Toyota made the Scion brand available in North America for the 2004 through 2016 model years, hoping to lure some younger buyers to the products of a company best known for sturdy machinery that renders its drivers invisible for 400,000 miles. Well, that didn’t work out so well, but plenty of Scions found homes with their intended demographic once they reached their third or fifth owners.
I’ve been seeing Scions in wrecking yards for a few years now, mostly wrecked xAs and xBs, but the only one (prior to today) that I felt worthy of Junkyard Find status has been the amazing Devil Vampiress 2005 xB. Now I’ve found this lovingly customized 2005 Scion tC in a Denver U-Pull yard, and I thought it was worth sharing.
You can tell from all the stickers that this car’s final owner wasn’t some sort of AARP-joinin’ Lexus ES buyer. Ever since the State of Colorado legalized recreational cannabis, an ever-higher (get it?) percentage of junkyard cars sport cannabis-related stickers, in addition to the brewery and snowboard-shop stickers they already had. If you’re young and you drive a modified early-
20th 21st-century sport-compact car, you need to show your devotion to Mary Jane.
If Toyota had just thought to pre-load these cars with the dash covered with multi-layered stickers, maybe some young people would have bought them new.
The bumper covers have been swapped with those from a (presumably junked) light-blue tC, which ended up looking pretty good for a far smaller investment than one of those furious fiberglass body kits. I see a lot of these “R.I.P. Paul Walker” vinyl stickers in Denver junkyards, so I’m guessing they’re available at all the finer vape and glass shops in the city.
This is the cheap “monospec” version of the first-year tC, which was a great deal for what you got: 161 horsepower, five-speed manual transmission, thumping audio system, and those cool side mirrors with the Mars Base lights.
Speaking of which, the rainbow spray-paint job gave this car a unique personal touch.
The body damage doesn’t seem particularly severe (and may have taken place after the car entered the wrecking-yard ecosystem), so I’m guessing that powertrain problems doomed this car. With the digital odometer, we have no way of knowing how many miles it traveled during its 14 years on the road.
Only the first three Fast and Furious films had come out when this commercial aired, but their influence on what Scion’s marketers hoped for the brand’s image was unmistakable.
Meanwhile, the marketing for tC’s European sibling (or maybe first cousin), the Toyota Avensis, aimed at young wannabe executives instead of young wannabe street racers.