early . I had all kinds of issues getting it to pass DEQ because its engine was injected and normal 1976 Sciroccos were not and there was no explaining to DEQ that it was an early 1977. It was easy to see the difference ( one windshield wiper,) The only thing I added was Quickor suspension parts that made it handle like a go cart! We had to sell it to buy a house.

  3. Stan

    Cool looking cars. Always like the round headlight front ends

    Like 7
  4. GTiDave

    It’s a 1976.5 Super Scirocco, the first with CIS fuel injection, and they only came in brown.

    Like 13
    • BobinBexley Bob in Bexley Member

      Only thing more boutique than a brown with white leatherette Scirocco was a Volvo 240 Turbo with white enameled Virgo alloys.

  5. Wayne

    GTiDave, That’s what i initially thought but they came with opening vent windows. And what I see on the passenger door does not look correct to me as far as the opening device/handle. BUT, that was 45 years ago.I can’t remember everything!

    Like 3
  6. GTiDave

    @Wayne – Good catch and I believe you are right about the vent windows, and those are fixed for sure in the pictures. Odd since everything else seems as it should (brown, CIS, side graphics)

    Like 3
  7. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    I owned an 80 Scirocco and absolutely loved it. It was a blast to drive. It was black on black and I upgraded the wheels to GTI snowflakes, and added one of the rubbery rear spoilers to the hatch. I looked great for the day. Unfortunately, the Pennsylvania salt took it away.

    Like 3
  8. Bamapoppy

    I like chocolate.

    Like 2
  9. matt

    I had a new one in 1980. not a performance machine, fun driver but much better out there. still, a good looking car.

    Like 1
  10. 2014ltdltz

    Is this Scirocco a candidate for a later transplant, like maybe a VR6?

  11. cmarv

    That IS a 76 Scirocco with it’s original motor configuration , color and interior . I had many Scirocco’s in my youth , starting in 1978 when I got my first , a 76 carb equipped 4 speed that had 36k on it when I got it . I ran the guts out of it while spending every spare dollar I could get to make it quicker and handle better . I read many places about the brown special edition 76.5 fuel injected model that was a 77 in all mechanical respects but never saw one in person . About 1985 I had delegated my first Scirocco to auto-cross only duty and was looking for a daily driver , I found a special edition identical to this in the Saturday edition of the Baltimore Sun for sale by the original owner with 86K miles for $800 , I bought it . I drove it until my Dad borrowed it when his diesel Rabbit was in the shop and it caught fire on the Baltimore beltway and burnt up in 88-9 . It was a nice car , the front seats matched the rear in this and my first and all other 76’s and 77’s I’ve seen had plaid teutonic wool cloth inserts in between the bolsters that matched the outside color of the car . This is a 76 SE Scirocco and it’s a pretty rare car as 76 Sciroccos go . If I was younger I would be bidding .

    Like 4
  12. stefano

    of course it’s a beautiful car… it was designed by Giorgio Giugiaro, a real genius of automotive design. Similar to Alfa Romeo Alfasud sprint, also designed by him

    Like 1
  13. George Marwick

    These were so much fun! Really nice driving cars!

  14. Patrick Curran

    I bought one new in 1980. It was a great car. All I can say is lots of fun equals lots of tickets! Those were the days!

  15. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $9,100.

    Like 1

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