Late May of 2012 I started my first project car, bringing a complete non-running junker to life. At first I was hesitant when my friend Matt said he had a perfect project car, mainly because I have never heard much about the car. The 1984 Volkswagen Scirocco was a classic and a rare automobile that fell of the radar in time with public. The Scirocco is a car for a dedicated Volkswagen enthusiast. Family and friends said the car was a “Hunk of Junk” and that it would never run right after sitting for so long, having over 233,000 miles and only costing three-hundred dollars. However, I believed the car had potential and that it would run one day. I just graduated high school and my buddy Matt had been telling me about this car he had for me to see. While I was in school I really never had time to go and see the car. Well we were both finally out and looking for something to entertain us for the summer. It was a sunny and humid summer day in West Palm when I first laid eyes on my Scirocco.
The car had been sitting for about 8 months when I got a chance to see the car. The car itself was beat up, however, not too bad. My main concern was what was under the hood. Matt popped the hood and I got my first glance at the 1.8 liter 8 valve Volkswagen engine that powered a generation of cars. The engine was missing many parts that I would have to track down and buy, which was the biggest problem at hand. After a few weeks I have finally found and bought most of the parts we needed for the car to be running. My main objective was to get the car running and drivable to a degree, so I could move the car from Matt’s house to my house. I had to purchase many parts which included intake boots, hoses, adapters, brake boosters, brake pads, new rotors, a whole new coilover suspension, new exhaust system and other little parts that were crucial. The part search varied from using online stores, going to junkyards, classified ads on forum websites and some parts that we just had to make on our own. It seemed like a lot of work for this “Hunk of Junk,” but I saw potential in this car and I had a feeling it was special.
Countless hours were spent putting all of these pieces together, and with every piece added, we were getting closer and closer to starting the Scirocco. The big things came first to put in such as the exhaust, suspension and brake system. When we reached the final stages to getting the car to run, installing hoses and connecting them, both our hearts were racing because we knew what was to come next. The hoses took more time than we anticipated and we had to work well into the night. Finally, around 9:00 pm, we had done all that was necessary to get the Scirocco running and it was time to start her for the first time in nine months. With my heart pumping and my palms sweating, I slid into the front bucket seat, inserted the key into the ignition and turned the key clockwise.
The car cranked and instantly we had life! The car that had been sitting for almost a year started up with no hesitation. I was amazed at what Matt and I had done; we brought a car back from the dead! Matt then closed the hood and jumped into the passenger seat and we drove the Scirocco all around. Never once did the car want to stall or hesitate. The Scirocco honestly ran like a dream and was brought to life again. With the Scirocco now running, it was clear to me that this car and classic Volkswagens were really “Bulletproof”. These cars do not die, and it shows that with some tender love and care, a car can be brought back to life. The experience shows me that if you put your mind to something, you can make it happen. Do not ever listen to the people who doubt you, you just go and prove them wrong. The project also brought Matt and I closer and now we have become great friends and still talk and tell people about taking an old junker and making it a car you could drive every day.