The holidays are rapidly approaching.  We’ve all got at least one car enthusiast in the family.  Here’s what to get them (or you!).

Calendars

Hemmings Motor News has always had a great selection of calendars.  There’s pretty much a calendar for every car lover here.  You can’t go wrong.  http://www.hemmings.com/store/calendars

Calendars are helpful in many more ways than sitting up on the wall.  Write down schedules, birthdays, etc. on the best calendars for car lovers.

Books

This is going to be a really good, long list that I really want.  Maybe I’ll see some around the holidays…(I know, more of my shameless begging)

  • Miller’s Time: A Lifetime at Speed
    • Don Miller went from street racing to being the guy who stood next to Roger Penske for over 30 years.  He’s set records at the Bonneville Salt Flats, been in Victory Lane at Indy multiple times, built cars from nothing more than a pile of steel tubing and a welding machine, and taken a kid from ramshackle dirt tracks to a Winston Cup title.  If you’re ready for racing honesty and humor, GET this book!  You can get it for about $30 on Amazon, and you might be lucky enough to get a signed copy!
  • Getting Started in the Collector-Car Hobby
    • This book from the fabulous Hemmings Motor News staff details many important aspects of the collector-car hobby for a newbie.  It’s only $6.95, and that family member or friend will be thanking you when they get that cool old car!
  • Ayrton Senna – McLaren
    • I’ve heard great things about this book.  It details the racing life of a legend through the people who knew him best – his teammates, mechanics, engineers, and management staff for his McLaren team.  His dream was to help underprivileged children in his home country of Brazil.  The Ayrton Senna Foundation, established shortly after his tragic death in 1994, has helped over two million kids in Brazil.  This book has been written with the full support of his family, something rare in the racing world.  A portion of the money used to buy this book will go to the foundation to help more children.  You can find a new one on Amazon for about $40, and you’ll help Brazilian children, and enjoy a good book.
  • MotorBinder
    • This book offers an astonishingly cool peek into the golden age of motorsport – when amazing ingenuity, drivers with no fear, and no such things as crowd control existed in race cars.  It’s a beautiful anthology of pictures, mostly taken at California tracks, but also at Nassau and Indy, as well as other famous race tracks.  It focuses on the action and personalities of such legends as Sir Phil Hill, Carroll Shelby, Roger Penske, Sir Stirling Moss, and Bruce McLaren, among others.  Many of the pictures have never been seen before, many of which were taken by the San Francisco Chronicle motorsports editor, Gordon Martin.  It’s $69 on Amazon, and truly amazing.

Of course, there are far more books than these, but these are the ones that I would recommend in a heartbeat.

Clothing

OK, talk about a HUGE list!  Everybody always wants cool clothing.  I’m going to try to keep this list sane, but I make NO promises!

  • Hemmings Motor News Polo Shirt
    • Polo shirts are nice.  They make you look classy, but casual.  Car enthusiasts love them.  Here’s one that will strike a conversation with any car lover.  http://www.hemmings.com/store/wearabledetail?category2=HBPOLO
  • Hemmings Muscle Machines Youth T-Shirt
    • Here’s one for the kiddos.  It’s the same as the Hemmings Muscle Machines T-Shirt for adults, just pint-sized.  It features brightly-colored cars from America’s fastest decade, and it’s sure to be a favorite among them.  I promise.  http://www.hemmings.com/store/wearabledetail?category2=MUSMY
  • Hemmings Work Shirt
    • You should NEVER work on your classic without a work shirt.  They are durable, easy to wash, and can be sharp enough to go out in public in.  Here’s one you’ll wear with pride.  http://www.hemmings.com/store/wearabledetail?category2=HWKST
  • Hemmings Motor News Hats
    • Hemmings Motor News has a nice selection of ball caps.  There’s one for everybody.  Here’s my personal favorite.  http://www.hemmings.com/store/wearabledetail?category2=blkh
  • Roadkill “Original Vintage Tee”
    • I have this t-shirt.  I love it.  I get a lot of thumbs ups from fellow car nuts.  And a lot of questions (i.e. Why would you wear a shirt that has the name of dead animals on the side of the road?).  Get it while supplies last.  http://www.musclecarmagswag.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=66&product_id=129
  • Roadkill Dickies Jacket.
    • Roadkill is sponsored by Dickies.  Freiburger is always wearing a Roadkill Dickies jacket.  You can join him and other Roadkill fans by buying this Roadkill Dickies Jacket.  It’s expensive, but it’s cool and I want one.  http://www.musclecarmagswag.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=66&product_id=113
  • Super Chevy Men’s Racing Shirt
    • Racing shirts are cool.  I should get some.  This is one I want.  Hint, hint.  http://www.musclecarmagswag.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=59&product_id=58
  • Mopar Muscle Garage T-Shirt
    • Show off your Mopar allegiance with this t-shirt.  I’m a fan of different cars, but I’ll always have a soft spot for Mopars.  This is a cool t-shirt styled like something from the 1970’s, but with a modern twist.  http://www.musclecarmagswag.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=60&product_id=89

OK, that’s it for clothing…you’ll find something for me in this list, right?

