When it comes to getting a gift for that car fan in your life, we’ve got you covered. After a thorough and serious roundtable discussion with our editors (OK, maybe it wasn’t that thorough because no one cares what I want for Christmas) we came up with this awesome list of presents and stocking stuffers that your auto enthusiast probably won’t regift.
A simple device that can securely cradle a smartphone on the dashboard or windshield, these are great for people who prefer their own music or navigation apps over an infotainment system — or for drivers who have older cars that don’t have a proper infotainment system. Phone mounts make a great gift or stocking stuffer, since they’re small and pretty affordable. Mounts are easy to find at your local automotive chain or electronics shop. Bonus points given for units that aren’t bulky and are easy to install. Just make sure you know which phone you’re buying for, or get a universal mount.
Car Care Kit
Maybe it’s a bit weird, but a lot of car lovers are obsessed with cleaning their rides. But there’s more to a clean car than just a car wash. Polish, wax, tire shine and interior car care products are all important to keeping a car looking its best. You can find decent kits at Wal-Mart, Costco or even online on Amazon. Need a quicker solution? You can get a gift card pre-loaded with carwashes at a gas station close to your friend’s home.
Vintage inspired shirts
Retro is the hot new trend that’s sweeping car and fashion world. So consider combining the two items into one cool shirt. Nameplates like the Corvette, Mustang, Camaro, Porsche 911 and VW have been around forever and you’ll likely be able to find a shirt that suits your car fan’s favorite brand. We found these fun shirts online at Redbubble.com, Zazzle and Spreadshirt. BlipShift is also a good site for cool car clothing.
If your car fan is the DIY type, they may like kitchenware modeled after wrenches and other items that are found around the garage. There’s also jewelry, plates, cutlery and mugs that are all car-themed and for a decent price. (http://www.wrenchware.com/)
Dash cams can provide peace of mind for drivers, helping provide evidence in case of an insurance or criminal claim, or even catching unexpected craziness on camera. They range in price depending on the model and features you want, but you can definitely find one to fit your budget. Dash cams are easily found at your local electronics shop.
Who doesn’t like making things from scratch? There are quite a few cool lego kits out there including a Mercedes Arocs, a Ferrari F40 and a MINI Cooper. These Technic models all have cool moving parts like doors and a working steering rack. This Mercedes pictured even has a powered bed and crane! These specialty kits can be found online or at your local Lego shop.
Maybe you want your car fan to wear their automotive enthusiasm right on their sleeves. In that case, a pair of classy cufflinks will do the job nicely. We found these cool cufflinks including pairs that look like pistons, cars, steering wheels, engine blocks and more.
OBDII Reader and Apps
Car fans typically love learning more about their cars, including all their real-time statistics. To satisfy that appetite for information, consider getting your car lover a Bluetooth enabled OBDII reader. These devices can pair with your phone, computer or tablet, where you can see real-time information about your car including accurate fuel usage, throttle position, air-to-fuel ratio and more. Good deals on OBDII readers can be found on Amazon.
Carbon Fiber Things
All the coolest cars have carbon fiber. McLarens, Porsches, BMWs, Ferraris and Lamborghinis are all super lightweight because of their use of carbon fiber. Because getting carbon fiber parts for someone’s car might be a bit too personal (and expensive), you can buy them carbon fiber stuff for their house, or even fashion accessories like collar stays, rings, wallets or watches. They’re a little pricey, but, damn, are they cool. Check out CarbonFiberGear for the whole selection.
Maybe your car fan isn’t of driving age or even have their license yet. Fortunately, there are still plenty of ways to get them driving virtually. A new Need For Speed game is out, a franchise that’s been around since 1994, and this new version is the 22nd game in the series. A complete reboot, this arcade-style racer focuses on the import and tuner car culture, and is perfect for budding car enthusiasts.
But if your car fan is a bit more serious, you can’t deny them the fun of a simulation-style game like Forza Motorsport 6 or Project Cars. Both cars feature realistic graphics and driving dynamics, with a focus on racing on the race track than on the street.
Mobile games for your phone and tablet have become pretty good, too. Consider Real Racing 3, Asphalt or GT Racing.