Here Are The Gifts We’ll Be Giving In 2015
With the holidays fast approaching, welcome to our roundup of gift ideas. Whether you’re on a budget or want to splurge, we’ve rounded up a few of the best automotive related gifts in (almost) every price range to give (and receive) this holiday season. Happy shopping, and happy holidays—whatever you celebrate.
Petersen Automotive Museum – $15
It must have been good to be a publisher, because Robert E. Petersen was able to indulge his love his cars by amassing an amazing collection of cars, both foreign and domestic. Luckily for us, he was generous enough to share it with us, and in 1994 the eponymous museum opened its doors to the public with the mission of presenting and exploring all things automotive. After twenty-years of being open to the public, the museum shut its doors last year so it could undergo an extensive $100 million remodel. The once drab, and understated box is now a structure wrapped in a series of steel ribbons meant to elicit a sense of speed and movement. Over multiple floors, a wonderful rotation of new exhibitions and a permanent collection from all eras await the viewer. In the basement vault below lies more than 200 other vehicles, guided tours of which are available for an extra charge. There is an extensive calendar of special events and programs too.
The Greatest Race – $21.99
Dwight Knowlton previously wrote and illustrated The Little Red Racing Car, the wonderful tale about a father and his young son who discover an old Maserati in a barn and then restore it together. He’s back with The Greatest Race: The Record-Breaking Win of the 1955 Mille Miglia. Stirling Moss piloted a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SLR with journalist Denis Jenkinson. Knowlton’s charming illustrations and crisp storytelling will captivate both young and old equally.
GTO London – from $400
For over 30 years, GTO Engineering has restored collectible classic cars, specifically Ferraris. They also have a design studio that crafts a range of personal accessories like wallets, cufflinks, and keychains, some made from unusable metal that was left over during the rehabilitation of some of the world’s most valuable Ferraris, allowing the wearer to a piece of genuine Ferrari history. It’s the next best thing if you love the marque, and don’t own one yourself.
iRacing – from $6
Many gamers will be familiar with Gran Turismo and Forza on the Playstation and Xbox respectively, but on the PC iRacing may just have both of them beat. Called out by some as the best PC racing simulator to date, the player has many cars and racing series at their disposal—Nascar, open wheel, prototypes, and sports cars —and on a variety of different tracks against live competition. Wanna-be racers pay a monthly subscription that includes a starter set of cars, and tracks, with additional ones available at extra cost. The graphics are gorgeous, just be aware that you’ll need a decent PC or Mac OS setup, a steering wheel and pedal set, and not to mention a fast internet connection to get the most of the game. If you’d prefer a more casual option, there’s Forza 6 for the Xbox One.
GoPro – from $129
Available in several different models depending on your needs, and with a wide variety of mounts to your automobile, helmet, or other surface, the GoPro captures video and audio in a variety of resolutions, and frame rates up to and including full HD, as well as still photos. Thinking about filming a testimonial to a memorable road trip or your driving prowess? GoPro has your back…and all the other angles.
Autocult – from $79.99
The passion for collecting can also be scalable AutoCult Models, based in Germany, specializes in 1:43 scale models. But no ordinary models are these. If you want more commonplace models, you’ll have to go elsewhere. AutoCult focuses on historic, prototype, rare and just plain weird vehicles. The first model releases include a 1939 Schloerwagen, 1953 Ruhrfahzeugbau Pinguin II, 1961 Intermeccanica IMP, 1949 Petermax Müller Weltrekordwagen, 1957 Buckle Dart, and 1956 BMW 507 Raymond Loewy. Each limited edition model is accompanied by a booklet that contains a history of the car, along with the serial number of the model.
Persol Sunglasses – from $175
Even on a cloudy day, sunglasses keep the sun out of your eyes, and protect them from damaging UV rays. They also keep the glaring sun out of your eyes too, so you can be the best you can be behind the wheel. Persol is an Italian luxury eyewear company specializing in the manufacturing of sunglasses and optical frames. Its name is derived from per il sole, which, in Italian, means “for the sun.” Since its founding almost 100 years ago, Persol sunglasses have been worn by pilots, motorcyclist, and of course discerning drivers.
Steve McQueen wore the Persol Model 714 in The Thomas Crown Affair, and since then, they’ve become almost synonymous with the actor. As with most Persol sunglasses, the lens are made from high-quality crystal for clear vision, and the frames are light and comfortable.
We love being at the track. Big, or small, it doesn’t matter. Whatever your passion is—Formula 1, endurance, sports car racing, rallying, or even Nascar—it is just great to be out there as there’s nothing like watching motorsports live, and perhaps getting the opportunity to get close to your favorite teams and driving heroes. Remember: wear comfortable shoes, put something on your head, and drink enough water.
