Christmas is about peace on earth and sharing wonderful experiences with family and friends, but it also includes the gift exchange. What do you get the gearhead who seems to have everything he or she could ever want? ’Tis the season to indulge. Here's a little help with those last-minute ideas. Fa la la la la, la la la la!
Stocking stuffer: Omega Speedmaster racing watch
A man driving the autobahn with the top down can’t be seen without the Speedmaster draped casually around his wrist. Even at high speeds, passing car enthusiasts will notice the watch with the dashboard-like design of Italian cars of the 1950s. Today’s watch comes in a choice of tachometer colour combinations and rubber or steel straps. Priced around $4,700 it’s a lovely bauble for the stocking. Long before the Omega Speedmaster Racing Watch went to the moon or to the polar tips of the world, it was valued by motorsport enthusiasts as the go-to watch for its chronographic performance and design. As a matter of fact, the first ad in 1957 stated the cars were racing against the Omega high-precision wrist computer – the Speedmaster.
Where to buy: Fine watch sellers and omegawatches.com.
Wow factor (out of five): Four
Envelope: Trip to Scottsdale Barrett-Jackson car auction
Plane tickets departing from Canada in the middle of winter are always a hit. But tickets to Scottsdale, Ariz., in January will have the lucky recipient bidding on one or many of the 1,000 classic and rare cars at in the annual Barrett-Jackson car auction. This January’s event is extended to a full week (Jan. 10-18) to accommodate the entire collection of 120 impeccable vehicles from a local collector valued at more than $50-million. Include an afternoon with Green Zebra Adventures (gogreenzebra.com) for some kick-ass off-road adventures through the desert in military-grade Tomcars.
Where to buy: Tickets and information are available at barrett-jackson.com. Air Canada and WestJet fly into Phoenix. Stay at iconic hotels such as the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Hotel, or retro boutique hotels, including The Eldorado Hotel, or the Hotel Valley Ho.
Wow factor(out of five): 3.5
Under the tree: JVC sound system
Hands-free calling is important. Who doesn’t love flying down the highway (at legal speed limits, of course) while listening to your favourite tunes cranked loud enough to scare the snow off the road? If the classic ride doesn’t have hands-free capabilities, upgrading the receiver to Bluetooth and smartphone compatibility is a perfect gift. Why not install it on Boxing Day instead of playing with a Rubik's Cube? JVC is still at the forefront of aftermarket audio. Combine a KD-R850BT receiver with a four-channel amplifier boosting the power output to 300 watts to two sets of loudspeakers and a subwoofer and you will be singing "Love Train" at the top of your lungs by the end of Boxing Day. Total package depends on the vehicle configuration but it can be done for about $500.
Where to buy: Electronic and automobile accessory stores.
Wow factor(out of five): Four
Under the tree: V-8 coffee table
Because Top Gear has one. Anybody who watches the BBC show Top Gear has seen the Jaguar V-8 engine coffee table that Jeremy, Richard and James rest their Styrofoam cups on. A do-it-yourself DIY enthusiast would trundle off to the auto wrecker and pick up an engine of their own, clean it up and put a thick slab of glass on it and proudly use it in his man cave. But then there are the rest of us who should let someone else do the work while we figure out the shipping fees. The table is from Britain and sells without the glass or shipping fees for $580.
Where to buy: eBay seller kelly4X4ltd., West Yorkshire, Britain
Wow factor(out of five): 2.5
In the garage: 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
It’s a Shelby. and that’s all that matters. Finding any vintage of Shelby in the driveway ranks as the best present ever but the 2016 Ford Shelby Mustang might be worth waiting for. Blowing the competition out of the water at the Los Angeles Auto Show this fall, it's the car that dances in many sugarplum dreams. Under the hood is a 5.2-litre V-8 with more than 500 horsepower that promises to be street legal. Rumoured price is north of $50,000, and when it is scheduled to hit the street has not been published.
Where to buy: Ford dealerships.
Wow factor(out of five): 10
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