About the Volkswagen Air-cooled Engine


The Volkswagen air-cooled engine is a flat-4 "boxer" engine with four horizontally-opposed cast-iron cylinders, cast-aluminium alloy cylinder heads and pistons, magnesium crankcase, and forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods. The engine is cooled by the controlled passage of air directly over the hot parts of the engine.

Variations of the Air-cooled VW engine were produced by Volkswagen plants worldwide from 1936 until 2006 for use in Volkswagen's own vehicles, including the "Beetle" (Type 1), Transporter or "Bus" (Type 2), the 1500 and 1600 (Type 3), and the 411 and 412 (Type 4). Volkswagen air-cooled engines were also widely used in industrial, aircraft, and home-built applications.

Originally, the VW air-cooled engine had a displacement of 1.1L (~1100cc) and was rated at a horsepower of 34bhp. This engine was used in Beetles and Transporters from 1945 to 1953. It was a reliable, if not under-powered engine that was gradually upgraded over the years to displacements of 1.2L (~1200cc), 1.3L (~1300cc), 1.5L (~1500cc), and ultimately 1.6L (~1600cc).

Upon its introduction in 1966, the 1600cc proved to be a near-perfect combination for the North American market in terms of fuel economy, reliability, and power. In 1971, the air-cooled 1600 was changed one last time to upgrade the long-standing single-port intake heads to a dual-port intake, increasing the horsepower to 50bhp.

Got Questions?... Ready to Order?

Are you ready to order your Genuine Darryl's air-cooled VW engine?

If you have any questions at all, please drop us a line. You can reach us 8:00am to 5:00pm CST, Monday through Friday at:

(417) 592-0936

Don't be surprised if Darryl himself answers. Sometimes he needs a break from building engines.

Or reach us by email at Darryl@DarrylsVW.com.

If you are in the neighborhood, feel free to stop in.

Genuine Darryl's Engine Features

Every Genuine Darryl's, Zero-mile Air-cooled Volkswagen® Engine Features:
  • NEW 043-style universal engine case for all conventional Type I and other upright air-cooled VW engine applications
  • NEW Autolina® dual-port heads for use with
    unleaded fuel - not reground
  • NEW Mahle® 'red box' pistons & cylinders
  • NEW 69mm German crankshaft - not reground
  • NEW Connecting rods
  • NEW Camshaft - not reground
  • NEW Mahle® solid lifters - not reground
  • NEW German OEM Kolbenschimidt® 
    main, rod, & cam bearings
  • NEW German Bruck® oil cooler
  • NEW Schadek® heavy-duty 26mm x 8mm oil pump
  • NEW Heavy-duty 9mm valve-adjusting screws
  • NEW Late-model large 18mm oil scavenge tube
  • NEW Front Crankshaft Pulley
  • NEW 200mm 4 Dowel Flywheel
Plus, No Core Exchange is Necessary!

Plus, Every Genuine Darryl's Classic Turnkey Volkswagen® Engine Features:
  • NEW Genuine Bosch® spark plugs, ignition wires,
    ignition points, rotor, & rotor cap
  • NEW Genuine Bosch® 'blue' coil
  • NEW '009'-style centrifugal advance distributor
  • NEW ALX82-style 12v alternator
  • NEW Bocar® 34-PICT 3 carburetor
  • NEW Bocar® fuel pump
  • NEW Danish muffler & heater boxes

Custom Upgrades Available

Darryl's offers lots of custom upgrades
  • Displacement - 1584, 1776, or 1835cc
  • Carburetion - dual Kadron
  • Ignition - Pertronix electronic
  • Exhaust - chrome or custom
  • Trim packages - chrome or OEM black
  • & lots more...
Most customizations and upgrades, listed or unlisted, result in additional cost. Please ask about price adjustments when ordering any custom configurations.

*The Not-So-Fine Print

All major components and critical internal parts in Genuine Darryl's air-cooled Volkswagen engines are brand new, first-quality parts. Occasionally, due to availability issues, some non-critical, non-mechanical parts like engine cooling tin, intake risers, nuts, bolts, etc. may be substituted with high quality, refurbished parts.

See, that wasn't so bad.