Originally published December 15, 2015 on autoTRADER.ca
There are, depending on when you’re reading this, less than 10 days left until the fat bloke in red rocks up at your house to bring you that lump of coal you deserve for this year’s misdeeds and mayhem. That means less than 10 days to come up with the right gift for your automotive nutcase of a son/daughter/father/mother/girl/boyfriend/wife/husband/mistress/… hey, what’s the male equivalent of a mistress?
Point is, buying presents is hard. Deciding what to buy is even harder. So, because it’s Christmas (/xmas/hannukah/pagan tree day), and because we care, here is our holiday gift guide. And by “holiday gift guide” we mean, “here is the contents of all our writers’ letters to Santa that we intercepted.”
Some of you will have modest budgets, focusing instead on the things that matter most at holiday time: getting smashed courtesy of your in-law’s liquor cabinet.
Mastercraft 174-Piece Tool Set
For your writer, the best possible automotive gift under $100 is a tool set. This one is on sale at Canadian Tire for $99.99 right now; which is a screaming bargain. Sure, I’ll never actually use it, and sure, I’ll probably still manage to lose the four items in it that I ever actually do need, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy it for me.
Lego Porsche 911 GT Finish Line
If you are “hip to the ‘Go”, as they say, then you probably caught some one-off Lego sets designed by enthusiast Malte Dorowski last year. Basically, they were famous race cars—the Porsche 930 Turbo 3.3, 935/78, and others—done completely using stock Lego pieces. Whether or not it was Dorowski who inspired this year’s McLaren, Ferrari and Porsche Speed Champions cars, they are a sight to behold. And, starting at just $17.99, affordable, too. Of course, if you want to go whole hog, look for the Scuderia Ferrari truck and race car set—all 884 pieces of it—or the Porsche GT Finish Line diorama.
I second that – it’s not Christmas if you don’t find some sort of LEGO under the tree, and this year LEGO has a wide variety of sets for the driving enthusiast, from the Creator Ferrari F40 and Mini Cooper at $120 apiece, but my pick is the Speed Champions Porsche 911 GT Finish Line, which might not have as much detail as the Creator series or as cool an accessory as the F14 T & Scuderia Ferrari Truck, but at least it’s under $100.
History’s Greatest Automotive Mysteries, Myths and Rumors Revealed
A book by well-known American auto-scribes Preston Lerner and Matt Stone entitled History’s Greatest Automotive Mysteries, Myths and Rumors Revealed makes for a fun read and good tome for the loo. If you’re wondering about the curse-carrying parts from James Dean’s Porsche 550 Spyder, what was the first car to break the sound barrier, or who really won the first Indianapolis 500, this is the book to get. $29 at Amazon.ca
Isn’t winter crappy enough without having to look at yucky black steel rims? I bought some snazzy Michelin-brand covers for my GTI’s 16-inch winter wheels at Canadian Tire for about 80 bucks and my mood has improved tremendously.
Car Detailing Kit
Everyone likes a clean car, but you can’t get quality results with an old bucket and a bottle of dish soap. Show your favourite driver that, hey, you love their car as much as they do with a professional grade detailing kit like this one from Adam’s Premium Car Care.
Alternatively, if your gift-getter has already got a start on the necessary products and equipment but it’s all a bit of a mess, then sneak in to their garage, take an inventory of what’s there and head to your local automotive retailer to fill in the blanks, whether it be leather condition for the seats or a turbo stick for cleaning alloy wheels. Purchase a nice tote to keep it all in and you’ll be a star in their eyes. Products range from $20 and up, and are available at automotive retailers everywhere.