If you have an auto enthusiast on your Christmas shopping list (or if you are one and are just doing a little window shopping), we’re going to make gifting a breeze this year.
There are three key things you need to know when buying for a car lover: What that person drives, what that person might need (a GPS navigator does send a certain message, after all), and what you’re willing to spend.
The first two data points only you can know. We can help inform your budget, though. Below are 16 car gifts any auto nut would appreciate, and we have broken the list down into three broad price ranges, starting at least expensive.
The Stocking Stuffers
Breffo makes the coolest gadget mount around. The Spiderpodium can adapt to just about any size phone, tablet, phablet, GPS nav, walkie talkie, or whatever gadget you need accessible while driving.
Depending on the recipient, these blue valve covers from Lizard LEDs might make a better gag gift. Either way, someone is going to get their $12 worth of fun out of them.
Soft clay is great for cleaning up spots on a car and buffing the surface to a nice shine. If you know someone who is obsessive about keeping his/her ride looking good, this poly clay from Chemical Guys will be a hit.
The Heartfelt Thanks Category
Garmin’s HUD displays turn-by-turn driving directions on your windshield, so you never have to take your eyes off the road when you are navigating solo.
You know what looks better than a good pair of driving gloves? Not much. Have a look at these gloves made of peccary leather from Etsy shop leathergloves4u if you’re shopping for a particularly stylish person this year.
The Bone Creepers make tough, durable mechanic creepers and mechanic seats that allow gearheads to work on the cars comfortably and efficiently. No getting the wheels hung up on drop cords or drains, no tipping over when you’re under the car. These things are great.
This tool roll is a hand-finished piece of craftsmanship from London, courtesy of Etsy shop FORWARD&BONE. It’s made of calfskin and measures 5.5” by 7.5”. The mechanic (professional or otherwise) on your list will appreciate it.
Many dog owners understanding how distracting their pets can be when they try to stand up on the center console. This little patch of soft plastic grass acts as a deterrent to keep your dog in the backseat and your eyes on the road.
Most of us could use a good, sturdy toolbox, and this one from Best Made definitely fits the bill. This toolbox is made of 22-gauge powder-coated steel and comes with a conditional lifetime warranty (the condition being you didn’t abuse it or try to take it apart or something).
Indy 500 fans will appreciate this vintage barware — a set of shot glasses from the 1973 race, courtesy of Indianapolis-based vintage Etsy shop CityBeepster. The last listed winner on these glasses is Mark Donohue, who died in a crash while getting ready for the Austrian Grand Prix in 1975.
This shifter knob is made for people whose primary mode of transport, in a perfect world, would be a skateboard. Auto accessories online shop Flossy bills this shifter knob as “545 GRAMS OF BUTTERYNESS.” For anyone who doesn’t skate, “buttery” is high praise. For anyone who bristles at metric measurements, 545g is 1.2 pounds.
If you are buying for a Porsche or Ferrari fan, take a look at this prints that California artist Steve Anderson is selling on his Etsy shop. He hand-draws individual models or collections of specific models, like this killer Ferrari 250 Leggendarie print.
Automatic is hardware and software (in the form of a smartphone app) that tells you everything you ever wanted to know about your car’s performance. Just plug the hardware into your car’s diagnostics port, and your phone will give you real-time feedback about your speed, your braking, your MPG, what’s wrong when your check engine light comes on, and scores of other data points. It will also remember where your car is parked, too.
For teenage drivers, Automatic has created a feature called License+, which lets experienced drivers coach new drivers, and it lets parents outsource some of their backseat driving / worrying to smart technology.
If there is someone really special in your life who is a fan of classic ‘vettes, this one could be a memorable gift.
A video game? Some of you are shaking your heads right now, and some of you are nodding enthusiastically. The latter group probably grew up with Pong, or Space Invaders, or maybe NBA Jam and Goldeneye. Whatever your childhood arcade experience, BMIGaming has enough machines in its inventory to recreate that magic. Pictured above are Super Cars, Mario Kart GP and Street Racing.
The country’s biggest auto show kicks off on Valentine’s Day 2015 and goes all through the next week. Tickets themselves aren’t expensive ($12 for adults), but if you have to arrange a trip to Chicago, then you’re effectively booking a vacation. Sure, many people might find the Windy City a tad chilly in February, but that’s all the more reason to check out the city’s restaurants, ice skating and frozen lakefront.