We’re coming up on that time of year once again, the frantic shopping rush to ensure that everything is bought by the holidays (Remember when those were dedicated to good old fashioned things like family and togetherness? We don’t either.) and many of you know someone — or someone who knows someone — who lives, eats, breathes, and exhales all things automotive.
This is a good thing — bear with us. If we automotive enthusiasts didn’t have such infatuations, it would be pretty damned hard to shop for us, right? But you still might be having trouble finding that special thing for them. You’re probably not going to be buying them a car, unless you’re especially loaded, and they’re especially lucky.
Fortunately for you, we’ve been perusing the Interwebs for some stuff that would make great gifts for the car lover in the family. We tried to shy away from the more practical stuff (tools can be tricky to buy for people, and no one really wants a tire pressure gauge in their stocking) and focus on the fun factor. So from $30 to nearly $6,000 (or more), here’s a whole range of automotive-themed gifts for the grease monkey in your family circle.
Automatic is a gizmo that, when plugged in to your car’s OBD II port, will feed a steady stream of information specific to your vehicle to your mobile device or desktop. Automatic can call for help in the event of a crash, monitor your gas mileage in real-time, decode your engine light, and even remember where you parked. Normally priced at $99, the Automatic is currently on sale for $79 — it might be worthwhile to get one for yourself, too.
2. Mustang Pinball
Have a furnished garage or a man cave? It isn’t complete until there’s a Ford Mustang-themed Pinball machine from Stern Pinball in there. It’s pricey — prices start at nearly $6,000 — so you’d best be feeling notably generous to shell out for this nostalgic necessity. Why would this year be especially important? Because the Mustang is celebrating its 50th birthday for 2015, and Stern is joining the festivities.
3. Exotic Drive School
Many — most, if not all, really — auto enthusiasts dream of owning exotic cars that we’ll only dream about, and Exotics Racing knows this. To help them realize their dreams, Exotic Racing shoulders the cost of ownership and the high purchase prices to allow everyday car fans to get behind the wheel. Choose from a Lamborghini, a new Corvette, an Audi R8, a Porsche 911, a McLaren MP4-12C, or others; prices start at $99 for a two-lap ride-along. It’s based in Las Vegas, so for many there will be a larger trip involved.
4. Linear Edge Racetrack Coasters
These are perfect for the casual racing fan and auto enthusiast who appreciates the competitive side of the industry. Made by Linear Edge, these sets of coasters — either four or six — feature a minimalist depiction of either four or six iconic racetracks. The set of four sells for $30, or six for $40; serious racing fans can upgrade, though, to Linear Edge’s modern and minimalist sculptures featuring virtually every major racing circuit worldwide.
5. Racing Simulator
Got a gamer in the family who’s also a serious gear head? Tackle both at once with a gaming rig similar to GTR’s Racing Simulator. Available in various states of completion, the simulators can turn a video game into a full blown immersive experience with the help of a racing seat, functional pedals, wheel, and shifter. For a full setup, expect to spend anywhere between $449 and $2,000, so you might want to go into this with somebody.
6. Car-Inspired Wrist Wear
Cars and watches have been attached at the hip for decades now, and many companies a continuing to carry on with that tradition. Bentley has a famed relationship with Breitling, Bulgari has hooked up with Maserati, and Tag Huer is an official sponsor of many racing-related activities. Ferrari, for what it’s worth, even has its own line. You can spend as little or as much as suits you, from the $525 Citizen Eco Drive, to Rolexes and Breitlings that cost as much as the cars themselves.
7. Gear Shifter Cufflinks
Though some of us might just want to wear racing jerseys and tank tops all the time, sometimes we have to slip into something slightly more formal than that beer- and grease-stained rag that has just enough fabric to stay on your shoulders. Fortunately, you can show your inner gear head with these gear shifter cufflinks ($50), which bring the magic of gated shifters to the end of your sleeves.
8. Timing Chain Clock
If the watches are too flashy or expensive, consider this timing chain clock from Uncommon Goods a worthy fill-in. At $125, it’s considerably cheaper, and would make a solid addition to any garage workshop or hang out space. It’s made with junked parts from real engines, so it’s 100% authentic — just cleaned up a little, or so we’d hope.
Like classics? It’s always Throwback Thursday somewhere.