Storm Survivor: 21K Mile 1979 VW Scirocco

Volkswagen’s gorgeous Scirocco coupe is fading fast into the ranks of obscure cars, with fewer examples appearing in daily use or even at hobbyist events. It’s like the car just vanished from the U.S. landscape, and while they do still pop up on occasion, it’s rare that one car checks all of the boxes. This example might get pretty close, however: it’s an early example made rarer still by being a Storm edition, which was exclusive to the UK market. It also wears incredibly low mileage, and you’ll find it here on eBay UK for just under $15K U.S. 

The Storm edition cars came richly appointed, with leather interiors, alloy wheels, a Zender front air dam, and finished in one of two colors: silbergrun metallic, seen here or schwarz metallic. This example has just 21,658 original miles from new along with only one original owner. The seller notes it was taken off the road in 2003 and has sat parked ever since, notably next to a similarly dusty Beetle. Everything here looks good – straight panels, good shutlines, uncracked glass.

Here’s some eye-candy for you: check out the wheel wells! Sometimes, even when we get low mileage survivors, the body is still showing signs of neglect and the floors and wheel arches are some of the first areas to go bad. Not this car – those inner wheel wells look brand new. The seller notes the car was parked due to the original owner’s poor health, and he and his brother snapped it up as part of their restoration business. The car is now for sale due to having one too many projects.

Wow – check out those floors. The seller removed the interior to show buyers just how clean the bottom of this car is. However, he still notes that there’s superficial damage to the exterior surfaces due to the years of outdoor storage and some that some welding work will be needed. Minor quibbles for sure, and with a robust 110 b.h.p. mill from the GTI and GLI variants under the hood, you’ll want to spend more time driving that worrying about perfect panel presentation.

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Comments

  1. jcs

    I’m curious about the servicing that the seller is so proud of – 25 times in 21,000+ miles, or serviced on average of once every 866 miles. This is clearly far in excess of routine servicing recommended by VW. Is the car a lemon that required repairs (the service tickets do not give reasons for servicing) every 866 miles. Is that why it was parked? Was the original owner sick of repairing it?

    How can the seller claim that it is a one owner car? He claims he is not the original owner (he and his brother bought it years ago and continued the car’s storage). I’m not too sure of car title/registration laws in the UK but in the US when title transfers to another person, the car just picked up another owner, whether the new owner registers it or not.

    • Olaf E

      jcs,
      My mother drives a 15 year old Ford and the last 5 years averaged some 450 km’s per year with a 250 km’s one year as lowest. Every year the car is checked by the dealer. It is her spare car and she believes in taking care of her stuff.

      Here in the Netherlands dealers and also restoration compagnies register most of their cars as trade stock. That’s why current seller mentions it’s a one owner car. As far as I know it is the same in the UK.

      Olaf

  2. Rube Goldberg Member

    “Took out the interior to show how clean the body is”? Ok, that’s a new one. Always liked the Scirocco. It was like a Rabbit on steroids. That one windshield wiper freaked me out. Car sitting that long, regardless of mileage is going to need a lot. Good luck with that.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Sometimes pulling the carpet out does make it easier to tell if the floors have any rust.

    • Scot Douglas

      The interior in this car is incredibly easy to remove. My best friend and I both had 78 Sciroccos – he wrecked his and we swapped our interiors (his was cloth and mine was vinyl) before it was totaled by the insurance company. :)

    • On and On On and On Member

      I’m with you Rube, I can smell the inconsistencies right thru the computer. I bought the Rabbit in 1978. Good car until the problems started. Fuse box not grounded properly so fuel pump failed? Mercy. The list was long. The rust was rampant.

  3. AirBoss

    The Scirocco was stout, a success in 1970s SCCA Showroom Stock class racing.

  4. R Soul

    I had a 1983 in gun metal grey. I loved to drive that car, it handled so well.

