Mk1 – Champagne Edition

To celebrate the manufacture of the 1,000,000th Golf, VW of America launched a range of Champagne Edition special models in 1977. The Scirocco being amongst them.

Text from the Champagne Edition brochure.

Scirocco is the racing Volkswagen. (Racing may not be your reason for owning a Scirocco. But if performance, assurance and excitement are, you’ll find it in the Champagne Edition Scirocco!) It comes with a Platinum Metallic exterior. Special sports stripes at the beltline. And a unique rally-type rear window rear window wiper and washer.

In Scirocco’s Champagne Edition interior, we’ve added special sports seats-regarded by many sports car connoisseurs as “the finest in the world”. Together with the rear seats, they have been fitted in cloth with black/red plaid inlays and supple leatherette sides. Matching red high-cut-pile carpeting covers the floor, as well as the trunk and trunk cover. Even door panels and interior side panels have been custom-fitted in red to make this an exceptionally handsome-looking car.

Our Champagne Edition Scirocco adds a new, higher degree of elegance to a sporty racing machine that is as fast and powerful as the desert wind it’s named after. Scirocco, 1976 Trans-Am champ in the under-2-litre class.

Scirocco combines front-wheel drive, rack-and-pinion steering and a unique 4-wheel independent suspension to insure traction, maneuverability and outstanding handling.

Scirocco’s overhead-cam 1.6 litre engine makes response immediate. It propels you from zero to 50 in an amazing 7.5 seconds. The same engine delivers noteworthy fuel economy too; 24mpg in the city /37 on the highway, according to 1977 EPA estimates.

Scirocco is more than a sports car. It’s a surprising 2+2 as well. Its sleek, aerodynamic styling combines good looks with intelligent planning. Scirocco allows all the room you need for luggage, golf bags, scuba equipment or folding bikes. And, like another great sports car, the Porsche Turbo Carrera, Scirocco offers fuel-injection as standard equipment.

In short, Scirocco’s everything you could ask for in a sedan. And more than you thought possible in a sports car. All at a reasonable price.

Champagne Edition II

Special Scirocco Champagne Edition II interior. Seat cloth is corduroy, front and back. Special black instrument panel includes factory installed AM/FM stereo radio. Reclining bucket seats are specially built for “Champagne Edition II” Sciroccos.

Text from the Champagne Edition II brochure.

It goes as good as it looks.

There are only a few fine sports cars around anymore. Scirocco is one of them. Trouble with most sports cars, they ask you to compromise. Give up “traveling room” in the back seat. Forget trunk room for the things you want to carry along. Endure a rough ride. (Isn’t that part of the sport?)

Scirocco is different.

It’s a fuel-injected, front-wheel-drive sports coupe. Under the gleaming Scirocco body, Styled by Giugiaro, is the transverse mounted fuel-injected overhead camshaft engine. There’s front-wheel drive, with engine weight directly over the driving wheels for superb traction and directional control. Plus rack-and-pinion steering, sport shocks, 4-wheel independent suspension, power-assisted front disc brakes – all to give you precision, and reassuring control.

The exterior colour is brilliant Alpine White, with special sports stripes, and dramatic contrasting black touches everywhere. We’ve even added a rear window wiper/washer.

We’ve also added special front rally bucket seats, along with a factory-installed stereo radio.

EPA rates Scirocco’s trunk bigger than 50 others!

Hard to believe – until you open Scirocco’s trunk and load it up – with sports equipment, camping gear, luggage. Fold the rear seat forward and load even more.

Finding attributes like performance, handling, room, a superb ride – and now sporty elegance in a Champagne Edition II Scirocco-may seem too good to be true. But it is true in every sense-if you hurry to your VW dealer’s showroom right now. Scirocco. The total-performance car that fits so many lifestyles, elegantly.

VW uncorks the Champagne Edition II – Volkswagen does it again!

Scirocco. The elegant sports car.

Sciroccos know their way around some of the most competitive tracks in the country. They’ve “shown the way home” innumerable times.

For most Scirocco owners, our sports car delivers everything they could ask for in a Grand Touring Car – and much more than they thought possible in a sports car. Now you can join them in a very special Champagne Edition II version, with superbly comfortable rally bucket seats in the front. These are the ones many connoisseurs regard as the finest in the world.

And, if you hurry, you’ll even have a choice of a Champagne Edition II with either fully synchronized 4-speed manual or optional, smooth shifting 3-speed automatic transmission, But do hurry, Champagne Edition II Sciroccos will sell fast.  

Many thanks to Doug.T for the following information.

