The Mk1 Scirocco may have been prettier and the Corrado sleeker, but a handful of people still held the Mk2 Scirocco in high regard. Performance VW editor is one of them, and Dennis Geluck – owner of this modified MK2 Scirocco – is another!

I don’t know why, but I’ve always been a little embarrassed when people ask me what car I started my VW days with. It was, as you probably guessed, a Mk2 Scirocco. For the Anoraks among you, it was a 1988 1.8-litre Scala model finished in Sapphire Metallic with Dove Grey seats… and I loved it.

Okay, if I’m honest, I originally bought the car because I couldn’t get insured on a Mk1 Golf GTI (due to six points on my license) and I couldn’t afford to purchase a newer Corrado (due to the fine I received with said six points). It didn’t take me long to become hooked on Mk2 Sciroccos, though. I’d already started reading this very magazine and loved the dare-to-be-different cars it featured, especially the handful of Mk2 Sciroccos.

For some reason, we’ve probably featured less than a dozen Mk2s since Performance VW was launched way back in 1996. I’m probably going to get lynched for saying this, but the majority of people (not all) that choose to enhance the classic coupe seem to have questionable taste. Thankfully, the car we’ve come to talk about today, couldn’t be more on point. Is it the best looking modified Mk2 Scirocco to grace PVW? Well, let’s take a closer look…

side profile shot of modified Mk2 Scirocco

Dennis’s car history

Thirty-eight year-old Dutchman, Dennis Geluck arrived at his Scirocco in the total opposite way to me. “I bought my first VW, a Mk1 Golf, at just 15-years-old, and that was in pretty bad shape,” he confessed.

Dennis followed that up with a much cleaner red Mk2 GTI 8v, and has actually owned a string of red Golfs, before buying a black Mk5 GTI and then a blue Mk5 R32. The Scirocco came about some 17 years ago and this is actually the second makeover it’s had: “I actually got married to my wife, Cindy, in this car, but was never totally happy with the original transformation.”

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And its fair for Dennis to be a critic, as he’s been part of the modified water-cooled VW movement since way before he could legally drive one: “At the age of 12 I asked my mother if she would buy me a VW magazine, and she proceeded to subscribe to Performance VW and the German title, VW Speed, for me.” So, technically, Dennis has his mum to blame for his addiction to messing with Wolfsburg’s finest. This is clearly where his passion for tinkering came from, and after a short period of tuning his old scooter at the age of 15, he switched over to the cars full time.

BBS wheels

Mk2 Scirocco love

“Since I first saw a second gen’ Scirocco, I knew I wanted to own one. Everybody in my town drove Kaddett GSIs or Golf GTIs, but I fancied something different. One day, I was looking online, as you do, when I came across an original 1988 red Scirocco GTXII.” Needless to say, it didn’t take Dennis long to do a deal and for said car to be parked up in his narrow, single garage. “When I first bought it I wanted to modify it straight away, but I never intended to go quite this far with it.”

The thing with Mk2 Sciroccos, is that they were a stunning shape as stock, but the factory ride height never really complimented it. In fact, with the stock suspension, the cars did look a little bit awkward. Thankfully, Dennis was only too aware of this: “The first thing I did was put on some coilovers and aftermarket wheels. Even back then, 17 years ago, my inspiration for the build was to get it featured in my two favourite VW magazines!”

Restorinfront wheels on modified Mk2 Sciroccog the car before the modifications begin

It’s safe to say that once Dennis started delving a little deeper into his new car, it was in far worse condition than he’d first realised, so much of the first transformation was restoring the car and getting rid of any rust that might get worse over time.

For this, the car’s latest and most comprehensive incarnation, Dennis claims he worked for around 7 or 8 years on it, with two close friends, Patrick Pecase and Stefan van Deal. “I’d say we did around 80% of the work ourselves, mainly working with the car on a jack in a small garage,” he smiled.

To start with came the big strip down, which saw the car stripped to a bare shell. “We totally stripped it to bare metal, then cleaned the engine bay with lots of welding work to remove all the holes. The bay probably took the longest time to complete. Well, that and sourcing all the custom parts.” That’s the thing with the Scirocco, because it was never as popular as the Golf models, there were less aftermarket parts available off the shelf.

1.8T engine in modified Mk2 Scirocco

Fitting the 1.8T engine

Once the bay was sorted, it was time to temporarily install the 1.8T 20v turbo engine from an Audi A3. The AGU motor features a custom cold air intake with CNC’d holder for the MAF sensor, plus a hand-made 2.5” downpipe linked to a matching 2.5” system with Fox backbox.

After that, Dennis and co. ensured the engine was running perfect in the car, before it was all stripped out again and sent off to Makro Cars over in Hamm, Germany for paint. Obviously, it’s a far better idea to do it this way, rather than lots of messing about once the engine bay has been painted.

