Ratty Rescue: $1988 1988 Scirocco 16V

I have to say, I’m having trouble sharing this find with you, our loyal readers. Despite already having my own Scirocco 16V, this weary white coupe is calling to me.

“If you love something, set it free” so, ladies and gentleman, I (begrudgingly) give you this week’s Ratty Rescue: a $1,988 1988 Volkswagen Scirocco 16V. Free with purchase: a sizable chunk of my heart.

What does $1,988 get you? To start, this is a one-owner car. That’s right: the seller bought this car brand new and has held onto it ever since.

The car has lived in the garage for the last 19 years. The engine turns over, but it won’t run. White is a pretty rare color; you see mostly red ‘Rocco’s, some black or silver, but very few in white.

But best of all, this is a complete car. All the parts are there. And if you’re looking for a Scirocco 16V, trust me, you want a complete car. The ‘Rocco wasn’t a huge seller for VW, and acquiring parts can be a challenge. Luckily many of the mechanical bits are shared with the Cabriolet, but the lift-back coupe has its fair share of one-off parts.

Like this one, my ’87 16V was a complete car, yet I had a hard time sourcing tiny replacement parts like the correct windshield washer nozzles, the clips for the rear parcel tray, and even the rear license plate light housings/lenses.

The bad? There’s the lack-of-running issue. There’s some rust. There are definitely some dents and dings. It needs a good scrubbing inside. There’s wear on the driver’s bolster, but all 16-valve Sciroccos have worn bolsters. And finally, if you’re anywhere other than the New England area, you’ll need to arrange a long-distance tow from Long Island, New York.

It’ll take some work to get this car back on the road, but let me tell you, the work is totally worth it. After getting mine home, It was nearly a year before I actually drove it.

Then it was another year until it had a proper suspension. And that’s when the fun began. There’s nothing more satisfying than flinging this tiny (as my buddy Dave says: you don’t drive a Scirocco, you wear it) coupe into a bend with the engine zinging, the windows down, the sunroof open, and it just seems to pivot around you.

One spirited drive and you’ll realize how disconnected modern cars are. How heavy they are. How refined they are. A car like this reminds you why you love cars so much.

Do I need another Scirocco? No. Do I want this one? YES. Will I buy it? ….No? I do hope someone picks this up, brings it back to its former glory, and enjoys the hell out of it. You’re not only buying a sweet little car but a piece of my very heart too. Make me one promise if you buy it: you’ll bring it to the 20th annual Sciroccos in Cincy in late May.

For more information on this 1988 Scirocco 16V, take a look at the classified ad on thesamba.com.