The VW Scirocco survived two generations between 1974-92 and was succeeded by the more popular Corrado (not counting the Mk3 introduced in '08). Because of their age, most Sciroccos are barely clunking around small towns or they're hidden away in junkyards. If you find one, don't be surprised to find a blown motor, shredded interior and/or rusted chassis. But a few devoted owners still uphold the legacy with restored and tuned examples.
Paul Brooker from Minneapolis, MN is one of the diehard few. He's clung onto his '84 model for the last eight years and his story began with a joyride in his good friend Chuck Whitney's Mk1 Scirocco. "We went through some twisty roads and I'll never forget it. I told myself I was going to get one. Since that first ride, my mind has always been set on Sciroccos. I've never been in a better-handling car. I love the body lines and they're different from the norm," Paul explained
Residing in Phoenix, AZ at the time, Chuck helped Paul get a job at Affordable German. At age 15, Paul had no knowledge of the VAG family. "Back in the day, my dad would tell me to grab a screwdriver and I'd come back with a set of pliers," Paul laughed.
He learned quickly by pulling parts and eventually gained enough knowledge to turn wrenches. Once he moved to Minnesota, he connected with SCI Performance where he became a full-time technician.
Now 26, Paul has owned 14 Volkswagens including two Sciroccos. He admitted his first Rocco fell short of glory. The car was a wreck, so Paul had to find another specimen. The perfect subject was an adequate '84 shell for $150.
With a blank canvas, Paul thought he could reinstate the Mk2 Scirocco to a daily driver. But things snowballed to the point where he couldn't to commute in it, especially during the rusty winters in Minnesota. So he picked up a Mk4 20th Anniversary GTI to drive daily, while the Scirocco developed in the garage. "I worked at SCI during the day and went straight home to tinker on the car at night," Paul told us. "What else are you going to do when its -40 outside?"
Reminiscent of the crazy car builders in Sweden and Norway we've featured, the long winters in the Midwest gave Paul more time to ponder and play with his beloved Rocco.
Paul could have easily fitted the 123hp, 120 lb-ft 1.8 liter 16v originally offered by the factory. But by '09 standards, that engine was lackluster. Instead, he decided to swap-in a 2.0 16v. After going through three engine blocks, he used a Passat bottom-end to transplant into the empty bay. But before he knew it, Paul figured he'd go the extra mile with a bored 2.1 liter block, while the crank was polished and 16v head ported and polished. Increasing airflow through the head, Paul completed a five-angle valve job. Techtonics cams, cam gear and heavy-duty valve springs opened up the top-end, while exhaust gases were pushed out via a Techtonics race header and a 2.25" stainless steel system.
The Euro parts gurus will appreciate the 50mm intake manifold and A/C bracket Paul fitted. He continued his diligence by rewiring the car from the fuse box forward.
"I rebuilt it because the engine gets hot, causing the wiring to get hard and crack." Paul also pulled out the unnecessary wiring and reinforced the remaining electronics.
The engine bay had to be visually impressive, so while the motor was out he prepped and repainted the bay. Hours of hand polishing followed to give the intake manifold and several brackets a mirror finish.
Unfortunately, the owner doesn't have dyno numbers but we suspect it's one of the quicker all-motor 2.0 16v around. "I wanted to do the all-motor setup rather than resort to a turbo or supercharger setup. They make awesome power but I wanted to see what I could get out of the naturally aspirated 16v. It's got as far as I can go now."
Paul sourced a 4K tranny from a VW Rabbit to take advantage of its closer gear ratios, allowing for better acceleration. "The gears help when I'm doing autocross. I can get the most power out of all the gears, especially second and third." A tall fifth gear stolen from a diesel tranny comes in handy for gas mileage during highway cruising. Paul also reinforced the stock differential with a bolt kit, while the clutch was uprated with a 16v pressure plate and 8v disc.
