The VW Scirocco II in the driving report

Frank Herzog
The VW Scirocco II driving report
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D he leather tie is still hanging in the closet. She was spared the fate of ending up in the Caritas garment bag. It has its permanent place as a wistful reminder of the beautiful, carefree times of a youth in the eighties. Over there, behind the coarse plaid shirts that are only worn to wash cars. To tie her today would be embarrassing. She's out forever, like a popper hairstyle or carrot jeans. Even on Rose Monday they would laugh at you with such a slim white thing. Does the leather tie effect also exist on cars? Motto: yesterday, embarrassing, not possible. We want to experience the eighties as a horror trip, preferably in a white VW Scirocco II. The self-experiment is exciting.

Motor Klassik dares the self-experiment

We try it out . Driving a questionable youngtimer Friday afternoon to a busy petrol station on the arterial road of a big city. The full program runs: fill in 50 liters of Super, check the oil level, wash, vacuum, take a case of mineral water. The whole thing for half an hour - 100 people around you, filling up, washing, vacuuming and lifting crates of drinks. Boy George, Paul Young and Limahl play alternately on the car radio - not loud, but audible. You almost forgot that you are sitting in the white Scirocco II, special model Scala, built in 1987, with white decorated 6J x 14 light alloy wheels from Avus, white bumpers, white Kamei X1 spoiler set (standard from the factory) and white exterior mirrors. Even the seats and the taillights are colored white. At least now we know why ghosts are white.

The snow-white Scirocco is celebrating its comeback

No, we're doing the pretty coupé an injustice. The Scirocco Scala looks as innocent and delicately feminine as a nymph by soft focus David Hamilton, who goes to a disco for the first time and still wears lace socks with her high heels. Even the daring self-experiment at the gas station doesn’t get any head shaking. And when someone smiles, it is more approving than sympathetic. The anonymous looks seem to encourage you. Unlike the leather tie, the snow-white Scirocco is about to celebrate its comeback. It could well be that in two years time a young guy with a baseball cap upside down will say 'cool'.

Volkswagen succeeded with the second edition of the Scirocco, the white, sparkling clean disco look of the eightiesYears to be perfectly transferred to an automobile. The pioneer was the special model White Cat from 1985, which looks very similar to the Scala shown here, right down to the white hatched glasses of the rear lights. Only it had steel rims, sports seats in the front and initially carried the provocative short roof antenna above the tailgate - a detail that was later reserved for the 16-V models like a status symbol. Incidentally, the Scala was not only available in white, but its interior fittings always matched the exterior color. The special Tropic model came in the same year as the Scala and, like it, was a bird of paradise, in keeping with the lifestyle of the eighties.

What do you want? - Madison turquoise or kiwi brown?

A sports coupé like the one from the Bacardi advertisement - pretty face, good figure, cheerful and easy to drive like playing beach volleyball. The colors, either madison turquoise or kiwi brown, both in a flashy metallic, look as if they were imported from the Caribbean, with green-tinted glass. The only thing missing is that VW would have included a cassette of Kid Creole and the Coconuts for the Gamma car radio. Very colorful double-sided advertisements praised the Scirocco special models White Cat, Scala and Tropic under the heading 'The latest idea from Volkswagen'. They showed how well the Wolfsburg-based company succeeded in meeting the taste of the masses with these special editions - far better than Opel and Ford, who understood this well in the 1970s. Unlike the first VW Scirocco from this era, which gave Ital Design boss Giorgio Giugiaro such concise rough edges, the new edition for the eighties was a product of the in-house styling department under Design Director Herbert Schäfer.

The sports coupé, which now has a rounded design in the rear, was still technically based on the Golf I, the wheelbase gives it away, but had a better drag coefficient of 0.38. The early LS and GLS models, at that time still with the large Scirocco lettering as a stylistic gag in the lower glass compartment of the tailgate, appeared pure and inconspicuous in their narrow-gauge simplicity. That is why the group felt compelled to give the petite sports coupé a visual boost as early as 1983. The Kamei X1 mounting kit was quickly adapted for the special models as an all-round spoiler and preferably painted in the vehicle color. Wide 14-inch rims now ensured the right shoe size. The zealous Scirocco choir boy became a pop star of the eighties, with that touch of glamor and optical tuning that his fans love him for.

960 kilograms light and 90 HP

Markus Geiselmann from Biberach is one of them, albeit a late-career at the age of 37. 'I used to find the two-seater Scirocco embarrassing. Now that it has become so rare in its original condition, it is an eye-catcher and a popular figure for me.' Geiselmann puts the key in the ignitionand demonstratively sits down on the passenger seat. Driving a Scirocco is as natural as driving a Golf II. Although you've never had a car like this, everything looks familiar. Only the low seating position in the tight, pleasantly contoured cushions behind the steep steering wheel, which is covered with real leather, makes it even more personable. The gearshift, at least five gears, could be a bit more precise - a tribute to the front-wheel drive and transverse engine. The 1.8-liter 'long-connecting rod engine', as it was called in VW jargon, ensures good pulling power in the lower speed range.

The Scirocco, which weighs only 960 kilograms, can be moved extremely quickly with 90 hp, even if the bite of the GTI and especially the 16V models are missing. He follows curves willingly. You only have to be a little careful before load changes, the short wheelbase is to blame. But it's not so much the agile driving dynamics that ultimately inspire the Scirocco II. The little white time machine takes you on a journey back to your youth. Back then, when one drove discarded grandpa cars out of fanatical conviction, such as the Audi 100, Ford Taunus or VW K70, the Scirocco II White Cat loudly insulted in front of friends as having no style, but would have preferred to take it, the gleaming white new car, to the next village disco . The leather tie for such jaunts was already in the closet. And the passenger seat probably wouldn't have stayed empty for long either.

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