This restoration is called bucket list for one reason, it is the one that I’ve always wanted to do.  I’ve always wanted to be able to be in a position where I could have the resources to not only pay for it, but also have the time and the spare “daily” transportation that is an undeniable requirement. 

When I started with this, at the age of 10, cars were something I, for some reason, needed to understand.  By the age of  16, it became necessity.  If I couldn’t fix it, I was walking. 

After a pre-pubescent affair with the beetle, I was quickly smitten with the first generation Rabbit GTI and  particularly the Jetta GLI.  These were out in the ’83 but the ads were coming out in ’82, and I was hooked.

Enter the Mk1 Scirocco. By the time I was 18 they were very affordable and I could pick up examples for a few hundred bucks in many cases.  I got myself through college behind the wheel(s) of many a Scirocco, and as time went I learned to combine the necessity of daily transportation, with the art that is keeping up with the needs of and older car.

And now, with 28 years of Mk1 Scirocco loving, and hoarding, behind me, it’s high time I finish my dream Scirocco. 

I’ve actually been working on this car for decades.  Back in the day it actually was a daily driver for about the first five to ten years I had it. And slowly, I started to be able to keep up with having a second car to be the mule.  And as we all know, you can’t have a really nice car unless you have one to beat on when you don’t want to be wearing out your pride and joy on the morning haul.

So here we are, and this thing is happening.  I have the garage, the funds to make it happen, and SOME of the time. (But I think I have some spares in a drawer somewhere in the shop.)

This car was painted about ten or so years ago by my friend PJ at PJ’s Auto Body in Lexington Park, MD.  And it was done with the future in mind.  I took everything out of the car except the drivetrain, windshield, and dashboard.  I cannot tell you what a PITA it was to get the window trim and gaskets to line up simultaneously in the front doors.

But that is all over now.  At this point, I am not repainting anything.   This is going to be a “patina’d” restoration.  What little rust the car has is staying the way it is.  What can I say, I’m not going to deny that my car has a little bit of lip herpes.  What Scirocco doesn’t?



But what I will be doing is making this car the example that will hopefully inspire others to keep their Scirocco, or any 1st generation car, for that matter, alive.  And I am going to do this by making parts for these cars that no one else makes, and we all need.

Things like a replacement air box that makes it so you can put a three inch cone filter at the bottom of your intake. Like a set of headers with THREE flex joints so they won’t break every two years.(They also won’t yank your exhaust system around like a cave man on a quest for nookie.) 

I want these things for my car, so I’m going to make them.  And I’m going to make them in such a manner that I can reproduce them.  If you like what you see here.  Please keep your eyes peeled for when I start my kickstarter campaign in search of group buyers.  By the time I get to the end of this restoration, they will be on my car, and properly tested.

So I am starting with the interior because I have other major operations that have to be accomplished on the daily(s) while this is underway and I am still waiting on the headers and exhaust to be worked out.

When I started taking things apart I discovered why my center console always sat at an angle.  I discovered that the airbox itself was missing a support screw and was therefor hanging at an angle, which made the center console hang at an angle.  On further inspection, and as expected, the foam in the dashboard systems was just plain disintegrating.  I also determined it would just plain be easier to get everything right if I just tore it out and did it all at once.  Sooooo out comes the dash and the HVAC box.

Here are pictures of the wiring(and vacuum line for the control unit) for the dealer installed cruise control which I am taking out. (The bright wiring is for the Innovate Wideband which will be staying in the car and hidden in the back of the glovebox, and the opti timer which will be coming out)  I will be leaving the stalk on the column and using the switches in it for yet to be determined purposes.

The space above the CIS computer will be used to house the small Alpine 45w per channel amplifier that will power the 2 4x6 speakers in the doors and the rear sectionals in the backseat panels.

The spaThe space above the CIS computer will be used to house the small Alpine 45w per channel amplifier that will power the 2 4x6 speakers int he door and the rear sectionals in the backseat panels.ce above the CIS computer will be used to house the small Alpine 45w per channel amplifier that will power the 2 4x6 speakers int he door and the rear sectionals in the backseat panels.

Before I got started ripping out the interior, I put the car on the lift and did some prep work.  I drained the coolant, took off the exhaust and headers, took off the airdam, and documented a whole bunch of "befores".

This picture is sideways because Godaddy's website builder DOES NOT have a method to rotate pictures within the builder.  Really?  It's a friggin website can you not include something this simple?They tell me I have to go through using yet another piece of software to do this....UGH.

This is the screw that apparently just plain fell out. The clip for the screw was in place when I got to it.  It is the support for the HVAC box on the passenger side.  In the process of doing this job I am also reproducing/polishing the HVAC lines and fixing all of the dry rotted vacuum lines throughout the system. My plan is to make this car be a rare bird, a Mk1 Scirocco with operational AC.e your paragraph here.

On to the cylinder head.  It's from an '87 8v Jetta GLI.  When I took it off I sent it to my guy Joe Stone to have him finish the port and polish (internal) job he started years ago.  Way back when he had just done the basic exhaust ports, this time both the intake and exhaust are getting the full gasket match treatment.  This head is losing weight as we speak.  once he was done with his disassembly and porting, I re-polished the outside of it and sent it back to him for assembly.Type your paragraph here.

Moving on to the HVAC box.  Upon dissassembly, this is what I found.  Apparently it has had water in it before and the damage is apparent.  While neither the heater core or the eval core were leaking I decided to do them anyway.   I was able to easily find the heater core, but the evaporator was another matter.  And even when I found one, I had to modify it so that the temperature probe for the controls could go into the fins of the core.  I had to dig the tube out of the old one and make it so that it was inserted into the end of the new one to make way for the probe.  Note the drywall screw that has been turned into and through the coils.  

