It’s been 11 years since Volkswagen reintroduced the Beetle to American drivers and jumpstarted a…
Unlike today’s machines, cars of the 1950s and ’60s fell prey to frequent breakdowns. When an issue cropped up, however, you had a real chance of fixing the problem on your own, using tools you could carry onboard. Factory toolkits typically covered the basic needs for the average owner, but aftermarket outfits like German toolmaker Hazet marketed super cool kits like this one we found on eBay.
Having assembled a few road-trip toolkits in my time, I can appreciate the novelty of this example. Not only do all the tools fit in a handy metal case, but the case itself tucks into a spare tire mounted in the frunk of a Volkswagen Beetle or Porsche 356. A nice and tidy kit that stores out of the way is my road-trip dream—and the fact that someone else planned out all the tools I’d need is even better.
The Hazet kits came in multiple forms, but the most popular was the standard VW kit (also called the “Tourist”). The first kits went on sale in 1950, and continued to be sold, with slight variations, until 1967. The changes over the years seem to correspond with changes to the Beetle. For example, the original kits included a 36-mm open-end wrench, which gained a 21-mm wrench on the other end in 1956; the addition correlates with the changing size of the Beetle’s generator nut.
Complete, good-condition kits are fairly rare to find today, which explains the $1000 asking price for this particular example. Sure, you could assemble your own version for far less, but it would never be as cool as as a fitted vintage kit. Just for the sake of your sanity, though, I hope you never have to break out a toolkit on the side of the road. Tools are meant to be used, but it’s a less stressful to wrench on a vehicle at home, no matter how cool your toolkit may be.