It's something you hear about but you're always skeptical of the truth behind it. You fantasize that someday it could possibly happen to you. The "barn find" is the ultimate achievement for the consummate Craigslist hunter. There's just something amazingly cool about the concept of stumbling across a neglected and forgotten gem somewhere far off the beaten path. Basically, this is as close to the Goonies as you'll ever get, and with the type of people that sell on Craigslist, it's not impossible to think you might run across someone much like the Fratellis...or even Sloth.
Fortunately (or unfortunately) with this 1979 Scirocco, that was not the case. As the story goes in the words of our service adviser Adam " [The Scirocco] came from a barn in Lillington NC. Original owner bought it in eastern NC in '79, kept it meticulously clean and well-serviced. Would buy a new car, and park the prior one on the property covered up somewhere. Scirocco got parked in '99, and the old man died a couple years later. The interior was covered in towels; headrests removed and wrapped in towels, dash covered in towels, seats, etc. Hatch area and under the seats filled with mouse traps, and tucked into the barn. The daughters French husband listed the car for sale with a couple crappy pictures and almost no description, so no one even went to look at it besides me."
Not only did the previous owner take great measures to preserve the car, but he did so with only 64k miles on the clock. Unfortunately it was not all roses though as the car did have a few "undesired" modifications including custom roof rails and pin striping. Despite these interesting additions the car still manages to show extremely well in its current state. That's not without quite a bit of TLC and elbow grease from Adam though, and a lot of parts from Black Forest Industries.
Here are a few photos of the Rocco as it was found.
Besides the obvious cleaning and detailing, the decision was made to go through the whole car mechanically, including adding a very low mileage ABA engine to the mix to make this car more reliable, and significantly more fun to drive. The engine itself only has 20k miles on it, and was supplied to a Black Forest Customer new as a crate motor. The MK3 Cabrio that it was in met an untimely end, yet was able to donate its heart.
In addition to the engine, Adam went through the brake system, all fueling components, refreshed the entire suspension with new bushings, control arms,ball joints, Koni struts, and Ground Control Coilovers. The shift linkage was rebuilt and improved on, and even though the engine was low mileage signifcant maintenance was performed in the way plugs, wires, cap, rotor, crank sensor, etc. And given the fact Adam does work for us, the Scirocco of course receive BFI engine mounts as well.
Inside the car Adam was able to clean up and preserve much of what makes this car so special. The interior is in amazing shape and almost feels new, as the seats have almost no wear whatsoever and still feel as supportive as the day the car left the factory.
The only real change made to the car cosmetically is the addition of the Revolution RFX 14x6.5 wheels, and the extended hood hinges (to clear the ABA).
Below is a shot of the new ABA engine looking as OEM as possible and right at home in the Rocco's engine bay. While the power figures don't seem like much on paper, when you take into account the weight of the MK1- this car is a blast to drive. You're able to go 8 / 10 at any given time, and with the torque of the 2.0l engine you definitely feel planted in your seat. The result of this build is a solid and sturdy car that should last for many years to come.
Complete List of Modifications / Maint.
PBR brake pad set
Vented 9.4 brake rotors
Wheel cylinders Brake hoses
Brake master cylinder
Bosch fuel pump Fuel filter
Fuel pressure regulator
Inner and outer tie rods
Steering rack boots
Koni STR.T struts and shocks
Ground Control coilovers
ABA Crank sensor
Plug wires Cap
Coolant temp sensor
Sachs clutch kit
Diesel engine mount
Diesel trans mount BFI Stage I front engine mount
G60 Corrado throttle cable
Continental serpentine belt
Low temp fan switch
Low temp thermostat
Metal thermostat housing
MK3 exhaust manifold
Techtonics Tuning euro downpipe
NOS Bosal Brospeed cat-back exhaust Exhaust hangers
Missing Linkz weighted short shifter
Delrin shift bushings
Throttle cable bushing