View Full Version : Newbie - 1980 Scirocco

11-21-2001, 02:26 PM
This is quite an active forum... perhaps I can lean upon the combined experience of the group.

I've gotten rid of my open track Mustang, and want to race in SCCA in the San Francisco Region. I purchased a solid 1980 Scirocco with the intent of prepping it for ITC in time for the driver's school next spring. I've ordered the GCRs, but they don't ship for a couple weeks. I'm on a tight budget, but I can dedicate the time to build the car myself. For me, I think 1/2 the fun will be in building it.

Anyway, I have quite a few questions...

Is there anyone in the Sacramento area running a Rabbit/Scirocco who I can talk with? I think getting hooked in to a network of local racers is the best way to learn. My intent would be to contribute, not just to leech. Anyway, if there is anyone in the Sacramento/Placerville area, I would love to hear from you... [email protected]
The car has an aftermarket sunroof... I assume I have to remove it & fill in with sheetmetal, correct? Time to pull out the MIG...
What is a good starting point for suspension? I know Ground Control is local, but it would be nice to get a view on what is out there, and what works well. I'm not opposed to used parts if the price is right...
What seats are people running? What works? I'm 6'4", 200lbs, so seat selection might be a bit problematic.
My #1 goal is to get out on the track & start learning with spending a minimum of money. I believe the best way to do this is to spend on safety gear, basic car maintenance & prep (motor & trans seem solid), and the suspension. From there, I believe the best investment is in the "nut behind the wheel". However, for the money I do have, where are most of the gains to be had? Front-end suspension tuning? Lightening? Chassis stiffening? etc.
The car needs a clutch. What's the good, low-buck/junkyard setup?

Probably should stop there...

Thanks in advance for those who reply. I'm really looking forward to digging in and building a safe, clean, reliable, and (hopefully) competitive, car.


Bill Miller
11-21-2001, 05:00 PM

First off, welcome to the wonderful world of club racing! Second, welcome to the wonderful world of VW racing!!!

I have no idea what you paid for your Scirocco, but if you go back and read a lot of the threads in these forums (not just VW), you'll see quite a few people advocating buying your first race car vs. building it.

You're right, you will learn a lot by building the car yourself. However, you will spend a lot of time and money learning.

There's a lot of knowledge here that you can draw from.

Good luck!

MARRS #25 ITB Rabbit GTI

11-21-2001, 05:27 PM
Shan, may I make a suggestion? Don't cut up a really nice Scirocco to make an ITC car. They're getting rarer and rarer by the minute! I read that VW made less than 150,000 U.S. Mk1 Sciroccos! Also, If you're 6'4", you'll find the Scirocco doesn't have a lot of headroom. You'd probably be better off finding a Rabbit to build into an ITC car. They're identical as far as running gear and suspension goes. They're cheaper too, and VW made a LOT more of them. The Scirocco has an advantage aerodynamically, but that's about it. In ITC, the Rabbit gets a 40 lb. weight break over a Scirocco.

If you really have your heart set on racing this Scirocco, I'll be happy to let you know what I've found out after 6 years of racing ITC Sciroccos. Send me an e-mail at [email protected] and I'll see if I can help.

Mark Coffin
#14 ITC VW Scirocco
#14 GP VW Scirocco

[This message has been edited by racer14itc (edited November 21, 2001).]

11-21-2001, 05:32 PM
I underestimated production of the MkI's, but VW still didn't make many and they're getting harder to find in decent shape:How Many Scirocco's were made?

First off, all Sciroccos were built by Karmann in Osnabruck Germany.

Scirocco I (March 1974 - 1981) 506,109 cars produced worldwide
Scirocco II (1981 - 09/10/92) 291,497 cars produced worldwide

Year Sales (US Model years)
1974 335
1975 16,108
1976 15,426
1977 24,786
1978 28,137
1979 26,014
1980 22,452
1981 17,043
1982 13,227
1983 13,703
1984 17,251
1985 13,547
1986 10,884
1987 6,971
1988 3,754
1989 867
1990 19

Total 230,434

About 150,000 total MkI's. That might explain why I don't see many on the street anymore, even down here in the south!


dave parker
11-21-2001, 06:07 PM
just so you know that they are still out there my wife purchased a 77 scirocco from the original owner last fall. the car was originally purchased from a san jose,ca. vw dealer. it even has dealer installed a/c that still blows snowflakes when operated. the original owner, a little german man who lives outside of charles town,wv. just babyed this car. it has excellent interior and exterior that just needs some paint. my wife swears she will not drive the car to summit point raceway anymore because the itc boys keep drooling over it and asking her how much.... the answer being start laying out hundred dollar bills and when you've got a big enough pile i'll tell you to stop. these cars are still out there but you just have to watch for them.
dave parker
wdcr itb #13

11-21-2001, 07:21 PM
Well... let me explain "solid":

The car has no rust, no evidence of any major damage, and is fairly straight. It has some unknown amount of filler in the driver's door, but otherwise is an "honest" solid car. Motor runs without any alarming noises (seems like there is a fuel delivery or ignition problem--idles fine & revs OK, but depending upon load & throttle, not generating much power) and the 5 speed trans shifts fine. That said, the interior is fairly well trashed. It's mostly there, but the driver's seat is torn, the door panels have parts missing & holes in them for speakers which are long gone. The dash is in very poor shape, with holes from a stolen stereo, cracks, and chunks missing. I trailered the car home.

Sounds like a perfect candidate for a race car to me (solid body, mechanial systems there, crummy interior). Definitely not anything I would call "nice", but more along the lines of a "solid" shell/starting point.