Diecasts

Diecasts are different than the cheapy DIY cars you can get at Michael’s.  Those things don’t fit together well and take forever to build.  Getting a diecast means that it’s made out of high-quality materials, and comes in a box ready and waiting for you.  How nice is that?

  • Hemmings 60th Anniversary Gas Pump Island
    • Limited to just 1250 units, this 1:12 scale model has six separate pieces that will make a great addition/start to a diecast collection.  It’s got a base/pump island, a tall Hemmings sign, two sandwich boards showing scaled-down versions of real Hemmings signs, two Gilbarco gas pumps with Hemmings 60th Anniversary logos, and a Hemmings oil can display.  This is cool, and what makes it even better is that the gas pumps are also coin banks!  The hose nozzle unlocks the coin door on the bottom.
  • Ford GT White 1/12 Diecast
    • The Ford GT was really the American supercar of the first decade of the 2000s.  Ford took the supercharged 5.4-liter V-8 from the F-150 SVT Lightning pickup, and tuned the engine up to 550 horsepower.  It’s really, really cool.  While prices of the real thing are going up and up, diecast prices aren’t!  http://www.ebay.com/itm/FORD-GT-WHITE-1-12-DIECAST-MODEL-CAR-BY-MOTORMAX-73001-/150302163215
  • Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren
    • This was Germany’s answer to the Ford GT, Ferrari Enzo, and Porsche Carrera.  It was diabolical.  It looks demonic in black, and you can own one…kind of!  http://www.ebay.com/itm/HUGE-MOTORMAX-1-12-MERCEDES-BENZ-SLR-MCLAREN-DIECAST-MODEL-CAR-BLACK-/351062371729

Miscellaneous Items

This is the random (but still cool) stuff.  It’s stuff life water bottles, shot glasses, tool kits, etc.

  • Hemmings 60th Anniversary Wall Clock
    • It’s pretty amazing that the “Bible of the Hobby” has been around for 60 years.  What better way to remember that by looking at a cool clock?  http://www.hemmings.com/store/detail?product_id=1883
  • Car Quiz for the Classic Car Aficionado
    • Think you and your family/friends know a thing or two about classic cars?  You’ll love this game!  Give everybody a run for their money!  http://www.hemmings.com/store/detail?product_id=1199
  • Hemmings Aluminum Water Bottle
    • Sometimes it’s nice to have the nice feel of aluminum in this world of crinkly plastic.  Get this solid Hemmings water bottle.  http://www.hemmings.com/store/detail?product_id=1679
  • Hemmings Fleece Blankets
    • Stadium blankets are useful for more than just going to the game.  They’re great for spontaneous picnics, and car shows.  These navy blue blankets have the Hemmings logo embroidered into them.  They roll up courtesy of nylon straps with handles for easy carrying.  http://www.hemmings.com/store/detail?product_id=1054
  • Hemmings Flashlight, Pen Set, and Tire Pressure Gauge
    • Keep this in your glovebox, and you’ll be prepared for map reading in the dark, jotting down important numbers, and checking tire pressures.  Plus, it comes in a nice case.  http://www.hemmings.com/store/detail?product_id=1391
  • Roadkill Shot Glass
    • This is a sharp-looking shot glass.  You can drink your favorite adult beverage from a shot glass with your favorite car show on it.

Of course, there’s plenty more in terms of miscellaneous car odds and ends.  Just go to a local car dealership and mosey around (do it when you take your car in for service).  See what you can find.  You’ll be surprised.  Ask the sales staff.  They’ll be happy to help!

Going to a car show is also a good place.  Bring cash and/or credit cards (sometimes they only take cash).  At big car shows, manufacturers will often have merchandise like a thermos, a bag, and random stuff like that.  Chat them up.  They’re often stressed, tired, and are happy to talk to you about anything related to that brand.  They really open up, and they are very knowledgeable about the technologies in the various cars on display.

8 thoughts on “The Best Holiday Gifts for the Car Enthusiast!

  1. we’re going to have to get you a digital black kettle and a little gentle bell for you to ring as you beg…gently of course….just like the salvation army people….they always show up around the holidays…just like you do

    hint: don’t stand around waiting for the fed ex guy to ring your bell

    just call me scrooge

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