Ratty Rescue: Portlandian ‘Rocco

The dream of the 80s is alive in Portland (we took a little license with the decade). For a mere $1,200 you can zip around in your own piece of VW’s quirky coupe history. This week’s Ratty Rescue is a little less ratty, but still in need of rescue, so if you’re in the market for a rarer-by-the-day ride, this could be the car for you.

Volkswagen introduced the Scirocco in 1974 to replace the virtually prehistoric Karmann Ghia. The new coupe featured modern styling from Giorgetto Giugiaro but replaced the sexy curves of the aircooled coupe with sharp creases and crisp edges. In one model, the wheezy, underpowered, unsporting Ghia sports car was pushed to the wayside: the Scirocco ushered in a new era of performance for Volkswagen.

Scirocco buyers loved the crisp handling, the low seating position, the light chassis, and the knife-edge styling. The little coupe was not only stylish but practical too, with a decent trunk space and a folding rear seat. “S” models had blacked out trim, Recaro-designed seats, red accented badges, white letter tires, and a 5-speed transmission.

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This 1981 S is a prime candidate for restoration. The mild Pacific Northwest climate has been kind to the body; not a speck of rust can be seen in the photos. Sure the Cosmos Silver paint is in rough shape, and yes there’s a dent or two, but the body panels all line up well, so that’s one less thing to worry about. And the owner upgraded the standard 13″ alloys to 14″ teardrop ones. They match the lines of the car well, but you’ll need to decide whether to go with the color-keyed wheels or the solid silver ones.

Inside, this little wedge-shaped coupe has the slick black and orange fabric seats in decent condition. Like all cars of this era, the driver’s bolster needs attention. A deep clean of the interior would make a huge improvement.

The Craigslist ad goes a little quiet on the mechanical condition. Apparently, the engine is not original. Neither is the transmission. It does not state what engine is in the car, so you’ll have to do some investigating. That new transmission also comes with artisanal gear grind. But overall, this Scirocco S is a solid little ride.

This 1981 Scirocco S is in Portland Oregon for a very unweird price of $1200. Check out the seller’s Craigslist ad for more information.