Normally when you take your wheels to an aftermarket shop that is because you want to spruce it up and add some bells and whistles. Occasionally, as in this case, a customer requests Vilner to go reverse and un-glamorize his vehicle. This special rat rod-ish project, named Jeep Wrangler Hunting Unlimited By Vilner is received by Art Studio Vilner’s Chinese department from an outdoorsy and hunt happy sculptor. The customer wanted his Hunting Wrangler to have a raw and robust look, created by using only the top quality natural materials. That goal is achieved by a combination of metal and leather.
It seems the owner is also a fan of pirates or maybe not. He asked Vilner to decorate the gear knob with a handmade brass skull – to symbolize the transience of life, he is, after all, a hunter. Brass is also used on air vent bezel and for the door handles. There is a speakeasy feel to the interiors thanks to the natural leather wrap.
The seats are covered in a special darker “Old Tobacco” vintage leather. An artificially aged lighter-shade leather is used for the street wheel – which we were told has to do with that “transience” thing again. This owner is little too spiritual for a hunter!
The exterior is all covered in mud – permanent mud but not the real thing. Vilner artists achieved the rusted look by stripping the surface paint to expose bare metal. They then treated the metal to rust, afterward sealed it with clear coats using special techniques. The Wrangler’s off-road capabilities were enhanced by adding FOX suspension parts, boosting its suspension travel, higher ground clearance, a set of 37-inch ВF Goodrich Krawler T/A rock crawling tires and а powerful Warn winch.
The Jeep Wrangler Hunting Unlimited By Vilner also received a matching set of natural vegetable-tanned bags for hunting equipment. The 2012 AWD Wrangler is powered by a standard 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar engine, good for 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet (353 Nm) of torque. As is the case with Vilner, they don’t tell us how much it cost to get a makeover. My guesstimate for this project is between $25,000-$30,000. The heart wants what it wants – even for a spiritual hunter.