Junkyard Gem: 1997 Volkswagen Jetta Trek Edition

Murilee Martin


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Volkswagen began the 1990s with designer-edition cars, then had a fling (in Europe) with Golfs co-branded with Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, and Bon Jovi. Later in the decade, it appears that focus-group research led Volkswagen of America to believe that Golf and Jetta buyers tended to enjoy sporty outdoor activities, which led to cars being sold here with matching skis or bicycles. We'll follow up the discarded K2 Edition Golf we saw recently with this Trek Edition Jetta in Colorado.

Trek is a Wisconsin-based bicycle company that became extremely popular among American mountain bikers during the 1990s, and so VWoA made a good move by creating the Trek Edition Jetta and Golf for the 1996 and 1997 model years. Buyers got a pretty decent Trek mountain bike to match the car, plus a roof rack to haul it to the nearest riding locale (here in Denver, you're likely to find Lemons racers riding pink Barbie Edition Huffys in such locales).

The '96 Trek Jetta got very busy seat fabric depecting basketball players and dancers, but the '97s received these more dignified Trek-monogrammed seats.

While the Trek bike had a 21-speed clutchless manual transmission (technically speaking, it's a seven-speed with a dual-ratio overdrive), the derailleur-based gear-change system turned out to be ill-suited for car use. In 1997, American Jetta buyers could choose between a five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic. This car has the five-on-the-floor (sadly, no five-on-the-tree was available).

The bicycle and its roof racks are long gone, of course, though the original owner's manuals will remain with the car to the very end.

Here's an innovative field-expedient solution to rattly side glass.

I've noticed that Bayside Breeze has been closing in on Black Ice and New Car Scent as the most popular Car-Freshener Little Trees found in junkyard cars.

It would be fun to own a Jetta Trek bicycle, though I think I'd prefer a Lexus F Sport bike (seen here in a Yokohama dealership with matching Lexus golf clubs, last year). The $10,000 price tag feels a bit steep, though.

 

Here's some 1990s nostalgia for you.

The Jetta Spin-Dry seemed promising, but never went into production.


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