By Michael Kitchens
Denley Agcaoili, affectionately known as “Danny Boy” in the VW scene, is a long time Bug aficionado. Danny’s love for the Beetle has been fostered from a family filled with VW enthusiasts. His first contact with the popular make of cars came from his father’s 1966 VW Beetle. His brothers, Noel & Albert, were the first to really take the plunge into modifying the car and the rest of the family followed suit, including Danny.
Although he learned a lot from his brothers, Danny didn’t own a VW until just after college. Having moved over from Kauai, he finally felt comfortable with purchasing his own. With the power of the internet, Danny had his eye on a beautiful 1956 VW Beetle Ragtop located in California.
“Every day, I’d be looking at it and my girlfriend just said ‘If you want it, just get it.’” says Danny. “So one day, after going back and forth with the owner, he told me it’s sold. I was bummed out.”
Time passed and Valentine’s Day rolled around. Danny’s girlfriend, Ama, asked for some help to pick up some boxes at Matson in Sand Island. While his girlfriend signed paperwork, his ears were piqued by what sounded like the instantly recognizable sound of a VW engine motoring towards him. With a glance at his girlfriend, her smirk sealed the deal and Danny knew that he had just received the greatest Valentine’s Days gift he’d ever received. Yep, you guessed it; it was that same VW bug he had been drooling over for weeks.
As soon as the shock had worn off, Danny transported the car back to Kauai with the help of his brother, and they began the build. After disassembling the car, it received both a re-paint and a re-upholstery. This bug features a 93 Mazda Silver Champagne custom paint job, immersed in oodles of clear coat by Mark Delapeina while the upholstery was handled by Eddie’s Upholstery. Although refreshed, the car was still missing something.
“I just wanted something different.” says Danny. In 2006 with the help of his friend Brad “Bubba” Parrow, he hit up mainland swap meets and began acquiring parts to really make his VW stand out from the local scene. After two more years of work, his VW finally came together to his liking.
“In 2008, I was done. I was proud. It can be never-ending, but I had to draw the line.” he says.
Danny prefers to let the car speak for itself. The quality in the build is evident as soon as you set eyes on it. Gorgeous, shiny pieces such as the mirrors, door handles, and trim work make the car dazzle under the light. In addition to a shortened beam, the car has polished Porsche wheels fitted with BF Goodrich Touring rubber on the rear and Nankang N-803s on the front. Also adding to his stopping power are Wilwood disc brakes on the front.
With the original engine pushing a massive 36 horsepower, more oomph was a definite must. Preferring NA over turbo, Danny had the engine massaged with a different case, a bigger crank, heads, carburetors, etc. to push out 120+ ponies. With an average body weight of about 1300 pounds, the extra power really helped bring the car to life. The entire bay is immaculate while the engine is clean and tidy.
Danny really appreciates the help from his brothers, Noel & Albert, as well as his buddy, Bubba, for all of the support and help in bringing this build to fruition. He also wants to thank his former girlfriend, now wife, Ama Nishi, for her part in making this dream come true.
“Without her, I wouldn’t have this car.” Danny says.