Now look, I got “flewed out” to the Bay Area, and I saw a lot of cool cars there that you all probably find to be completely ordinary. You all are probably entirely tired of me posting 1980s-era econoboxes accompanied by extemporaneous stories. I get it! But, I don’t care. I took all these San Fransisco car pics, and ya’ll gonna see them, goddamn it!

Here’s this nifty old-school Volkswagen Jetta Mk2 parked on the side of the road, as if it drove straight out of 1988. 

  • Car: Volkswagen Jetta Mk2 (mid ’80s to early ’90s)
  • Location: San Fransisco
  • Photog: me (Kevin Williams- Twitter and Instagram: @gaytona_usa)
  • Camera: Canon EOS M

Back in high school (and middle school), I was a prolific forum poster, clogging up car forums with the inane know-it-allism that only a teenager could give. I’d annoy the crap out of the posters (who were also probably lying about their ages), with my “what should I buy for my first car?” threads that I’d somehow post every 14 days.

Look at This Incredibly Clean Mk2 Volkswagen Jetta Just Parked on the Street
Image: Kevin Williams

The Jetta III was on my radar, since all the classic auto journos elaborated on how “refined” it was compared to a Chevy Cavalier or Ford Escort. For me, buying Jetta would have been the ultimate act of parental defiance. My parents were dyed-in-the-wool domestic car fans, and kind of apprehensive to small cars as a whole. In my mom’s mind, a Chevy Caprice was what I needed, and even still, that car was probably too small.

The Jetta III’s platform is a heavy refresh of the Jetta II, I think. I could be wrong. The famed VW Corrado used the older A2 chassis, but with parts from the newer A3 chassis, so they can’t be super different.

These older Jettas have held up well — the tidy styling and good proportions still look somewhat modern, even when facelifted to hell, as evidenced by the Chinese market Jetta Pioneer. Fellow contributor Peter Nelson had one way back when, and he loved his.