I know & understand the arguments for buying an already-built car. However, I _want_ to build the car. It's something I enjoy & am equipped to do (Lincoln MIG, air & paint tools, etc.).

I fit with the stock seat & no helmet. I have to believe there is some way I can fit with a race seat & helmet.

I can sympathize with not wanting me to cut up a semi-rare car. However, unless someone wants to take it off my hands, it seems as good a candidate as any. Again, my goal is to get out & get experience (both building & tuning as well as driving) using mostly sweat & hard work--spending my money on track time.


11-21-2001, 08:04 PM
shanh........... If you build. contact Tom Fowler @ OPM Motorsports. He has a complete package for the Scirocco. He also races one and is quite successful with it. www.opmmotorsports.com (http://www.opmmotorsports.com)

Good luck.

Ron S
11-24-2001, 01:43 PM
I'll answer the clutch question with an anecdote. Before I'd ever heard of IT (late 70's early 80s) we ran Spec Datsun 510 at Westwood, the rules were extremely similar to IT stock carb, allowed a header, street tires. I was to run the novice race on Saturday. After many trials and tribulations the car is on the track, I had to start from the pits, after a few laps I caught the first car in front of me. Going into the Hairpin at Westwood KABOOM! I had just blown the face off a cheap clutch.

Eric Parham
01-04-2002, 10:36 PM
Mark (Racer14ITC),

I was just catching up on old posts and noticed your listing of US Model Year Sciroccos. You seem to have a source that I haven't seen before... Please tell what it is. I'm particularly interested in the '88 through '90 US model years, and whether any of those were known to be 8-valves.

Eric Parham
[email protected]

01-05-2002, 05:48 AM
Go for it and race the Scirocco. Even if it is in perfect condition, the car is not a collectable and will be worth more as finished racecar then a street car. You will have more fun driving it on the track then the street. Personally, I would rather look at a mint ITC Scirocco parked in my garage rather then a patched together rust bucket ITC Scirocco. Yes, accidents happen, but we are not dealing with a Porsche 911 PCA car or a Formula Atlantic (where all 4 suspension corners will add up to more then your entire ITC scirroco is worth). One of the best parts of racing a VW is that it is very inexpensive as far as racing goes.

I agree that buying a racecar that is already built is probably the best way to get started - however, I built several ITB Rabbits so it is hard for me to not incourage you to start build up your Scirocco. It sounds like you have a great start by ordering a GCR and contacting some of the most knowledgable VW racers in the country on this web site. I wish this site was available when I built my first ITB GTI.

As far as the Clutch. Ron said it perfectly in a previous posting "DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME AND MONEY ON CHEAP CLUTCHES". I had a brand new unknown brand clutch in one of my ITB Rabbits that worn down to the rivet in one weekend.

Suspension - A full ground control suspension setup can be very costly. Figure out what you need by reading several previous postings. This will most likely save you a lot of money. It is easier and cheaper to learn from other's mistakes. And of course, you will learn from you own mistakes in the future also. First things first, finish your drivers schools and get the experience before getting really technical. For example, refer to the previous posting on spring rates - what is the ideal spring rate vs. sway bar setup for a VW. So many people responded with so many different answers. You will need to find out what works best for your car and driving style. Developing a car will not happen overnight. Once again, reread the post and figure out a somewhat conservative spring/swaybar setup before going out and purchasing 1000lb springs and huge swaybars.

To answer your seat question - you will probably want to mount the seat to or as close to the floor as possible for obvious reasons (headroom, transfer weight down, visibility, roll over safety,etc.). Spinal compression will not feel good!

Other suggestions to save money:
-Run your drivers schools with good used tires. (spec racers run 13" tires and they usually do not wear them to the cords like many IT guys)!
-Do not buy a limited Slip until you feel it is necessary to reduce wheel spin to bring lap times down.
-Run the bone stock motor with only bolt on performance parts before concentrating on the internals.
-The stock 13" scirocco alloy wheels are a dime a dozen at the junkyard.
-Do not buy a fancy stainless steel exhaust system. Straight piped to a simple nonrestrictive resinator/muffler will work great and keep you under the allow decibal level.
- Mount two stock swaybars together in the rear instead of 1 large diameter bar.
- Use your windshield washer resevior as a oil catch tank.
- Use heavy gage jumper cables instead of buying individual battery cables (which are usually too small) to wire up your off switch.
- camlock seatbelts are nice, but not necessary and very expensive.
- Go to your local circle track shop and buy coil over spring purchases and threaded shafts. (so much cheaper then ground control, especially if they are used).
- while you are at the circle track shop- pick up some black 1/8" thick plastic and make a spoiler or a spoiler extension from it.
- Easy and cheap window net installation kit. Use the steel piveting seat belt mount found over your left shoulder and mount it to the cage at the bottom point of the net using hose clamps so that the mounting hole is facing out. Hose clamp the top of the net to the cage above the window. Using a .1/4" - 5/16" steel rod through the window net and through the seatbelt mounting hole. On the other end, attach the steel rod using your rear VW seat belt modified to the drivers side door bar with tension. The steal rod will rest against the down tube on the forward cage brace by the left front dash speaker. (mounting cost - less then $5.00)
- Search the internet for new and used parts specials - oil cooliers,brake pads, lower stress bars (or make your own with threaded tubing and a couple of rod ends), seats, exhaust header, bilstein or Koni race struts/shocks, coil over springs, service manual, etc.
-MACCO paint specials
-By the way, you do not need a 24ft enclosed trailer and brand new truck to go racing.

I hope this helped.
Feel free to email me with additional questions.
Ian Lenhart
[email protected]

01-05-2002, 12:34 PM
Seriously good information here, Ian. It is great that you are willing to share so much with new folks...