Determined to restore his Scirocco from top to bottom, Paul addressed the chassis and brake systems. "Every bushing from the rear beam to the upper strut mounts have either been replaced or modified. After all, if you plan on driving it, you don't want something to break."
Reliability went hand-in-hand with performance, so while rejuvenating the chassis the Rocco was lowered using Weitec XS coilovers as well as Power Slot front and Brembo rear rotors.
Paul realized the body and paint weren't in the best condition, so he rewarded the car with a visit to the body shop. Paint By Terry sanded the whole car to its base, including the rubbing strips, before the shell was sprayed OE black inside and out. Paul finished the exterior with European bumpers and headlights, an OE mono-wiper and Kamei badgeless grille.
Some old school wheels would continue the ultra-clean theme, so after cycling through several sets he traded some spare parts for a set of 15x7" ATS Cup wheels. Not in show-worthy condition, Tempe Wheel Specialists in Arizona eliminated the curb damage and refinished them.
The interior also required plenty of love to bring it up to par. Paul started by detaching the headliner and sanding the entire roof. It was then smoothed to show off a raw finish. The rear deck lid was then cut and a smooth false floor fabricated before a four-point rollcage was integrated into the rear. "The interior is smooth but has a raw racecar feel to it. But at the same time, it feels factory," he reasoned.
More details continued with polished door locks and trunk latches, plus reupholstered mats with the Scirocco insignia.
The legendary Recaro SRD seats in cloth reinforced the motorsport aroma. The bulky seats were a tight fit in the Scirocco, so Paul chopped the bases to allow a comfortable seating position without hitting his head on the roof.
In the end, it would easy to overlook much of the work Paul's accomplished with this project. There's a plethora of subtlety that only a trained VW eye could spot. It's truly a lesson for other Scirocco builders out there - with its polished 2.1 liter 16v, resprayed Euro exterior, classic wheels and motorsport-inspired interior. Considering it started as a $150 shell, it's traveled a long road toward success. Much like its Roc star owner.
1984 VW Scirocco
Owner: Paul Brooker
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Occupation: technician at SCI Performance
Engine: 2.0 four-cylinder 16v bored to 2.1 liters, polished crank, ported and polished head, Techtonics oil pan baffle, street cams, heavy-duty valve springs, fuel enrichment module, adjustable cam gear and race header with 2.25" exhaust, five-angle valve job, Euro 50mm intake manifold, K&N air filter with drilled air box, Mocal 16-row oil cooler kit, converted to non-AC pulleys with Euro bracket, deleted power steering with poly bushings, oil catch can, Passat 16v dual slimline fans with Golf 16v radiator, Optima Blue Top battery
Driveline: five-speed manual 020 4K transmission with taller fifth gear ratio, differential bolt kit
Brakes: Power Slot front rotors, Brembo rear rotors, PBR pads, Techtonics stainless steel lines
Suspension: Weitec XS coilovers, 16v lower K-bar, rear sway bar, Euro Sport upper strut bar, Prothane bushings
Wheels & Tires: 15x7" ATS Cup wheels with 195/50-15 Dunlop SP9000 tires
Exterior: OE European bumpers, headlights, rear valance and license plate, 16v plate holder, Kamei badgeless grille
Interior: Recaro SRD seats and brackets with modified sliders, Schroth harnesses, four-point rollcage with harness bar, Sparco steering wheel and hub, Audi oil pressure, battery and oil temp gauges mounted in Zender triple-gauge pod, Lonza pedals
Audio/Visual: Pioneer Premier head unit and component speakers
Thanks: dad, Kris, Chad and the guys at SCI Performance, Daniel Duryea, Chuck Whitney, Jason London, Sean Mackey, Bill and Chris at AFG, Paint By Terry, Audi Todd, John Kempf, Brian Archer, Lance Rosa, Techtonics, Shaun Brooker, Aaron Hatz, VW Jack, Tom Cylinder Head Service, friends and family, my wife and kids, God