  5. Classic Steel

    I had an 80s model that went to dealer often as the wiring thru check lights , fuel system had issues and the AC needed constant attention but maybe my last late VW was just a lemon 🍋

    I traded mine in between check lights on another brand 👀

    I prefer pre 70 VW Ghias , things ,vans and trucks

  6. MikeG

    The seller removed the interior to show how clean it is? Quite an undertaking! Why not just show how nice the interior remains in situ?

  7. Pa Tina

    They didn’t “vanish” in the US, they turned into iron oxide as they were driven. I had a 79 and an 87 great cars but not able to withstand Northeast salting four months a year.

  8. sunbeamerstu

    Yeah, I’d like to situ in it, too. : )

    Would like this leather interior for my own.

    Exterior of this car is a shame. Nowhere near the ask value.

    Love these old Sciroccos.

  9. h5mind

    A college roommate bought one of these new and drove it from his home in California to Utah. Unfortunately, he was caught in a hailstorm on the way. With no place to hide, he watched helplessly as the entire upper half of the car was peppered with hailstones. With a thousand perfect little dings, the car thereafter looked like a cinnamon metallic golf ball. Naturally, insurance didn’t cover acts of God, so he was stuck with it. Very fun car to run around in, and I’m sure a conversation piece wherever he went.

  10. Wayne

    My first new car was a 1976 Scirocco. I was tri-state ice racing champion with that car. It was later t-boned at 65 mph. ( drove it in and out of the garage for about 3 months after that) Then I bought one that had the same thing happen to it from the other side and welded the 2 good halves together to build a pro-rally car. I also built a custom one for a buddy with nitrous injection. My boss at the time had me turbo-charge his Scirocco. Very strong cars and tons of fun. I will be an owner again if a reasonably priced one pops up with in a reasonable distance.

  11. Sam

    Always loved this body. Where is my 1985 Neuspeed catalog!?

  12. BobinBexley Bob in Bexley Member

    When new they were crazy stupid fun to drive, hike’em up on 3 wheels (or 2 !) in tight turns & they’d stick like glue. We coveted 924s & the promise of a turbo & the coming 5 speed but in hind sight it was all great fun. Less than 2000 lb & 70hp was just fine. If you came from the VW faithful the revelation was it had REAL heat ! Fond memories.

  13. Mark

    I still have some parts for this year
    Fun to drive and reliable

  14. Doug

    One can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig…..

    Having once owned a Scirocco, I will NEVER own another water cooled VW – unless its an air cooled version with a Subaru engine transplant !

  15. SinkTip

    I had one of these in gray back in 1995. I bought it at a police auction after it had been abandoned. The car cost me $100 out the door and would do 100mph. I cleaned it up, put a set of new (used) tires on it and sold it a couple of months later for $2000.
    Would be a nice car to have now.

  16. Mikey mo

    I’d put a 1.9 td engine in it with a 5speed transmission

  17. ICEMAN from Winnipeg

    I had a 1978 Rabbit, which I bought brand new. That car was Demon Possessed. Brakes that squealed like freight train. Muffler that rusted out and fell off after only 6 months. Horrendous torque steer that made it dangerous to drive in our Winnipeg winters with the icy roads. Leaked oil. Took forever to heat up when it was minus 30; the only car I ever owned that I used an ice scraper on the INSIDE windows. And a fault fuel injection system that killed the engine while in traffic. The local VW dealership service department, who shall remain nameless (hint: it was near Polo Park) was managed by an arrogant fellow who said other owners never had those problems. Later issues of Consumer Reports reported owners having the same issues. After just under 3 years of ownership, traded it in on used 1979 Thunderbird and never looked back. On the plus side, in summer, when the car actually ran, it was fun to drive. But even then, it was prone to stalling.

    • On and On On and On Member

      I had a 78 Rabbit also. Poor ground on the fuse panel was the fuel injection issue.

  18. Scott Tait

    Owned a 1979 scirroco back in the late 90s UK right-hand drive in silver GOLF 1900cc GTi engine and box .. not one problem sold it after 2 years

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