Junkyard Gem: 1996 Volkswagen Jetta Trek Edition

The mountain bike that came with it is long gone.

  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
The third-generation Volkswagen Jetta sold well in the United States, and VW went for the mountain-bike enthusiast market in 1996 by working with Trek Bicycles to issue a special Trek Edition Jetta. This car came with a matching Trek mountain bike plus roof racks to haul the bike to the nearest mountain. You don't see many Volkswagen Trek Edition cars (or bikes) these days, but I was able to find this '96 in a Northern California self-service wrecking yard.

The seat fabric in the Trek Edition Jetta (which was joined by a Trek Edition Golf in 1997) showed stick-figure athletes being sporty, against a backdrop of extremely 80s-looking pastel-colored geometric shapes.

The bicycle racks are gone now, as is the Trek bicycle itself, but the Trek badging tells us that this is a very rare junkyard find.

Few thieves bothered to steal factory audio equipment by this time, but the German manufacturers still included frustrating anti-theft code features in their radios. If you can't find the code in a junkyard car, you probably won't be able to make the radio work.

Manual transmissions in European cars were still commonplace in 1996, though you can see the decline of the three-pedal American-market German car when you look at junkyard inmates made a few years later.

The Jetta Shepherd looked like a fine idea.

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