1975 Volkswagen Scirocco
Purchased new for $4500.00 from the former Crest Volkswagen in Escondido, California. on April 1, 1975.
- Manufactured for Volkswagen by coachbuilder Wilhelm Karmann of Osnabrück, Germany in February of 1975.
For several years, the Scirocco was my daily driver, until I bought my first pickup in 1983. The car continued to log significant miles in freeway commutes to Los Angeles from San Diego and numerous ski trips throughout California, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, and Colorado. Aside from installing a Holley-Weber carburetor in 1977, the car was maintainted as stock until 1986, accumulating about 135,000 miles. I had to rebuild the head at about 60,000 miles when worn valve guides resulted in excessive oil consumption. The car had served as generally reliable transportation for almost eleven years.. but I wanted something better.
Major changes began in late 1985 when I installed the Drake motor, Koni sport suspension, upper and lower front chassis braces, and front and rear anti sway bars. The car now had ample power and improved handling but was driven out of storage only occasionally over the next ten years (and spent some of that time on jackstands) as priorities were elsewhere.
In 1996 I restarted the project, bought the teardrops and installed a complete 16V brake system. In 1998 I swapped the old 4-speed for a freshly rebuilt 5-speed FN transaxle with a Quaife TSD. The car was getting close to what I wanted as the .71 5th gear cut the noise at freeway speeds, but another seven years passed. During that time the car was driven less than 2k miles/year.
Resuming work in 2005, I began by installing a pair of Corrado front seats with new plaid seating areas, and placed sound absorbing foam throughout the body. I also installed the 90amp alternator, relays to handle lighting and other functions, LED interior lighting, and generally cleaned up and improved wiring.
Thanks to Robert Collins and Stewart Van Dyne, I recently obtained scans of Drake's build sheets for this motor:
- Volkswagen 1.9L 8-valve, built in 1985 by *Drake Engineering.
- Drake Stage 3 modified original 1975 solid lifter head.
- 82.5 bore, 90.5 stroke, 1938 cc, compression ratio: 9.6 to 1.
- 8V head with 40.5/34mm valves and .426/.240 Drake sport camshaft and adjustable cam pulley.
- Weber 32/36 DFEV progressive carburetor, original intake manifold, enhanced flow air cleaner.
High capacity oil pump, baffled 5 qt. pan, 10-row thermo controlled cooler, ss lines.
- Recurved Bosch vac/mech advance distributor, Pertronics electronic points, Bosch coil.
- Drake modified 11-bolt crankshaft to F & S pressure plate.
- Euro GTI exhaust manifold, Drake dual downpipe, catalytic converter
- Techtonics Tuning exhaust system with resonator and Borla muffler
- Horsepower: 143 bhp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 138 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm
- Page One
*Drake was a renown engine builder and tuner in Southern California since the early days of hotrodding in the 1930s. At one time their turbocharged Drake-Offys dominated the Indianapolis 500, and Drake motors won the race a total of 26 times. Drake never limited itself to Indy engines - BMW 320i, Mazda IMSA GTU, big block Chevys for race boats and Champ dirt track motors were produced. Their connection with the 8-valve water cooled VW motor began with success in the "Super Vee" racing series. Drake also produced variations of the VW motor for midget racing and later developed and sold a variant using a 16-valve head of their own design and manufacture.
I contacted Drake in summer of 1985 at their Irvine, California shop and talked numerous times with Robert Collins and later got to spend some time with Stewart Van Dyne (now of Van Dyne Engineering, Huntington Beach, CA and owns everything Drake). I believed that there was no substitute for cubic inches so I choose the 1.9 liter option. It took a few months to actually plunk down $3500+, but by the end of 1985, I picked up the finished motor and manifolds.
More Drake Information
Transaxle & Clutch
Five-speed FN transaxle, .71 5th gear ratio
Quaife Torque Biasing Differential.
Fichtel & Sachs 190mm sport clutch kit.
Custom fitted 83 GTI linkage with short shift kit.
Koni Sport suspension.
GMP anti-sway bars, 19mm, front & rear.
Drake upper and lower stress bars, front.
Drake poly/graphite suspension bushings, front & rear.
Scirocco 16V wheels with 195/60/14 Dunlop SP Sport A2 Plus.
Front: 10.1in. discs/stock pads/ss flex lines
Rear: 9.0 in. discs/stock pads/ss flex lines
Master cylinder/power brake servo/rear proportioning valves
(1987 Scirocco 16V)
Vehicle weight: Approximately 2010 lbs.Engine output: 74.3 horsepower/liter (1.2hp/CID).
Calculated Top Speed: 144 mph.
Fuel: Premium unleaded Oil: Valvoline Trans lube: Redline MT-90