The brake booster presented me with another dilemma.  I couldn't find a new one that had a quality finish on it.  They mostly come as bare metal with this sticky coating that you cannot get off, and even if you did, the paint won't stick to it very well.(It fish-eyes a lot )  I also could not powder coat it because the process would cook the internal baffle.  Because of this, my only alternative was to use the one that I had and have it painted with automotive black.  It turned out beautifully.Type your paragraph here.

The clean spot you can see under the drivers seat is what the whole bottom of this car is going to look like when I am finished.Type your paragraph here.

New front air dam being fitted. It is currently in the process of being painted with the closest thing I can have matched to the Cosmos Silver.  .

And so the blasting and clear coating of the trans has been completed.  I taped off any tender areas as best I could and proceeded to knock off the last clear coat job that I had done about ten years ago.  It is, of course, paramount, for obvious reasons, that no sand gets into the trans. One of the spots that has given me problems both the last time and this time, is the small vent opening at the top of the shifter input.  The last time I did it I forgot it was there and got sand all over the place inside the mechanism.  Because of thisI  had to go so far as to even take the fifth gear housing off to get it all out.  This time, although I knew it was there, and I attempted to block it off with some flexible rubber type sealant, the sand still got into it and, once again, I had to take the linkage input apart to clean it out. needless to say, it was a major pain in the ass to clean it out with brakecleen and not mess up the spray bomb clear coating that I had put on it. 

Transmission before sandblasting and clearcoating


This is the heatshield that covers the manual rack from the heat of the headers.  The rivet was shot when I took it apart so I had to redo it with the shiny new cadmium stuff in place.  It turned out really nice after polishing. here.

Draining the fuel out of the Scirocco and into the trunk mounted tank of the General lee, it will burn most anything, including 6 month old gas.graph here.

These are pictures of the chaos that currently haunt my dreams.  I sent off about two cars worth of bolts and brackets and had them Cadmium plated.  The only place I could find was a place in California called Burbank plating.  They did a fine job considering what they had to work with, but I would recommend to anyone that wants to do this to make sure that your parts are clean of paint and have a smooth surface.  Some of the the larger pieces I sent didn't turn out very well because I had to sandblast them.  It appears that the plating sticks VERY well to clean smooth surfaces, but not so well to rough ones.  The bolts turned out great though.  All said and done, with shipping and all in the number, it cost me about $450 to do this whole batch.  At the end of this restoration I am hoping to be able to put some kits together and start an exchange program that will mean that I can ship out entire CIS bolt kits, and take uncoated ones back in to send off in the next batch.  If you are interested in this idea, the best thing you can do is bring your car to the August 13th Sciroccos on the bay event.Type your paragraph here.

​MK1 Motorsports

Shiny new washer fluid line..

So my idea for this is to maybe make a stencil for either side of this rust bubble that says, "Mk1 herpes" in some sort of interesting looking font.  Not sure yet.Type your paragraph here.

45650 Clearbrook LnCaliforniaMD 20619, USA

The Scirocco is above the general here on the lift.  The funnel is just the catch all for what falls out of the bottom of the tank. I had to put this race tank in the general because the original one was completely full of rust and I haven't had time to deal with it.p

The center console will be getting its factory clock again.  The wideband will be moving to the glovebox.  The unit under the gauges is an "Opti-timer" that will be coming out.  

Because I am installing a knock sensor ignition system from an 85 GTI, I will not need it.  It enabled me to change the ignition timing at will by 17 degrees.  I needed to do this in order to prevent detonation when i heard it.  Because the car is running at 10.3 to 1 compression, and still on the '81 system, it produced too much advance at half throttle but didn't seem to complain at full throttle.  I would usually keep it set to 0 degrees, but it really isn't what I needed. your paragraph here.

Here is what the cadmium plating makes possible.  I have been looking forward to seeing this assembled like this for my entire Scirocco loving life.  And what a sight it is to behold.Type your paragraph here.

I tested this vacuum motor and it works perfectly.  All the rest will be tested as well.Type your paragraph here.

I will be adding new information to this page as things progress so check back frequently..

All I was after with the block was a basic stripping and repainting.  Everything inside it is perfectly healthy and strong.  It is a 3a block with about 80k miles.  Note the snazzy portable parts cleaner set up I made for this job and many others.  I can also put it on my trans jack and clean other stuff like the bottom of the car and what not.Type your paragraph here.

These are the first things I have been able to actually "restore".  Small but simply beautiful steps.Type your paragraph here.

As of today the current state of the car is a bare shell.  Even the steering column is out of it because I redid the bearings using Freddy Bender's kit.(Which works well BTW)  I am hoping to have the majority of it back together by the August gathering.ere.

As we all know, these fail.  This one showed no signs of breakage, but I wanted to make sure that it was taken care of while it was out of the car.  this was done by my boy Ross, if anyone would like theirs done, ship it to me and I will have Ross do the same thing to it for around $50.Tere.

Above and to the right you can see the whole thing assembled and holding a vacuum.  All of the door flaps work too!  I had to do a zip tie rig to ensure that the one stays in place.  It worked before and it'll work now.  I'm still missing the little clip that keeps the shaft from sliding off the plastic piece though.Type your paragraph here.

This is the Nuespeed throttle body that somehow miraculously found its way to me.  It is the same size as the 16v throttle body I had on the engine before, but the idle control screw setup is correct for a non CIS-E system.  It took it apart, blasted and cleared it, and then put it back to gather with the Cadmium goodies.

Frog and duck content for good measure.

Passenger side rain tray area before I cleaned it up and put in new lines.Type your paragraph here.

I used household door sealant to re-create the factory insulation.  I also used expanding foam to seal everything else I couldn't get to internally.  DO NOT use this stuff until you get the clamshells