While the car was off being painted, Dennis sent off a load of the engine parts to be chromed or coated in carbon fibre, along with a number of interior trim parts.

close up shot of 1.8T engine

Chassis modifications on the Mk2 Scirroco

Next, attention moved to the chassis, where the air bags were fitted to each corner, the wheels went back back on and the lads could work out where and how much of the chassis leg would need notching to enable Dennis’s desired level of lows.

“We used the bags from MPS suspension which are 4cm shorter than standard up front, it has poly bushes fitted all round, plus we fitted adjustable camber plates in the front and drop plates on the rear axle with 5 degree camber,” Dennis told us. The BBS RS were originally from a Porsche 911 and their vital stats are now 8×16 and 8.5×16 with 195/40 Dunlop Sport SP9000 all round. G60 brakes on each corner with Staflex brake lines and 0 4 dash fittings wrap up the chassis mods.

steering wheel in modified Mk2 Scirocco

Interior changes on the modified Mk2 Scirocco

Inside, the floor was totally covered in sound deadener before the carpets went back in. Dennis then built a false floor in the boot to house the two compressors and large air tank for the air suspension.

With the Recaro CSs being quite an easy fix up front, next it was on to the rear seat, where a Mk6 GTI bench was narrowed by 12cm and modified to mount on the Scirocco’s original fixings.

air compressor tank

The Scirocco’s interior was always a bit futurist from the factory, but Dennis has further enhanced the cabin with a few choice parts that complement the Recaro buckets, Mk6 GTI bench and tartan fabric. Through the Spucknapf steering wheel, you’ll probably have spotted the Digifitz dash display (can’t remember seeing one of those in a Mk2 Scirocco before), although it was no doubt the TR Motoring short shifter you’ll have spotted first. There are numerous carbon details as you work your way around the interior, including door pulls and handles, window winders, handbrake details, seat runner covers and door sill as well as various trim caps. The cleaned air ride setup in the boot features dual Viair 444 compressors and a whopping tank all controlled by Air Lift 3p management.

rear side profile shot of modified Mk2 Scirocco

Exterior modifications and paint

It’s hard to believe that the Paprika Red colour the car was painted is the same shade it left the factory in. It’s amazing how different the Scirocco looks in general, especially when you consider how little has changed with the outside of the car. “There aren’t many body modifications done to the car,  except for the custom Passat two-bar grille I fitted.” It’s funny how much of a difference this makes alone, as not only does the grille have less slats, so looks more modern, it’s also wider, so loses the car’s original fog lights.

intercooler and radiator

Scirocco enthusiasts will have noticed the black bodykit that the GTX model came from the factory with has been colour coded red, although Dennis has chosen to retain the black bumpers, which tie in with the smoked indicators. The single wiper was taken from an ‘old Lancia’, and uses a Renault 5 motor which is hardly visible under the hood, even with the rain tray removed

Once the car came back from paint, the fun part was putting the big jigsaw puzzle back together. “The hardest part was mostly making all custom parts and figuring out how they would all work.” When we asked Dennis what his favourite part of the car was, he said the stance, but also the interior… and the engine. I think it’s safe to say, he loves the lot… and rightly so!

front on shot of modified Mk2 Scirocco

What’s next for the modified Mk2 Scirocco

“If I could go back and change something about the car then it would be the glass sunroof. It was already in when I bought the car 17 years ago, but it just looks out of place.” We get the feeling, knowing how Dennis operates, that this may well get sorted in the future. That being said, he also likes the idea of building a true performance VW next up: “I will always keep the Scirocco, but I like the idea of building another Mk2 Golf, but one with big power and four-wheel drive!” That will certainly be one to look out for, going by the quality of his Scirocco.

Dennis has taken the Scirocco to a few shows since it was completed early last year, but while he likes the attention the car gets, he doesn’t like the spotlight being directly on him: “I love that the car seems to inspire other people with their builds and turn heads, but I prefer to park the car up and go to look at what cars other people have built.” He goes on to defend his hobby: “To the people that don’t understand why we do this, we put our passion, emotions and soul in this hobby, just like some people will go to a museum to look at art. For me, a car show is the museum and the cars are our art.” We’ve never thought of it that way, but he’s got a valid point there.

rear 3/4 shot of modified Mk2 Scirocco


“Our hobby is great in that you’re never too old to modify a car, not like some sports. If you’re a petrolhead, there is no age that stops you from modifying.” We reckon if Dennis ever fancies a career change then he’d make a great automotive motivational speaker. Here end of today’s lesson…

Subscribe to Performance VW. Photos: Lennart Dijkstra.

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