The 78 Scirocco Champagne and very similar “Sidewinder II” special editions offered to the US on November 11th 1977 were sport packages similar to the “Storm” (UK) or 80 “S” versions but did not use the “S” in the name nor did they have the displacement of the other sport Sciroccos. The Sidewinder II special edition and 78 Champagne followed 1975’s little known Sidewinder 1 and Super Scirocco (1976.5). The Sidewinder II can be considered the precursor of all later, high-performance Sciroccos but…..
like just about every Scirocco special edition right up to the 16V, this one was all looks, with no added power or handling. It featured a trim package, black bumpers, a slick air dam and a sport Interior, but none of the underpinnings like suspension Improvements or a hotter motor. All the 78s in the US had a 1.5L (1457cc. 1.6L block de-stroked and under-bored to get better gas mileage.) motor with the 4 speed. The small motor put out near the same power (71 HP at 5800 rpm) as the 77 1.6 in the 48 state cars but the California 1.5 version put out less. Top speed was 103 MPH with a 0-60 at 11.6 sec and 25-38 listed MPG. It was the smallest engine ever put into a Rabbit or Scirocco in the US. This was during the skyrocketing gas prices($1.00/gal!!). All US models before and after 1978 had larger engines.

The biggest difference between the Sidewinder II and the Champagne was the hood and rocker stickers. The Sidewinder had the center portion of the hood blacked out and a snake with an extra logo was added to the rocker panel and “C” pillar. The sidewinder name was given because of the trans-axel layout of the motor and VW attempted to play it up. The Champagne was a bit nicer with out the extra snake and hood detail. The 78 stripe kit, black trim on the edges of the windows and along the top of the front fenders and rear hatch, was available on the Champagne and SW II editions only. Later US S versions had a stripe kit too but the design was different. The Champagne and SW II editions were the only MK1 Sciroccos in the US that did not have the lower door ding strips.

The most unique part on the Champagne is the “white cat” rear and front badges. They were only offered on the 78 Champagne. The grill had no chrome trim like the standard 78 models. All of the 78 Sciroccos had a unique driver’s side mirror that was used for one year. It was the first version of the remote control side mirror. The optional passenger side mirror (not RC) is a unique 78 shape design too. The 78 driver’s mirror and the inner door panel were redesigned for the 79 model year because the mechanism was clumsy and expensive.

The Champagne edition has very nice attractive Champagne only seats with a small tooth pattern in the center seat cushions. The bolsters are black. The sport seats were a Recaro look a-likes with separate adjustable headrest, vinyl seat backs, cloth side bolsters (non-adjustable), and “Special Corduroy Seat Covering” (corduroy center sections). The dash was all black, missing the two inset trim plastic parts that were silver on the 77 and wood on the standard 78. The Scirocco badge on the passenger side of the dash was deleted on this version. The 78 CE had a textured black instrument cluster later used on the S. The speedometer went to 100 MPH. The tac had no water LED. Black carpet was standard on that model. The interior did have a white headliner and chrome door levers.

The heater is the older version with out the rotary control for fan settings (light weight if you don’t have AC) The seat belts fastened to the chassis in the center between the seats and not to the seat like the later models. The plastic cover on the top of the shoulder belt have the VW and Audi logo molded in to it and the seat belts are just a little different than the later cars.

The Zender designed front air dam with the rectangular openings on either side which tapered to round holes pointed at the front brakes was introduced on the Champagne version. The front end was restyled, and wraparound polyurethane bumpers were added. The 78 was the first year with black trim on the top of the tail lights and the car had the new plastic rear “L” plate mount/ rear cover between the tail lights. The rear wiper was standard on the 78 and hatch was re tooled to accommodate the wiper and motor.

The window trim is more like the later versions but the lower aluminum strip in the rear ¼ side windows is split like the 77. The black anodize did fade to silver and or gray quickly. The one piece black door handles were only used on the 78 Champagne and S models. Many of the 78s had the removable door reinforcement bars. The gutter rail cover is metal and has two rivets holding it place vs. the 80 that had the plastic. The rear hatch lock was upgraded on the 78 to have a finger catch that was not on the 77 and earlier models.

Some but not all C edition versions had vent wings. The C edition came with or with out AC. My 78 C edition had AC.

The chassis on the 78 is more like a 77 than an 80 even thou the 78 and 80 look the same due to the wrap around turn signals and “B” pillar trim and black covered plastic bumpers. The trim parts in the trunk will not fit from an 80 or 81 as well as the parts from a 76-78 will.
The rear shock towers are smaller on the 78 than the 80.

The breaks on the 78 are the older version. The lines, and knuckles pre date the ones on the 80. The gas tank filler and vents are the older style but still better than the carburetor gravity feed gas tank.
The headlight wire harness is different on the 77-79 cars and you will find ground stars mounted on the frame on many models.

It is very typical for a 78 white Champagne (The C E only came in white) Scirocco to have surface rust (on the upper body). The white paint on the 78 absorbs water according to a dealer I spoke to many years ago. In 1979 VW changed to a different paint to stop the rust problem. Owner’s should remove all the paint, windows and stickers on the car and start with new primer and paint. The windshield gaskets are very poor on that year and
often crack letting water in to the window seat that then rusts. It is very common for a 78 to have bad rust on the rear hatch near the glass. The brake lines are under the front carpet and tend to cause corrosion and cause brake failure.