Due to a fourth-quarter cracked piston discovered by the machinist who was repairing the engine, this is not the second installment of our buddy Scott's Karmann Ghia rebuild. However, for petrolheads in general and Porsche/VW fetishists in particular, this may very well be more interesting. Starting in about 1950, German toolmaker Hazet, who for decades has built custom tools for the likes of Porsche and Mercedes-Benz, began producing little round, plastic toolkits for Porsche 356s and VWs. Why round? Easy storage in the center of the car's spare tire. We love that.
There were two types of kits — the one for Porsches had "Hazet Tourist" stamped on the cover, while the logo-junkies over at the Peoples' Cars had a big VW sign imprinted on theirs. The VW-branded box could only be ordered through Volkswagen dealers and, interestingly, is the only third-party accessory ever allowed by the factory to be sold with the VW logo.
Given their plastic construction, these round Hazet kits are getting rarer and rarer. However, Scott's is even more rare. A few years after his Type III Karmann Ghia was released in 1962, Hazet released a larger round-box kit, the 1500, which had a VW logo and "1500" stamped on it. Remember that the Type III was initially sold as a Volkswagen 1500. This bigger kit also fit into in the Karmann's large-for-the time 15" proto-dubs.
Did we mention these suckers are insanely rare? Before Scott made his eBay score (paying $550 for an item worth maybe ten times as much), there were five of these 1500 kits known to exist. Scott's makes it six. To put that in perspective, there are six Bugatti Royales in existence (the seventh prototype having been accidentally destroyed), and those are priceless. Scott's Hazet is in relatively good shape, missing only the internal foam pad and the "slip joint pliers." We'd call 'em channel-locks.
The VeeDub-specific tools themselves are very cool, if not a little rusted from decades spent in a shed on the Florida Gulf Coast. They're all chrome and stamped with "Hazet." This set is in good enough condition that the tiny "Hazet" stickers are still stuck to the screwdrivers, which one almost never sees. Scott guesses that these were never used. Will he ever use them? No way, but he would love to use part number 2567, the oil plug tool, to drain the transmission fluid. What's a guy to do? Most likely display the Hazet kit along with the Type III at shows. And dream.
[by Jonny Lieberman]
How Works a Volkswagen? Karmann Ghia Type III Rebuild, Part 1 [Internal]