No bonnet

Blackjack Cars currently do not supply engines, gearboxes, wheels, tyres and batteries. There are many suppliers for these items, choice and prices vary, perhaps to the buyers advantage. The following text is intended to provide guidance when looking for those suitable parts for building your Blackjack Zero.


The Engine

For most people building a Zero the purchase of an engine will require balancing cost, performance and durability. For this reason we recommend whether new or re-manufactured, a Type 1 VW 1600cc with big valve heads fitted with a large volume oil pump and the crankcase drilled and tapped for an external oil filter. In addition, performance would benefit from a lighter fly wheel and a fast road camshaft. Other essentials are as follows; an external oil cooler adaptor, large port gaskets for exhaust and inlet manifolds, a starter motor, a clutch kit with release bearing, a remote filter, a crankshaft pulley, (130mm) with timing marks, a Bosch 009 distributor with contact breakers and condenser, and a Bosch blue 12 volt coil for a Beetle. Two recommended options for the engine would be a pair of aluminium tappet covers and a set of stainless steel pushrod tubes.

All the above parts can be obtained from Paruzzi in Holland and there are other suppliers. The engine in our prototype was supplied by Paruzzi, they were polite and efficient and we were pleased with their quality and service. Paruzzi In Holland; 0031 113 503 555. Website; www.paruzzi.com

The Gearbox.

On the subject of gearboxes, the right one for a Zero was originally fitted in the 1302S Beetle (1970 – 1972.) This Beetle had trailing wishbone rear suspension unlike its predecessors, with swing axles. The main difference was that the later car had much less camber change making it safer. A 1302S gearbox/transaxle has bolt together drive flanges which on a Zero connect to bespoke Golf driveshafts.

 When used in the Zero (front wheel drive) the 1302S gearbox requires a small modification to reverse the direction of the drive. In the case of a re-manufactured box, the supplier will probably be willing to undertake the modification. It is a fairly simple procedure involving the removal of the drive flanges and side covers and swapping them left to right so that the crown wheel is no longer on the same side as the oil filler plug but on the opposite side.

 The job can be undertaken by a careful amateur and if necessary making sure that new gaskets are used and new seals are fitted to the drive flanges when reassembled.

 This gearbox can also be supplied by Paruzzi as well as other specialist VW Beetle parts suppliers.


If you’re interested in tuning and the potential of VW air-cooled engines, a fascinating book to get is ‘AIR COOLED VW ENGINE INTERCHANGE MANUAL’ by  Keith Seume (Bay View Books ISBN 1 870979 79 6) – after market options have taken VWs original 1131cc unit out to capacities of over three litres and a turbocharged 600 plus bhp!!!



Suitable wheels for a Zero are a popular after market size. They are 17” diameter and 7” wide (inside the well.)       Offset is 38mm (bolt face to rim centre.)        Fixing bolt PCD is 100mm.         Fixing bolt thread is 12mm x 1.5mm, thread lengths  25mm.     Fitting reference VW Golf Mk 2.   12 bolts required.

 There are many styles available in this size of wheel. Check the weights, the lighter the better, and shop around for a good price. Try your local motor factor as well as magazine adverts.

Our car is fitted with KN wheels RLR 7 x 17 (silver.)



205/40 ZR 17 – must be e-marked.

Our car is fitted with Ventus sport K104s.



12 volt/35 Ah.    Length 200mm, width 130mm, height 160mm not including terminals.

The terminals are flat lugs with 8mm hole. The battery that you require will be gel-filled or sealed acid. Battery prices are very competitive, shop around for a good price.

Batteries deteriorate with long periods of storage, don’t buy a battery until you need it.

Our car is fitted with polar power PPC12v35