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This Jeep is 50% Off-Roader, 50% Rat Rod, and 100% Awesome

Growing up, if I wanted to see big builds with proper budgets and craftsmen working on them, I would have to go out and beg my parents to buy me a custom car or truck magazine. Even then, you would often have to follow the build for months on end, getting multiple issues before seeing the final product. It seems like an antiquated system, but that wasn’t long ago.

In the time since, the internet has revolutionized the way people view and follow car and truck projects that require extensive modification. Where am I going with this? You can google just about any make and model followed by the word “build” and find someone modifying it and taking pictures along the way. But these builds all tend to find some consistency.

BMW tuners do certain things, while Nissan tuners prefer another. Similarly, Jeeps follow a pretty standard formula. Lift it, add accessories, and trick it out for mud, sand, rocks, or snow. Simple and consistent, everyone loves a good lifted Jeep. Given the volume and predictability of these builds, imagine my surprise when I see this custom Jeep Wrangler Unlimited from Bulgarian tuning house Vilner.

This Jeep is awesome! Right away I could tell something was different about it, but couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Then it hit me: I am not accustomed, at all, to Jeep Wranglers being treated like real, proper cars. Usually by the time I see them they are just stripped-out toys. In this instance, this jeep is anything but.

The exterior uses a trick long used by Rat Rod builders for years, making the outside seem aged without ruining the panels themselves. I love the detail Vilner went to in order to make the patine on the outside seem genuine. Everything from the door hinges to the antenna get the aged effects added on. Most new cars cannot pull this look off, but a body style as timeless as the Jeep has no problems there.

The interior is anything but shabby, and consists of different layers of brown leather and suede that make all of the pieces come together in a warm, inviting mix. It’s like an old hunting lodge on wheels. The leather bags on the rear seats and the leather pockets on the doors are an especially nice touch. If you look closely, you can even see a forged skull shift-knob that helps bring the Rat styling outside to the interior.

I am even more surprised that this whole look goes together without seeming totally ridiculous. There are Fox shocks underneath to help clear the 37″ tires. That means that, as pretty as this Jeep is, it may not see pavement long enough for you to get a look.

Categories: Tuner & Custom Cars

Ian Swan
About Ian Swan

I am a life-long car enthusiast and the proud owner of what is likely the only Mini Cooper S to have ever been hit by a Snow Cat. I live in Brooklyn, New York, where I spend too much time looking for neat cars.