Best Gifts for Car Enthusiasts (That Aren’t Car Parts)

’Tis the season and while the normal people on your list may be happy with cozy socks, jumpers, and sweatpants, there’s often that one person on your list. You know who it is: the girl that takes pride in the axle grease under her fingernails, or the guy that spends more of his time studying car books than textbooks. We’re talking about car people, and we’re here to help – with a list of gifts that will get them out of the garage… at least for the holidays.

Gifts Under $50

The Art of Mopar ($45)

If you’re not familiar with photographer Tom Loeser’s work, you should be. His “light painting” technique has graced everything from classic F1 cars to Mustangs, making them pop off the page unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. His latest work features a selection of cars from the famous Brothers Collection, all from the Mopar family of fast Chryslers, Dodges, and Plymouths.

Lego Speed Champions ($17.99–$129.99)

These have been around for a couple of years, but they continue to add new, fresh models that manage to deftly balance level of detail with ease of assembly. This year’s crop includes the likes of the Bugatti Chiron and Mercedes-AMG GT3 racer, as well as dioramas of a Formula 1 pit stop and a Ferrari wind tunnel (complete with a model of the FXX K).

Drop Stop Seat Gap Filler (US$19.99)

I don’t know about you, but one of my biggest pet peeves is losing stuff – change, receipts, mobile devices – in the abyss that is the gap between the transmission tunnel and seat. Sure, the stuff may land on the floor beneath your chair but with the myriad of electronic wizardry going on under most car seats these days, even that doesn’t always save your quarter. Worse still is the ultra-thin gap between your seat rails and transmission tunnel; lodge something there, and that’s all she wrote. Enter the Drop Stop seat gap filler – it may seem like late-night infomercial fodder but oh man if it doesn’t solve a whole lot of problems.

Gifts Under $200

Porsche Sounds ($60)

If simply gawking at an array of classic cars isn’t enough and you’re looking for a more interactive experience, then this could be just the ticket. Like those audio books that make for great duets between you and your toddler, Porsche Sounds includes a CD with engine sounds and exhaust notes from some of the most famous Porsche models.

Forza Motorsport 7, Gran Turismo Sport, Project Cars 2 ($79.99 each)

You can read our review of Forza Motorsport here, but highlights include the 700-car count, dynamic weather changes, over 30 available tracks and an expanded online component. For its part, Gran Turismo has taken most of the game online, where you will be competing in FIA-sanctioned events that could earn you an actual FIA motorsport licence.

While PCARS2 may be the newcomer of the trio, it has a whole lot to offer, including the most tracks of the three as well as fully customizable weather.

A stable of McLarens P1 models… sort of ($60 and up)

Too slow on the uptake to lock up one of the 375 McLaren P1s sold? Not to worry! The Foot-to-Floor and Ride-On Electric editions are still available, and they don’t even require premium fuel. You don’t need any fuel at all, in fact – either a pair of energetic feet or an electric current will do. To celebrate the fifth anniversary of McLaren’s most advanced road car ever, they’re releasing both miniature electric as well as foot-powered models for the kiddies. We’re not talking no hopped-up Power Wheels knock-off; the Ride-On Electric McLaren P1 features three forward gears, an MP3 player, and functioning headlights.

Gifts over $200

Autodromo watches (US$695 and up)

There are plenty of watch makers out there who have turned to the car for design inspiration, but few wear that inspiration on their sleeves as Autodromo does. They’ve channeled the Ford GT (pictured here), the famous (infamous?) Group B rally circuit, and more, to deliver a selection of vibrant, classically styled timepieces.

Ultimate Drives driving holidays (€1,840 and up)

Ever wanted to take an Aston Martin through the Swiss Alps like James Bond? What about the French Riviera in a Ferrari? Well, thanks to the wonderful folks at Ultimate Drives, you can do all that and more… one whole heckuva lot more, as these road trip geniuses seem to have thought of everything. You pick your route, you pick your car, lay out your 1,800-plus Euros and you’re on your way to all-inclusive driving bliss.

Pagani Huayra Roadster ($4,500,000)

Priced at $4.5 million in Canada (is that all?), Pagani’s latest is, surprisingly, a bit of old-school charm meets new-school tech. The Huayra’s 762 hp Mercedes AMG V12, for example, traces its roots back to an old Mercedes S-Class, and unlike the competition from Ferrari and McLaren, there are no hybrid features of any stripe. Having said that, the Huayra Roadster uses some of the most advanced carbon fibre available for road cars, as well as adaptive aero both front and back. The real kicker, of course, is in the details: matching luggage that fits side pods that are otherwise perfectly suited for crash helmets, exposed gear linkage even though it’s an automatic and aluminum wheels that cost about 20,000 euros apiece make this one of the most extravagant hypercars ever.

Gifts you can live with. 12/14/2017 10:00:00 AM