You Haven’t Seen a Thing Like This Leather-Wrapped VW Thing

Talk about custom.

byChris Teague|
Builds photo

Wrapping cars is nothing new but lately, it's seen a surge in the tuner community as people look to change the style of their car in a cinch. From a rusted-out, post-apocalyptic motif to a full-on covering of camo, it's easy to make your ride look like something completely different. No one else in the scene has anything on this Hungarian upholstery shop, though. Pepita can take your car’s boring interior to the next level with some premium hides or better yet, it can wrap your entire car in the stuff, as it has done with this Volkswagen Thing.

 As ridiculous as it is, this Thing appears to be a rolling spokesmodel to showcase the shop’s leatherwork skills. After all, it’s hard to imagine that such an undertaking would be done for a practical reason. The Thing’s 46-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder struggles enough as it is, and adding yards of heavy leather to the vehicle won’t improve that situation at all.

Every piece you touch, as well as the ones you don't, are covered in expertly stitched leather. The fenders, the hood, the doors, the trunk, and all of the interior get the treatment, albeit in tastefully contrasting colors between the exterior and the cabin. After all, the bright hide would be a bit much to wrap the whole Thing in. Instead, it pulls off a subtle, up-class look with Porsche wheels, machine-finish door handles, and a lowered suspension.

The same 'ol familiar parts that make the Thing so unique are still in place, from the convertible top to the folding windshield. This example is a far cry from what Volkswagen originally had in mind, though, as it built the air-cooled car for military use. It started selling the car to Average Joes in the early 1970s, but changing safety standards in the U.S. meant its sales run was short-lived.

Their uniqueness has led to the growth of a dedicated collector group over the years, but it’s hard to imagine any of them had the stroke of genius that Pepita did. After all, what better showpiece than one that's too slow for the interstate, but too nice for an open-air parking lot?


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