Build or Buy: You-ro-PEA-an Shh-ROCK-oh

If you haven’t noticed, the Scirocco is having a moment. It may be timing, or condition, or just wealthy Gen X’ers looking to relive their high school days, but values on Volkswagen’s little fastback have been climbing. So if you’re looking for your own 2+2 coupe, you’ve got two choices: do you build it yourself, or buy it built?

Article: 1988 Volkswagen Scirocco 16V
Argument: Build

It always makes us a bit nervous when we see “carb conversion.” It’s a well-known fact that Volkswagen’s CIS-E electronic fuel injection can be a bit…finicky. Some gurus even say “if it’s working, don’t mess with it.” So while we dream of dual-Webers on a 16-valve engine, we wonder how well the car runs. Or if it runs at all.

So if you’re the adventurous type, here’s a black ’88 Scirocco 16v; the last year the Scirocco was sold in the states. Unfortunately, the Facebook Marketplace ad is a bit lacking in detail, but it does mention the carbs need tuning, the rear brakes are frozen, it needs a new master cylinder, and the exhaust is shot. Our take: someone got in over their head on this one. They couldn’t get CIS-E running, so they tried to carb it. The rear brake calipers are locked up like all 16V rear brake calipers eventually lock up (but the seller thinks it’s the master cylinder), and the exhaust is just shot.

If you’re familiar with these cars, you could probably get this one up and running in a week. And for the asking price $2300 you might end up with a decent car. This ’88 is in Kannapolis, NC.

Article: 1988 Volkswagen Scirocco 16V
Argument: Buy

Here we have a real driver. This Alpine White ’88 is fully serviced and ready to go, no fine-tuning needed. With 187,000 miles, it has a couple of blemishes, but that’s to be expected.

Here’s what’s great with this car: it has all the *right* upgrades. To those not-in-the-know, US-spec Sciroccos came with large and heavy bumpers. This ’88 has the slimmer and much lighter Euro-spec ones, along with Euro-spec headlights. It has larger-than-stock 15″ BBS wheels, and a set of original 14″ “teardrop” alloys are included with the car.

Now there’s no telling where this bringatrailer.com auction could go based on how well those other ‘Roccos sold for. The current bid is a mere $2500, with 8 days left. This ’88 is in Fairport, NY.