Kaufman Mercantile Canvas & Leather Weekender Bag
If you’re like us, you love a good weekend getaway. Just you, your significant other, and your car. The destination often doesn’t matter, but what does is the perfect piece of luggage. This canvas & leather Weekender Bag from Kaufman Mercantile comes with a 6-inch hand strap and detachable shoulder strap, and it’s large enough at 18-inches to fit two people’s clothes, and other sundry items for a weekend adventure.
Petrolicious T-shirt – $25
Drive tastefully, with a t-shirt designed by Petrolicious. There are different designs available, each crafted of super soft cotton, and all perfect for whatever, and wherever. We wear them! (Note: our shirts are being handmade as we speak, there’s a chance they might not be ready for Christmas, please keep that in mind whilst purchasing.)
Autodromo Watches – From $375
Like its tagline says, Autodromo is a purveyor of fine accessories for motoring. To our eye, the styling of its watches is near-on perfect, especially if you’re into older sports car like us. We think they’re perfect for when you don’t want to go ‘all out’, but still want to show off a gorgeous watch that goes well with an outfit…or car. It will look great next to a pair of Autodromo driving gloves too. Drive tastefully.
Skip Barber Racing School – from $995
While we may take it for granted, driving is a skill that is learned, and one that can be improved and built upon. Whether you are interested in just brushing up on your driving lines and passing, a racing school goes beyond a high performance driving school in the areas of driver development and track experience. The Skip Barber Racing School offers a wide variety of programs at tracks around the country, and at prices that are affordable. Whether you take a school as an experience to be had, or even wish to step up a level and try pro racing, this is the one of the places to start.
Getting out on a track has enormous benefits in freedom from the rigors, distractions and dangers of road riding. It’s hard to lose, you’ll love that freedom at Skip Barber or anyone’s school.
Even if you think you’re a great driver, go in with an open mind and be ready to learn.
Lego Volkswagen T1 Camper Van – $119.99
The prices of the real thing may be skyrocketing, but luckily Lego gives everyone the chance to own a groovy VW T1 Camper. For the more mature builder, this highly detailed model has details just like the real thing – opening safari windows, curtains, fold-down bed, and even a lava lamp. Groovy!
If the van isn’t your speed, Lego offers other models in its Creator range, like a Ferrari F40, and a classic Mini Cooper.
Victorinox Swisstool X Plus – $185.00
Having a tool in an emergency cannot be underestimated. If you’re not going to carry an entire toolbox with you, however, the least you should have when you head out on the open road is a multitool.
Some of them, like the Victorinox Swisstool X Plus, are an entire tool box, packaged into the form of a weighty pocket knife. Besides the ubiquitous blade, it has 38 other functions including pliers, saw, screwdrivers, a wire stripper, and even Torx drivers.
Deltran Battery Tender – From $39.95
If you have an extensive collection, or just want to keep your car bundled up for winter, one piece of gear you ought to consider investing in is a battery tender. This device plugs into your standard electrical outlet, and is designed to fully charge just about any type of battery during periods of inactivity, and maintain it at proper storage voltage without the damaging effects caused by trickle chargers. The result will be that your vehicle’s battery will be as fresh as the day you last started your vehicle.
Bulli Love – $54
Alongside the Beetle, no other model has characterized the company like the the Volkswagen Camper, also know as the Bulli in several parts of the world. First launched over six-decades ago, the Bulli has become deeply rooted in people’s lives around the world in all its model versions. In this new book from publisher Delius Klasing, author Edwin Baaske looks at thirty-five different vans and writes about the devoted people that own them.
Salvatore Ferragamo Driving Shoes – From $750
Brooke Shields once said that nothing came between her and her “Calvins.” In the same vein, nothing gets between you and your car besides your hands, butt, and feet. On that last note, driving shoes should be on your list to add to your wardrobe. A good pair can further connect you with you car, and above all, be comfortable.
Luxury shoe maker Salvatore Ferragamo offers its driving shoe in a variety of materials: calfskin, suede, ostrich, or even crocodile, but besides a choice of size and width, also offers full customization like your choice of color, hardware, and sole. Match your shoe to your wardrobe, personality, or even car. Each shoe is handcrafted to your specifications, and will arrive on your doorstep in approximately 10 weeks.
Road trip – Priceless
No schedules, nowhere to be in particular. A road trip can be an adventure. Your journey, whether it is in a car or by motorcycle, can take you to new places, and allow you to be more spontaneous. Enjoy the scenery, stop at roadside diner, take a detour because you simply feel like it, meet an unexpected new friend, put an old playlist to good use, a road trip is its own experience, and its own special category of travel.
A true driver will take this gift of time, and adventure, and cherish these memories and count them as priceless.
These items are on our list. What are some of yours?