Monday, January 5, 2015

Interview: Marshall Foulds Bieber 1977 Scirocco Convertible GTI

Well we’ve been away for a few weeks over the holidays and are now back refreshed and ready for more rare cars. And what a way to start an ultra-rare Bieber Convertible Volkswagen Scirocco Mark 1 GTI no less. With my input on the Scirocco Register I got to interview the owner Marshall Foulds last year about the car and how he found it and what was needed to get it to the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show

It’s a rare conversion, have you been specifically looking for one?
Yes, I have been after this Mk 1 conversion for the past year or 2, put offers in for a couple, but just missed-out. I'm really happy with this car though. 

Where did you find it and what condition was it in? With it being a left hand drive I assume it meant a Euro trip?
I fetched it from Germany, last year. Condition, not great, but something to start with - not a rot-box, but welding quite rough. Interior really scruffy, with an incorrect gold velour suite from a later model. However, when I arrived to collect this car, there happened to be 2 for sale (both Biebers) - so I bought both - the second car will be much more of a challenge though! Converted by Bieber in factory, I hope to put a twist on this car.

How much of a restoration project was it? What work was involved in getting ready for the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show?
Restoration wise, it was totally stripped-out and re-sprayed in VW Ivory White (the car was originally white). Interior was re-trimmed in original VW red plaid, on original Scirocco tombstones. New front door cards, and stitching to rear, original Bieber door cards. New dash still to go in. A light service and replaced leaking oil-cooler. It was always my intention to get it on the road, for some fun before the end of summer, so not much time to restore thoroughly really.

Was there any part of the restoration that was particularly challenging or that you’re proud of?
The most challenging part was registering it with the DVLA, who seem to change their rules daily!! And sourcing it, of course - not easy as it's quite rare.

With this being an “aftermarket” conversion, have you been able to find out any of the history of this one being built?
In terms of the history - there was quite a comprehensive set of paperwork - full 'home-build' fitting instructions on '80's' photo-copies, German log book and full service history. The kit was installed by a body shop in Germany.

Did you find anything dodgy left over from the original build?
Totally 80's - a dodgy conversion all round! If I'd paid around £3000 for a bag of rubber seals, rough perspex, crude welding and body cuts, and a roof that looks like a tarpaulin and fits like a caravan awning, I'd be well upset - but in the 80’s, no doubt it was the bees knees!

Are there any future plans for the car?

Future plans? Engine detailing, clean up the engine bay etc. Sort out a few electrical gremlins which became apparent on its maiden voyage to the NEC! 

A big thanks to Marshall for letting us know about this fantastic Scirocco.
Also did you notice the cabrio model to match, Marshall even created that.

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