AMT's Scirocco - before the reissue! (OOB)

Economy and responsibility are great traits for a car to have, especially if you’re the kind who doesn’t like to go far or fast, and views transportation equipment as an appliance. For those with that attitude, the Automotive Dark Ages really weren’t that much of a letdown. Uninspiring econoboxes with poor drivability and no style wouldn’t, and didn’t, bother them at all. It showed in the bulk of the products on offer in those days, too.

However, for those who wanted some joy out of their driving, something more was needed. Sure, muscle cars were dead, but there’s a lot of wiggle room between an SD-455 T/A and an Omni hatchback. Thus, the sporty economy car was born to fill this gap. One of the earlier attempts to put some lipstick on some pigs, at least metaphorically, was the tarted-up Rabbit/Golf known as the VW Scirocco. This sporty hatch showed you could be responsible and fun at the same time.

Amazingly, Round 2 repopped the AMT Scirocco a few years ago. However, about the same time, I snared an original for cheap at a local model show. Check out this interesting little kit at the link below:


Ollie’s has some of the repops at $9.99.


Now THAT’S worth picking up!

You can’t say no at that price, and the Scirocco looks like a nice kit, too!

Another great review Adam, that will look cool with the flares and wide rubber, and those gold rims to bling it up!
The seats look like a lot of fun too. I would mask off the centre pattern panel with a contrasting colour, then faintly dry-brush with the outer panel colour on the seams.

Looking forward to the build story for this one.

Cheers, D

Interesting review. I didn’t know they made a kit of the Scirocco. Very cool.

Back in the 1980s when I was in high school, I wanted either a VW Sciorocco, a Karmann Ghia, or a 1965 Mustang. I ended up with a 1984 Dodge Aries K. Talk about a box on wheels!


Wow, Jim… hate to say it, but the “K” isn’t even close to any of those. :slight_smile:

Some of AMT’s choices back then were very interesting, like the Capri II, which is also a weird kit to make.

I’ll likely build this one stock, Reg, just because that’s what I usually do. Still, it’s hard to disagree with your points about the bigger rubber and wheels looking good.

Great idea on the seats! Thanks!

'76 Scirocco - My first car! What a lemon. But each year they got better and IIRC, by the early-80s, they were a top-rated car.

All the wiring was in the steering column. Turn the wheel to go around a curve and likely as not the horn would toot. Hit the turn signal and the wipers would wipe. First year of college, it was in the shop more than on the road.

I may get this and paint it up like mine - gloss black with red lining.

Another kit out of left field for an era that I really rather forget about as I survived the 1970s seeing all these econo boxes both domestic and foreign take over the roads, but help to alleviate a trip or two to a gas line for many folks.

I had a new 1970 302 Ford Mustang and kept her running like new till 1979 when my wife demanded that we get a new car, this time with 4 doors. I did as she wished buy a new family car, but it still had 2 doors. The Plymouth Volare :speak_no_evil: :hear_no_evil: :see_no_evil:

Basically it was nothing more then a not so much a box with some styling, but the straight 6 offered decent gas mileage but not much more.


That story about the Mustang reminds me of the guy I bought my '80 T/A from. He had kept it as perfect as possible, never winter drove it or anything, but in '99 he had two small kids and the wife was saying it was time to get a more responsible car.

So, I got the T/A and he got a Minivan. Ironically, I ran into him about 6 years ago. He was with a 20-ish-year-old looking guy who leaned out the window of their work truck and said “Hey! Can you sell me my dad’s car back?” Man, that was trippin’!

I’m not surprised to hear that the Scirocco had some issues. Europeans and electricals just seem not to get along. Ask any Italian car! :slight_smile:

My first car was a 1977 Dasher wagon - same generation as those early Scirrocos. It was beat to hell but all the emissions controls had been ripped out and it weighed next to nothing so that little sewing machine engine made her fly. Since I was young and invincible, I drove that thing faster than I’ve ever driving my current daily driver, a 2013 Mustang GT convertible. I was even able to fix the brakes after the taillight module shorted and caught fire and all my brake fluid came out the side of the master cylinder. Can’t do that with my Mustang.

D…Damn! You had your brake fluid come shooting out your master cylinder after a fire? Now that’s just asking to be scrapped. That you got it back together is pretty amazing!

It’s true you can’t do that now, but then again, that shouldn’t ever really happen in the first place…

Yeah, the taillight module on the side of the master cylinder caught fire and melted. Had an adventure stopping when it cut loose but I simply scraped out the mess and screwed in a new one, added new fluid and bled the brakes and she stopped on a dime again. It was a great first car; the front end had been welded back on after an accident, the hood was held down with a coat hanger and there were all sorts of missing and disconnected emissions control stuff, but she flew down the highway and was very agile in the turns. I would be aghast driving her today, but for a young Army troopie she was perfect. Almost forgot; drove her cross country from Wyoming to Virginia and blew an injector in Iowa (early gasohol bad for seals!) and had a whole 'nother great adventure - but that’s for another day.

So I went to Ollie’s today.

Came home with a Scirocco.

I had a 77 Scirocco. My first and last VW. They sold it with defective valve seals and knew it. The manual stated that some oil consumption was normal, up a quart every 250 miles. I figured it was a misprint, that they meant 2500 miles. No such luck! The car started burning more and more oil and the engine started pinging. I finally got it checked out and found out one valve was seized and it was running on only 3 cyllinders. They replace the valve guide seals and I sold the car as soon as I could. A little later, I found out about a class action lawsuit against VW for the defective valve guide seals and I sent them a copy of the page from the manual mentioning the oil consumption. Eventually they settled the lawsuit and I got $125 check, half of what it cost to replace the seals. FU VW!


So “dieselgate” wasn’t their first attempt at playing fast and loose with regulations, eh?

Good to know.

Sad that they’d stoop to that level not just once, but several times.

VW was fine until they decided to stop making their air-cooled vehicles. I loved my '99 Mark III Jetta, but I loved my '69 bus even more.

But to me the Scirocco was ugly as F.

Sounds like a mid-70s VW. Mine broke down all the time. Didn’t help that the local VW dealer was a crook; my dad treated a former mechanic who quit there because there unscrupulous practices. He told my dad that owner told the maintenance department that when somebody brought something in for repair, repair it but loosen something somewhere else so that they have to keep coming back. Confirmed suspicions because any time you took a vehicle to that shop, VW or not, something always failed not long afterwards.

Sure hope that the dealership is either out of business, or it has completely new ownership.


Reminds me of the song ‘Trust Your Mechanic’ by the Dead Kennedys.


I just did a search and I can’t find any Volkswagen dealers back in my hometown. I have not lived there for 31 years. I am hoping that he got put in jail.