Richard Oakes is one of the oldest car designers in the UK and has been creating classics since the 1970s. Coming from a family of designers, his father designed logos for famous brands like Rolo and Quality Street. In 1996, Oakes decided to strike out on his own to create his line of “Blackjack Cars.” The first in this series was the Blackjack Avion, which was a three-wheeler with two front wheels and one rear wheel.

The production of these so-called blackjack cars ran from 1996 to 2004, and 69 of the cars were built. As of 2013, no new Blackjack cars have been released, but in this article, we will cover the modern look of Richard Oakes's Blackjack Cars. Here is what you need to know about the fresh look of Richard Oakes’ design that debuted in 2006.

Man Driving Car credit Herve Unsplash
Man Driving Car credit Herve Unsplash

Why did Oakes opt to name his car kits Blackjack? We can’t say for sure. Perhaps he’s a gambling man with a passion for the game. The latest model, called the Blackjack Zero, can be likened to the evolution of blackjack. Much like this classic Oakes design, the game played at online casinos today has made way for sexier and vamped-up variants, all thanks to the ability to play blackjack online. Likewise, the trike stands out for its sleek design, allowing enthusiasts to experience the vintage feel of driving a classic sports car driven by contemporary parts and designed to accommodate comfortable driving.

When it comes to the interior of the Blackjack Zero, the trike offers generous luggage space despite its small body and three-wheel frame. This does not affect the sitting position and allows drivers to feel comfortable in the kit.

The Blackjack Zero is powered by a VW Beetle air-cooled engine, and it contains some of the finest car engineering seen on regular or kit cars. Parts of the car's frame, engine, and suspension are coated in a glass-fiber body for better efficiency. This glass-fiber coating helps with braking, cornering, and acceleration when driving.

The front suspensions are crafted from modified Golf GTI uprights and fabricated tubular wishbones. These are paired with adjustable AVO coil-over dampers.

VW 260mm cross-drilled discs and four piston-alloy calipers are used for the front brake system. The rear brakes use a Golf GTI disc and a Bendix alloy caliper. Using these components ensures balance on all three wheels and low unsprung weight.

The car has easy handling as it was built to be smoother than its predecessors. It has a 12-inch steering wheel, heater vents, a tonneau, and spacious seats that make the cockpit quite friendly. Drivers do not have to squeeze themselves into the car, and the absence of a door makes maneuverability easier for drivers.

The Blackjack Zero uses a front-wheel drive with a 2.5-turn lock-to-lock rack. It also has pinion steering, which promotes quick and accurate responses when drivers are navigating sharp bends and curves. The accurate responses of the driving pedals and the torque give an experience that no driver can deny.

All in all, the Blackjack Zero is a great improvement on the earlier models of the Blackjack line of kit cars, like the Avion. Its design, engine, and handling show that the designers have taken feedback from their previous cars to create a masterpiece for the race track. Kit car enthusiasts will be well served by getting this car. The overall design shows consistency and precision in its tooling and build. The finish on the body and attention to detail speaks to a carefully crafted car you can trust.