1990 Volkswagen Scirocco Scala Mk2

1990 Volkswagen Scirocco Scala Mk2

How many thirty-something Dubbers can say they still own their first car? Well, Swiss Scirocco fan, Kewin Coelho can go one better as he still owns the original family car bought in the early 90s when he was just two!

Words: Elliott Roberts

Photos: Alexandre Cavrois


Swiss Mk2 Scirocco 16v — Family-owned from new! Never raced, rallied but has been rolled… and then restored

1990 Volkswagen Scirocco Scala Mk2

Light, want to know a secret? You can keep a secret, can't you? Okay, here goes. I didn’t start my VW days behind the wheel of something cool like a Golf GTi or even a Callook Beetle. No, it was actually driving a Mk2 Scirocco Scala. Talk about left-fi eld, but you know what, I loved that car? And yes, I bought a Scirocco by choice, too.

1990 Volkswagen Scirocco Scala Mk2

Okay, initially, I wanted a Mk1 GTI but, with six points on my license, couldn’t afford the insurance and a Corrado was just too expensive to buy in the first place. So, I guess the Scirocco was my third choice, but that didn’t stop me loving it and I still have a soft spot for them to this day, as does 32-year-old Kewin Barbosa Coelho, owner of the 1990 Scala 16v you see gracing these very pages. The Montreux resident’s story is a little different to mine and began a little earlier in his life, too: “The car was originally purchased in Switzerland in 1993 by my father and it’s never left the family,” he continued: “I was just two year’s old when the car originally arrived home and I’m 32 today.”

1990 Volkswagen Scirocco Scala Mk2

While the family did have a practical car for daily duties, when it came to special family outings, or some of the many trips they would make to Portugal, then they would always take the Scirocco: “I remember as kids my brother and I would call it our ’race car’ as my father always drove fast in it, or at least it felt fast as kids," he laughed.

1990 Volkswagen Scirocco Scala Mk2

In 1995 the family moved to Portugal and the car was registered there. Then, in 1998 the Coelho clan returned to Switzerland, but the Scirocco remained ‘abandoned’ in Portugal. My dad did finally return the car to its native Switzerland, but sadly he hardly drove it then,” Kewin admitted. Come 2009, however, this lack of use would soon change as not only did Kewin gain his driver’s license, his father also gave him the car because he knew just how fond he had been of it over the years.

Over the years Kewin had picked up the occasional tuning magazine and began getting the modified bug online, so naturally, it wasn’t long after he passed his driving test that he began tinkering with the Scirocco… as you do! “I’d learnt that the best way to modify was by saving and buying the best products you could first time around, so I fitted a set of KW coilovers to the car myself, along with the obligatory staggered 15” BBS RM split rims… oh, and Scirocco decals which ran along each side of the car.” Naturally, with the car looking pretty special, Kewin then began attending a number of tuning shows in Switzerland and neighbouring countries France, Germany and Italy.

Modified Mk2 Scirocco life was all going pretty damn well, right up to the winter of 2014 when Kewin had a pretty monstrous accident and the car ended up on its roof! “It was such a low point for me, especially with all the memories and sentimental value the car had for me… there was no way I could scrap it.” Thus, Kewin spent the next couple of years sourcing all parts he would need to repair his beloved car. Once all the bits were gathered together the car was sent off to a local bodyshop for repairs and a full respray in a Mercedes shade of white. This has got to be the first car that we’ve featured which has actually been rolled and repaired before the feature (Carl Taylor’s rolled Audi S4 doesn’t count as that hadn’t been repaired when we featured it back in the day — All).

While the car was off the road to be repaired, Kewin also took that time to rebuild and refresh the car’s original 16v engine, it would need doing further down the road and so once is was back on the road he could get straight back to enjoying and using it. “The car finally went back on the road in the Summer of 2019 and it looked like a new car. “Come February 2020 I decided it was time to give the car’s modifications a little upgrade, so I fitted an air suspension kit, plus 16” BBS RS wheels and a BBS Motorsport decal on each rear quarter panel.” The transformation was finally complete and the car looked bang up to date! “Fitting the air ride means I can also drive the car pretty much anywhere. It can roll low, but I can raise it up to get over obstacles. It’s the perfect all rounder.”

All along Kewin wanted to retain as much of the car’s original style and not deviate too far away from the factory set-up, hence the minimal modifications. It’s funny, because a lot of people favour the Corrado model, but Kewin has proven just how good the Mk1 Scirocco can look, with effectively just air and wheels fitted. Being a car that few people still own, let alone modify, means Kewin gets plenty of comments when he’s out and about in the car: “I get compliments and good comments from people on social networks and in real life. I’m often stopped by people in the street who want to see the car and tell me about their childhood memories in similar vehicles. It’s great…”

As for future plans, Kewin said he might look at fitting slightly wider lips to the wheels, but other than that the car will remain the way it is. That’s not to say he’s finished with his Scirocco antics, though. Far from it: “I actually have three other Sciroccos which I plan to restore and modify over the next few years.” You don’t fancy building one for us, do you, Kewin?

“I actually have three other Sciroccos which I plan to restore and modify over the next few years”

A day Kewin won't forget in a hurry. December 5th, 2014. One small lapse of concentration and the car was on its roof…

Scirocco Scala Timeline

  • 1993 Kewin pictured with his mum in Spain during the Summer of '93 on route to Portugal…
  • 1997 This shot was taken in Portugal in '97 and is of Kewin's brother posing with the family whip…
  • 2000 The family moved back to Switzerland in 98 but the car remained in Portugal till 2001…
  • 2003 Here Kewin is photographed with his younger brother back in Switzerland during the winter of '03
  • 2014 Fast forward to 2014 and Kewin not only owns the car but has put his own spin on it, too… Note BBS RMs!
  • After flipping the Mk2 Scirocco on its roof, most people would have scrapped the car, but it held too many memories for Kewin…
  • …so, instead, the car went off to a local bodyshop where it was painstakingly repaired with genuine parts…
  • …and finally repainted in the freshest coat of white that Kewin could find, which happened to be a Mercedes shade…
  • …and finally, having put so much into the repairs the car was revamped as well!
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