VW Type I Engine Cases – Change is In the Air


Production of the venerable VW “Beetle” engine case quietly ended in mid-2022 and, over the next 9 months, the worldwide supply of new cases dried up. I can assure you this is devastating news to Bug collectors and restorers, but for those with a VW Type-I engine conversion motivating their aeroplane, go ahead and shrug your shoulders and be on with your day, as cases are once more in production, though they bear the Motorav moniker, not VW’s.

VW’s requirement to produce replacement parts for the long-lived Beetle ceased in 2022, though its likely the engine cases were some of that last parts still produced under license from VW, bering the VW logo. (If you think Chevy is stamping replacement ’57 Bel Air fenders, think again.) That’s what will have Beetle enthusiasts up in arms; without cases bearing the coveted VW logo 100-point restorations are impossible and car values fall.

VW Type I engine cases now bear the Motorav logo, but are otherwise identical to the VW-branded cases, which went out of production in 2022.

The reason it doesn’t matter to the aviation community is that Motorav, the company that cast the cases for VW, has been given permission to continue to cast the same case, but without the VW logo. The 9-month production hiatus allowed the castings to be retooled. Cases are again flowing from Brazil and some of the first have already landed on US soil. I’ve see them and my initial reaction was that the surface of the new cases seems smoother than the VW-branded cases had been. If you’ve been waiting for a case or an engine kit, no matter which VW engine conversion you’ve chosen, your wait should be over soon.

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Kerry Fores
Kerry Fores was born and raised in Oshkosh, WI and was interested in homebuilding by age 12. Between 1998 and 2003 he scratchbuilt and polished a Sonex, which he named Metal Illness. Kerry logged nearly 500 hours in Metal Illness and was awarded Plans Built Champion at AirVenture 2006. Kerry is retired from a 21-year career at Sonex Aircraft, most of it dedicated to supporting builders. Kerry is on the web at thelifeofdanger.com.


  1. Hi, I’m interested to purchase engine for VW Bug , 1971
    Please let me know what’s the prices. And what should delivery 2 United States? Thank you

  2. I can tell you that many if not the majority of VW enthusiasts like myself don’t really care if it’s a VW stamped or not. We want it to be a strong, properly stamped case.
    Many of us still drive these cars and functionality matters most. Of course there are those who want totally correct restorations but they’d want original German date correct in those cases.
    People like me would use one of these cases in a heartbeat as long as they are quality.

  3. My biggest complaint (if you really want to call it that) is that we are flying with 75 to 80 year old engines. I I know that they were assembled later that that. I started flying in 1954 and we are still using engines that the design dates from that time. and some engines actually do. My dad operated a wholesale business and our delivery trucks got about 65-70k before overhaul and the blocks wore so much that you had to use a ridge reamer to pull the pistons out. Today the vehicles that do the same job will have over 200k and still be going strong. Vehicles of the 1950s, for example, would get 14-16mpg where the same vehicle today would get 35-40 mpg. EPA and foreign manufacturers forced the auto companies to dramatically improve their products. If we want avation to flourish as it did in past years we must make it more durable and more affordable. Lets face it, the engines we use are simple 4 stroke, 4 cylinder, air cooled engines, not unlike your lawnmorwer and theven they will run a couple of thousand hours. Any thoughts on this would good.


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