Sam and his Volkswagen Scirocco Cabriolet

  • by

Re:Fuelers Rides is back and there’s no better way to start it off then with Sam’s Scircocco with a twist… it’s a cabriolet! With over 290,000 Mk2 Scirocco’s being built over 11 years it has cemented itself within the hearts of VW enthusiasts across the world. Despite Volkswagen never producing a convertible Mk2 Scirocco themselves we think that Sam’s makes a strong argument that they missed an opportunity.

My car is as you can probably tell by the pictures no ordinary one. This is my Volkswagen mk2 Scirocco 1600GL, with a soft-top conversion. Originally registered in 1983 (suffix Y plate, for those who care), it was owned lovingly by a family of VW enthusiasts alongside another mk2 convertible that had been converted soon after leaving the factory in 1984. The cabriolet conversion kits (known as “Bieber Cabriolets”) were manufactured and fitted by a European company. The conversions were far more popular on the mainland. Even still, this particular Scirocco is a special case because it was converted in 2017, thirty-four years after the car was originally registered and a while after the Bieber Cabriolet company ceased trading.

The previous owners of the car bought the last ever Bieber kit at an auction in France, and had the
conversion done here in the UK by Rust Republic. The previous owners kept the car until 2021, and sold it to a dealer where it sat indoors for two years. That’s where I come in. I bought it in June 2023, on 69,000 miles with immaculate paintwork and near-perfect structure and engine. It had a faulty alternator and a small fuel leak. It came with a spare engine, gearbox and set of four alloys. To this day, it is one of only three convertible Sciroccos to ever hit the roads of the UK (Source: Scirocco Register) and is an absolute eye-opener everywhere I take it. And even if it never had the conversion, there’s only twelve mk2 Sciroccos with this engine/gearbox combination left in the UK anyway. So pretty rare either way!

Ironically, I have never been a huge fan of German cars (I’m more of a Jap guy myself) but I always
thought Volkswagen’s take on the affordable sports coupe was fantastic, and I quickly fell in love
with Sciroccos after spotting a gorgeous mk3 some years ago. I bought and modified my own mk3 Scirocco TDI in 2021, and decided I wanted to replace it with a mk2 (plus a daily estate) in 2023. I had the idea of buying a cheap mk2 project that I would restore and modify to be a show & shine car, but when I saw the soft-top for sale I knew I had to buy it! The goal is still to get it show & shine ready. The only modification I want to do is lower it to the floor. I’m not a fan of arch gaps. Unfortunately, the two Sciroccos never got to meet. I put the mk3 up for sale and it rolled off my driveway into a wall on the same day, due to the handbrake snapping off. Nobody was in it nor in its path at the time.

My favourite thing about the convertible is that it is unique. There is not a single car out there exactly like mine. Whenever I build cars, I do it to stand out. This one’s already been done for me! I also like the interior. It’s a beautiful murky-blue with proper carpeted floors and retro-dash equipment and seats.

To anyone after a retro vehicle like mine, heed my advice: It doesn’t matter if the engine has problems when you buy it. It’s bodywork restoration that costs a fortune and is difficult to do at home. Old engines such as mine are among the easiest things I’ve ever had to deal with. They’re so simple and, frankly, self-explanatory as long as you know the basics of an engine’s functionality.

Although I’ve only had chance to take it to Re-Fuel once so far with the Bank Holiday Classics event (I’ve taken the mk3 many times), you may have also seen me all over the place. It was on display at the 2023 Mount Edgecumbe Classic Car Show, and has been to Cars and Cuppas events at Greendale Farm Shop. I’m regularly out with it in Exmouth and Exeter, and occasionally Torbay, especially when the weather’s nice. It will be hibernating for the winter come mid-October.

For any information, social stuff or to follow the build, give me a follow on Instagram @sams_sciroccos

Car Facts:

Make: Volkswagen

Model: Scirocco GL

Year: 1983

Engine: 1.6 petrol “FR” 3-speed Auto

BHP: 85

Top Speed: 80mph (having only 3 gears isn’t great beyond 70)

0-62mph Time: 3-5 working days

Weight: Officially, 882kg. Realistically, much less due to the lack of roof

Additional Mods: Aftermarket stereo & steely-type aftermarket alloys