Holiday Gift Guide for Car Guys December 12 2013, 28 Comments
Who better to write a gift guide for car guys, than the gear heads at Red Eye Garage? Here are our top 12 picks for the automotive enthusiast on your list.
1. Subscription to an automotive magazine. Road and Track, Automobile, Grassroots Motorsport and Bimmer are some of our favorites. If you're unsure, brand specific magazines are a safe bet. Total 911 for the 911 owner, or 5.0 Mustang for the guy with the Mustang. $10-$30.
2. Track experience. There are many driving experiences all across the US. Bob Bondurant and Skip Barber driving schools are among the more well known, focused on honing driving skills. Dirt Fish Rally School specializes in the art of rallying through mud and dirt. There are also exotic car experiences focused on thrills and excitement. Exotic driving and world class driving are just two programs that offer such an experience. We recently checked out Dream Racing in Las Vegas. $200 - $3000+
3. Driving shoes. For the track rat or the serious driver. The rounded heel provides a smooth pivot point for working the pedals, and the lateral stiffness supports heel and toe technique. A non-slip grippy sole ensures that they won't slip off the pedals during high G maneuvering. Track rats will need a fire resistant shoe, while casual options from Sparco or Piloti will suit everyday driving and mall hiking. We like Sparco's Time 77 shown here. $80 - $300
4. Driving gloves. On the track, nomex gloves provide critical fire protection. On the street, leather gloves make the steering wheel feel meaty and grippy. In the summer they are a good solution for handling a hot steering wheel. In the winter, they can keep hands warm and functioning. Extra points are scored if the gloves are from their favorite car manufacturer. $25 - $200
5. Car care kit. Some car guys are picky about their cleaning products and insist on certain brands. If you know they are picky, but don't know their brand of choice, this may be a risky gift. For car lovers who haven't become entrenched in a particular brand, Meguiars and Mothers make good cleaning products and offer them in bundles. $30 - $300
6. Scale model. Who wouldn't want a scale model of their favorite car for their man-cave, garage, or office? Maisto, AUTOart and Exoto have quality models for every budget. The more expensive they are, the more details they have. Doors and gas caps open on most Exoto cars, and details as small as rivets are captured. Shown is an AUTOart M3 GTR. $19 - $200+
7. Tickets to a race. There is nothing like experiencing the full sound and fury of a swarm of angry cars in person. NASCAR and Formula 1 are popular racing series, while we would pick ALMS and V8 Supercar tickets. $80 -$200+
8. Racing game/simulator. Track time is expensive, but there is a way for car guys to hone their skills and have fun racing for a fraction of the cost. The Forza series on XBox and the Gran Turismo franchise on Playstation are the industry leaders in racing titles. Gran Turismo offers the more realistic experience, and Forza focuses on making a more entertaining experience. Bonus points: buy a steering wheel and pedal set to go with the game. The Logitech G27 gets our pick as the best wheel that is just shy of unreasonably expensive. $85 for game, $290 for wheel
9. Mechanix gloves. These gloves are great for working on cars. They protect from cuts, scrapes and cold, while maintaining a surprising amount of feel. As an added bonus, they minimize the amount of grime on your hands. $20 - $30
10. Radar detector. Most car guys like to stretch the legs of their cars. A radar detector is a fun gadget to have, and can minimize the risk of getting a ticket or thrown in jail. Escort's Passport 9500ix is one of the most highly rated detectors. Be sure to check your local laws before ordering. They are not legal in some states. $450
11 .GoPro camera. These small cameras are great for recording track days, canyon runs, DIY's and races. With many different mounting options, you can place one on virtually any area of a car. $200 - $300
12. Shirt from Red Eye Garage. For the car guy that appreciates looking good, Red Eye Garage has shirts designed by gearheads for gearheads. Designed in-house and offered in limited production quantities, Red Eye Garage apparel is great for the car guy who has everything. Shown is our most popular shirt, with text written in a carbon fiber pattern. Printed in the USA on ultra soft 100% ring spun cotton. You can see other styles and place an order here. $16-$23