1977 Scirocco Stage I Callaway Turbo prepared by R+A Applied Arts

The Mk1 Scirocco is a very rare car to find on the road these days. In all reality, one is forced to attend a Volkswagen car show to find one. Even that is not a guarantee to see one. The Mk1 Scirocco and Rabbit marked Volkswagen's migration away from air-cooled engines to water-cooled motors in the mid seventies.

I saw this car on ebay several years ago with a significant reserve. The modifications made the car attractable. It was those that alluded to a potentially interesting history of the car of which I was truly interested. On that note, the car included a Callaway turbo kit. Callaway turbo kits are even more rare than the car itself. I had done extensive research over the years to obtain hard to find parts that would make up a turbo kit to install on my Rabbit Gti a few years ago. I asked a few questions from the seller and let it pass as it needed a windshield and other work to make it road worthy. The car continued to sit collecting dust in an empty volkswagen dealership that had closed years earlier.

Months passed by and I came upon an ad in the local classified that was small enough to miss. It referenced "original lime green paint" and "turbo." I had a feeling that this was the Scirocco mentioned above. I made a call and had a good conversation with the new owner who was buying a house and did not have time for this Mk1 despite good intentions when he bought it off ebay. He upgraded a few items, replaced the tires and had a front end alignment done at the volkswagen dealership.

I proceeded to go check out the car and I could not do it quick enough. I brought the tools and enough green to entice a deal. During the drive to see the car, I tried to recall what it had looked like in the pictures that were on ebay less than a year earlier. As I drove up on this scirocco in the residential setting this Mk1 Scirocco covered in Viper Green paint jumped out and screamed "70's." It was awesome. It sat on the old school ATS Cup wheels with aggressive Yokohama tires that were like brand new. I wanted the car without any question even before shutting my car off and getting out to check it out.

The interior was a mess and the car had minor surface rust which is typical of a Scirocco in our region. The car was clearly prepared by an owner in the past who appreciated racing. It had 4 pt seat belts, wide rear view mirror, koni suspension, and a cage bolted in behind the front seats. This car was built by Andy King from the famed R&A Applied Arts in New Jersey. I talked to Andy weeks later and he remembered the car once a mentioned the color. He and the original owner put plenty of time and effort into this unique car.

The overall condition of the exterior was decent for quarter of a century old car. It had flaws but I saw the potential of great restoration project. It was evident that it spent many years in a garage, yet recently been exposed to the elements such as rain and not driven for weeks. After ensuring the safety of the car and validating 5 lbs of boost once the oil was warm enough, I told the owner that I wanted it right then and there. He was caught off guard for some reason. After he cleaned the car out and gave me a few parts, I was driving off planning a big restoration project on top of at least two others at home that included a Stage II Callaway Rabbit Gti and another Rabbit Gti. What was I thinking?

The pictures below represent the car back in October of 2004. At the time, I replaced the stock valve cover in favor of the Callaway valve cover with a new rubber valve cover gasket. It leaks a bit of oil from the breather. However, the Valve cover certainly is fitting with the turbo that sits below the exhaust manifold. The car has been running Mobil 1 and Mann (OEM) oil filters. In the fall of 2005, I began cleaning up the rust on the drivers side fender, thus removing the front air damn and rocker panel trim in the process. Finally, in the fall of 2006, I replaced the battery and installed a new Bosch alternator.

Mk1 Scirocco pictures taken March 31 and April 1, 2007

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