At $13,000, Is This 81 VW Scirocco TDI A Deal?

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Nice Price or No Dice 1981 Volkswagen Scirocco TDI

One of the great things about Volkswagen products is their Lego-like ability to mix and match parts from multiple generations. Today’s Nice Price or No Dice Scirocco is a prima facie example of that as it sports a TDI along with some other updates. Let’s see if it’s worth its asking.

Selling a broken car is always a tough proposition. According to the ad, yesterday’s 1992 Volvo 960 Estate was shy about shifting into its upper gears and that opened the door to a lower asking price since the seller wasn’t about to invest in the fix. That price was $3,000 and the seller averred it would take another $2,000 to make the car right. Not enough of you agreed with the seller’s math, causing the car to drop in a 65 percent No Dice loss.

Volvo at one time sourced diesel engines from Volkswagen, dropping them into their 200, 700, and 900 lines. Volkswagen, in fact, was once one of the largest purveyors of diesel engines for automotive use. For reasons I don’t think we need to detail here, that is no longer the case.

Image for article titled At $13,000, Would You Give This TDI-Transplanted 1981 VW Scirocco A New Lease On Life?

This 1981 VW Scirocco has one of those diesel engines from that earlier time. This is an after-the-fact addition to the car as neither the first nor second-generation Scirocco was offered with an oil burner from the factory. The Scirocco successor, the Corrado also never got invited to the smoking section. A diesel was finally offered in the Scirocco with the 2008 model that resurrected the iconic name. Of course, that never came to the U.S. at all.

When the first Scirocco debuted in 1974, its purpose wasn’t ultimate mileage, but modest fun. Based on the platform of its sister, the Golf (Rabbit in the U.S.), the Scirocco was intended as the nominal replacement for the Karmann Ghia. This was after Volkswagen’s furtive attempt to replace the Ghia with the VW-engined 914. Like the Golf, the Scirocco featured handsome Giorgetto Giugiaro-penned styling, albeit a lot lower and sleeker looking than its golfing buddy. Aside from some model-specific tuning, everything from the drivetrains to the suspensions was the same as on the Golf, which brings us to the interesting opportunity expressed in this Scirocco. That’s the addition of a TDI engine in the handsome hatch, and that makes for a car that now both looks good and can go without a break like nobody’s business.

Image for article titled At $13,000, Would You Give This TDI-Transplanted 1981 VW Scirocco A New Lease On Life?

The 1.6-liter turbo-diesel four looks right at home under the Scirocco’s hood. There it’s joined by what’s described as a “Freeway Flyer” transmission. That gives you less off the line, but less fuss and muss at higher rpms. The engine is said to have been rebuilt using quality parts and along with the transmission sandwiches an up-rated carbon-disc clutch.

Along with the updated and diesel-fed drivetrain, the car has a ton of other upgrades, including coilovers and added sway and strut bars front and back.

Image for article titled At $13,000, Would You Give This TDI-Transplanted 1981 VW Scirocco A New Lease On Life?

It’s not all muscle here either. For aesthetics, the car has a fresh paint job and a new toupee for its Britax-style sunroof. The interior features newly upholstered seats along with what look to be decent door cards and dash. The odometer on that dash reads 155,417 but seeing as much of the car has been renewed over the course of those miles, that factor may be moot. A clean title wraps up the car’s attractions.

On the downside, the car is missing its single central wiper in the ad’s pics. That’s too bad, as it’s one of the Scirocco’s cooler features and will need to be sourced if the car actually comes armless.

Image for article titled At $13,000, Would You Give This TDI-Transplanted 1981 VW Scirocco A New Lease On Life?

Should you want just the car riding on a set of steelies, the seller asks $11,000. If you’d also like to take possession of the 13-inch BBS wheels, that fat front air dam, and some “other parts to play with,” you’ll need to pony up an additional two-grand.

I say, let’s go for broke and vie for the package deal. With that in mind, what do you say about this tidy diesel-powered Scirocco and that $13,000 grand total price? Does that seem like a good deal for what seems to be a well-sorted ride in today’s crazy car market? Or, does that price have you wanting to leave this Scirocco swinging in the breeze?

You decide!

Los Angeles, California, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to FauxShizzle for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOND. Hit me up at [email protected] and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

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