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Scirocco Successor: 1993.5 Volkswagen Corrado SLC

I was in college in 1990 when the Volkswagen Corrado was finally released as the replacement for the MkII Scirocco – and one of my quadmates had a very early one. I loved the Corrado’s sharp lines which – to my mind – more resembled the original 1970s Scirocco than the softened second-gen. If I think really hard, I can still remember the way that car smelled of a combination of leather and plastic, and perhaps a little bit of Wolfsburg as well. This dark metallic green car, with just under 42,000 miles and bone stock to the eye, represents a welcome change from the usual ultra-modified Corrados which are all too commonplace these days. Find it here on VWVortex in Southern California for $8,500.

Numerous magazine reviews lauded the Corrado SLC as a “poor man’s” Porsche – especially with its trick rear spoiler that deployed at 35mph just like that on the contemporary Porsche 911. Despite its front wheel drive layout, the Corrado was a remarkably well-balanced handler and suffered from very little torque steer – pretty impressive for a car based on the aging (at the time) chassis from the MkII Golf/Jetta with a handful of bits adopted from the B3 Passat. Like the Scirocco before it Corrado bodies were built by Karmann, which means that if history tells us anything buyers should inspect potential purchases – this creampuff included – closely for tinworm.

The Corrado’s dash layout marked a departure from the cheap, plasticky monoliths that adorned most 1980s VWs with high-quality materials, switches, and BMW-like driver-orientation. The heavily-bolstered sport seats – in leather or leather/cloth – are comfortable even for those of us with a little, umm, substance to us, and they hold you in place brilliantly during spirited driving. The sculpted back seats are best suited for kids or little people, but they can fit adults in a pinch without requiring dramatic contortions. Corrados came standard with amenities including power windows, power locks, air conditioning, and even a sunroof. This car really marked the early stages of VW’s move upmarket in the US.

The original Corrados were powered by a supercharged “G60” four-cylinder motor intended to serve the same performance function as the 2.0 16valve had done in the last of the Sciroccos. Unfortunately, the G60 was not the smoothest of motors, and they suffered from an inordinate number of mechanical maladies early on. Halfway through the 1993 model year, Volkswagen finally saw their way clear to insert their new 2.9 liter VR6 lump in place of the G60, and the Corrado SLC was transformed into a venerable performance car. With 179bhp on tap, the SLC was good for 0-60 times in the mid-6 second range and a top speed near 145mph – impressive even by modern standards, but unheard of for a Volkswagen in the early 1990s.

This car has been on the market since August – likely due in no small part to the aggressive asking price for an 18 year-old VW. Still, as rare as these cars are in this condition it could look like a bargain in a few more years once the majority of the rest have been ridden hard, put away wet, and all used up. The detailed history that the seller offers in the ad paints a very favorable picture of care and maintenance over the course of its life. With $8,500 burning a hole in my pocket, and limitless parking, I would definitely give this beauty serious consideration. See additional pictures here on Picasa.

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