Junkyard Find: 1986 Volkswagen Scirocco

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

The MkII Scirocco never was considered as mainstream cool in North America as it was in Europe, but a fair number of the things still made it to these shores. Nowadays, of course, many months can go by between MkII Scirocco street sightings. In California junkyards, however, it’s still possible to find Sciroccos in high-turnover wrecking yards. Here’s one that I spotted in the San Francisco Bay Area a few weeks ago.

By 1986, VW was having a tough time competing with the Japanese for the hearts of West Coast buyers of sport compacts, and Chrysler was siphoning away a lot of the remaining shoppers with their inexpensive turbocharged machinery.

This one is a run-of-the-mill 8-valve model, no doubt used as a gas-sipping commuter.

Not quite 200,000 miles, but respectable for a 1980s car.

The Scirocco was one of the better-looking machines of its era, which explains this zero-information advertisement for the ’86.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Felis Concolor Felis Concolor on Sep 29, 2012

    Even then, I and several others in the local group were bitching about updated automobiles becoming heavier than their predecessors. Most of the island faithful remained with their Mark I Sciroccos, although one of them eventually ordered the twincam and one of everything from the Oettinger catalog.

  • Arajane Arajane on Dec 14, 2017

    This might be my old car. Makes me sad to see it in this kind of shape! It's definitely a 1986--you can tell by the fact that it has the third brake light at the top of the back window (a feature that wasn't included on the CA model '85s). I donated mine to Father Joe's Villages in San Diego back in 1999, when it had just over 100K miles on it. Wish I had never gotten rid of it, now. Morbidly curious which junkyard this one is in if you're able to say. Thanks!

  • Daniel J Until we get a significant charging infrastructure and change times get under 10 minutes, yes
  • Mike I own 2 gm 6.2 vehicles. They are great. I do buy alot of gas. However, I would not want the same vehicles if they were v6's. Jusy my opinion. I believe that manufacturers need to offer engine options for the customer. The market will speak on what the consumer wants.For example, I dont see the issue with offering a silverado with 4cyl , 6 cyl, 5.3 v8, 6.2 v8, diesel options. The manufacturer will charge accordingly.
  • Mike What percentage of people who buy plug in hybrids stop charging them daily after a few months? Also, what portion of the phev sales are due to the fact that the incentives made them a cheaper lease than the gas only model? (Im thinking of the wrangler 4xe). I wish there was a way to dig into the numbers deeper.
  • CEastwood If it wasn't for the senior property tax freeze in NJ I might complain about this raising my property taxes since most of that tax goes to the schools . I'm not totally against EVs , but since I don't drive huge miles and like to maintain my own vehicles they are not practical especially since I keep a new vehicle long term and nobody has of yet run into the cost of replacing the battery on an EV .
  • Aquaticko Problem with PHEV is that, like EVs, they still require a behavioral change over ICE/HEV cars to be worth their expense and abate emissions (whichever is your goal). Studies in the past have shown that a lot of PHEV drivers don't regularly plug-in, meaning they're just less-efficient HEVs.I'm left to wonder how big a battery a regular HEV could have without needing to be a PHEV.