VW Jetta: Sometimes It's Hard to Even Give Parts Away

I felt like I was driving an Xzibit meme as I delivered VW Jetta parts in my Jetta Ute.

Justin Hughes

I couldn't get the image of Pimp My Ride's Xzibit out of my head as I drove up Route 12 to Keene, New Hampshire. "Yo, dawg, I heard you like Jettas, so I put Jetta parts in your Jetta." Our Volkswagen Jetta and utility trailer were loaded with parts I'd removed from the car during its Smyth Performance Ute conversion this past summer.

The original idea had been to sell these parts, most of which were in perfectly good condition, before I removed them from the car. The back doors were great, except for one lock module that was draining the battery (remove the door, problem solved). The trunk lid was decent and had the desirable Wolfsburg Edition wing with an integrated LED brake light. All of the interior bits, including the back seat, were in great shape. So ever since stripping the back half of the car in June, I've been posting these up for sale on Craigslist and local VW groups, including pictures and a detailed list of available items, all of which are from the back of the car.

Ever since then I've had a steady stream of inquiries for parts—from the front of the car. Front fenders have been the most common requests, along with the radiator support, bumper, and other pieces. I half sarcastically replied to these stating that I'm still using those parts. During the nearly six months I tried to get rid of these parts, not a single person contacted me asking for parts I actually had, which were clearly listed and pictured in the ads.

In the end, I had trouble even giving these parts away for free. Even with a price of "take my parts, please," nobody wanted them. As the calendar flipped to November, I realized that I needed to reclaim this space in the garage to store our motorcycles over the winter, and so that we could park my wife's car inside. The pile of parts had to go, one way or another. I began looking up local scrapyards just to take the extra parts off my hands, regardless of any money I'd get for them. But I hated the idea of just throwing all of these perfectly good parts away.

Justin Hughes

In the end, my friend Jonah, who runs his own shop in Keene, New Hampshire, agreed to take my Jetta parts collection off my hands. He works on a lot of these cars, and the inventory of spare parts would be useful to have on hand. The Jetta's exhaust recently broke—again. So rather than try to patch the old rusty pipes together myself, I took the Ute, loaded with its own former body and interior parts, up to him for a shiny new exhaust that I won't have to worry about. I felt like a rolling Xzibit meme as I drove there in my Jetta full of Jetta parts, hoping that I wouldn't get pulled over (again) for my loud exhaust and/or loaded down vehicle. Despite passing every cop in my hometown, I had no trouble. After dropping off the car and its parts, I went home feeling good that the parts I had trouble even giving away would be put to good use.

I did keep the back seat, though. That'll make an excellent couch for the garage.

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