True car enthusiasts aren’t made by simply whiling away hours in a garage, but are instead born with a deeply rooted desire that relates to anything on wheels; they don’t look at automobiles as a hobby, but as a passion; and they proudly relate to the motto “built, not bought”. This month Desert Street Scene spoke with Rich Denslow, the owner of a 1993 Hyundai Excel that has been lovingly named DILLIGAF and is the pure embodiment of all that “built, not bought” stands for.


In the past five years that Mr. Denslow has owned the car, he estimates that 98% of all modifications and designs are not only dreamt up by his creative genius, but are also built by him. Admittedly, as his drive to push the limits of his designs increases, so does the amount of sacrificing that he needs to make. Since the DILLIGAF began its journey Rich has not only put a lot of money and time into this vehicle, but a bit of himself too, as during one modification he unfortunately lost part of his finger, and in the process of installing another modification he came very close to losing his eye. But it is all part of the experience for him as he takes the once standard Hyundai and continues to turn it into a D-lo Kustomz creation. However, even though the majority of the work done to this automotive rarity has been done by Rich, he does recognize the helping hands that he has had along the way. This is why he has chosen to throw in a shout out for the support he has received from Ken’s Polishing, Desert Street Scene, and from OZZAZ through their sponsorship, as well as from clubs like AZKDM, Frada Heights, Narcissistic, and StickyCrew.


Though the car may have been purchased within the past few years, the inspiration behind it is older than the vehicle itself is. 25 years ago (which was a point in Rich’s life that he coined as being his “mini-truck days”) his friend had walled a Hyundai with 2-15’s and 4-12’s, and after having seen it, ideas for the DILLIGAF began to form in Mr. Denslow’s mind, long before ever even seeing what would one day be his perfect project car. He originally purchased the old and beaten up vehicle for only a hundred dollars. It was green and still had its original, poorly kept interior, and didn’t run, but after fixing the timing belt, putting in a new ECM, doing some engine repairs, putting in a couple Infinity 10’s with an MTX amp, redoing the interior, lowering it, and giving it a paint job, it was good to go. Once all that hard work was done, the car was ready to be given to Rich’s son as a means for the teen to get to and from school, but by that point Rich was hooked on making the little oddball of a car a complete showstopper…and that’s exactly what he’s done. Since its purchase in 2009, the DILLIGAF has had many trophies bestowed on it, such as Best Import at the 2013 AZ Motor Trends, 3rd place Korean model at the 2013 Duel in the Desert, 1st place for audio at Import Faceoff in 2014, and was even awarded a DSS Favorite trophy at our toy drive last December, all thanks to the unique and creative mods that Mr. Denslow has put in.


While there is no doubt that you have seen this car at any given meet here in the valley and were probably drawn to it, it was most likely not due to what you saw, but more because of what you heard. Don’t mistake me, this car is nothing to be overlooked as he has changed the paint to a beautiful pearl white, installed blue under carriage lights, front and rear lips, rear hatch visor, tinted the taillights, modified and installed an AirSlamit FBSS Air Ride System, installed an OZZAZ iPhone Bluetooth controlled processor (which remotely controls the inside and outside lighting and airbags), put in new seats, headliner, a fiberglass dash, and designed and installed a custom reverse alarm, but what gets your attention is the sound this petite beast puts out. Staying true to his original idea, he has 6 15” subs walled at the B pillar in a 14cf box, which is a shared airspace custom box of his own design. Rich has also tucked away 4 Niche Audio 6.5” mids, 4 Niche Audio tweeters, 3 JL Audio JX1000/1D amplifiers, and a JL Audio 360/4 amplifier, all running off of the Deka 100ah battery he installed solely for his auxiliary components. All of this together means that you are in for a hell of an audio experience when you sit in the DILLIGAF and feel the music as the intense vibrations force the air out from your lungs. With so many great modifications already done we had to know two things from Rich: What was his favorite, and what’s next? He confided in us that while it is difficult to pin down just one, the audio has always been his favorite part of the car, which is why he has entirely redone it three times since last November! He’s constantly trying to outdo himself and push his imagination and automotive creation to all new extremes. And as far as the future? Rich mentioned another paint job, some more interior work, and an engine swap, but he’s keeping his big plans secret from even us, so that, like you, we can be just as amazed with what he comes up with next.


Article by: Kat Montgomery


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