1981 Volkswagen Scirocco S

Like other Volkswagen models of its era—namely the Jetta—the Scirocco derives its name from the wind; in this case, the Mediterranean Sirocco wind, which originates in the Sahara and can reach hurricane speeds in southern Europe. While the stock 1.7-liter 74-horsepower engine that powers the ’81 Scirocco S might not register on the Beaufort scale (the car tops out at a modest 111 mph), the Scirocco S proved to be a worthy replacement for its sports coupe predecessor the Karmann Ghia. The distinctive red VW badge and belt-line moulding set the Scirocco S apart from its standard model counterpart, along with a five-speed transmission, a front spoiler, and light alloy wheels. Visually and performance wise, it’s easy to see why VW customers at the time considered the Scirocco S a breath of fresh air.

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