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My dad was always keen on cars: I remember his Renault Dauphine in the 1960s, and how it suffered from front-end lift and brake fade.
It is basically a coupé version of the Mk2 Golf GTI, with the same 1.8-litre fuel-injected motor and a very swish set of alloy wheels.
He purchased it in 1990 from a colleague, with 30,000 recorded miles, and kept the car until his death in 2006, by which time it had covered 92,000 miles.
Mum and Dad enjoyed holidays in Scotland, Devon and many day trips to Norfolk in it.
Early on, he had Koni dampers and shorter springs fitted, and I recall that the car was taut and handled well.
In later years, Mum complained about the hard ride so the original springs were refitted.
The only other non-standard feature is a stainless-steel sports exhaust system, which is rather noisy – but in a good way.
Dad carried out his own routine maintenance tasks and used local VW specialists for bigger jobs.
His Haynes manual contains lots of the notes he made, and I still have all the invoices for work done.
When Dad died, aged 83, Mum gifted the car to me.
My sons Justin and Adam had such fond memories of the Scirocco and insisted that it should be kept.
I offered the car to Justin on the understanding that he’d maintain it.
Even though he was living in east London he found a garage for it.
He and his girlfriend loved the VW, touring the English countryside and even France.
In 2010, Justin and his new wife decided to move to Canada and returned the car to me.
A neighbour of ours kindly agreed to store it while Adam searched for a garage near him in Hull.
On the day he was due to collect the VW, it failed to start.
On inspection we found that the fuel filler pipe was corroded, a common problem, which allowed rust particles to fall into the tank and find their way into the fuel system – even with a filter in place.
With new components unavailable, a secondhand pipe was found, along with new fuel injectors.
All was well for a while, then fuel-injection problems returned that two local garages failed to fix. Fortunately, I managed to locate someone who knew these cars and was able to cure the problem.
After that, the car was left sitting in a damp garage – without power – in Hull, not getting any use.
In 2016, the VW Scirocco returned to Cheshire for me carry out a bit of service and restoration work.
I replaced the cam and other belts, did an oil and filter change, cleaned the brakes, applied rust-preventer to the suspension and underside, painted the cam cover and replaced the bonnet insulation, which was crumbling away.
Following a thorough clean and polish, the car was driven to Leicester to live in my father-in-law’s garage, where it remained covered, apart from MoTs, until September ’21.
A plan was made for Adam to drive to Normandy, France, where we now have a house with ample garage space.
I gave the car a check-over, fixed a leaking hose, changed the coolant and had one new tyre fitted; Adam’s journey through France was trouble-free.
While not in show condition, the Scirocco was much admired by those who saw it.
During our most recent trip to France, we found an oil leak from a pressure sensor close to the filter.
A replacement has been obtained, together with a 24mm box-spanner, so hopefully I will be able to fix it and replace the noisy water pump the next time we are visiting.
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- Owned by Patrick Darnes
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