Ho Ho Ho
Rob, with Christmas on the horizon and a serious car guy sharing my roof, I've run out of ideas for gifts. There is no way he way will appreciate a sweater and he's got almost every car gadget that most auto supply stores have available.
Can you offer any suggestions before I have to resort to a trip to the mall?
Good timing for this question Jane, I've been waiting to provide a different kind of Christmas list so I'm going to offer up a selection of bank account busters to stocking stuffers so here we go.
Most of us don't have the disposable income of serious car collects or Rock Stars, but that doesn't mean you can't drive the cars of the stars. Try wrapping up a Lamborghini or a Porsche rental certificate - heck, it'll even fit in a stocking as a stuffer! Too ostentatious? How about a BMW or a Mercedes or a Jag? How much fun would it be to pull into the driveway in one of those bad boys, and for a fraction of a purchase price.
Speaking personally as a car guy, I can't think of any better therapy than spending quality time cleaning and primping my baby. My son is grown, but my 1962 Lincoln still needs my attention. We car nuts love a shiny vehicle...besides; everyone knows that a clean car runs better than a dirty car! Car cleaning kits are available at most auto supply stores, or have fun putting your own spin on a kit by building your own. Hint: take a look at what your car obsessed guy is using now for cleaning and detailing products. You can take things uptown by buying "cosmetics" for the finish on his car. Products from Mothers, Meguiars and Zymol will impress for sure. Another hint: polishing rags are best made from diapers and micro-fibre cloth is fantastic as a glass cleaner and you don't even need chemicals...water is all you'll need.
Oil changes. Every car or truck requires one. Gift certificates from your local oil change or service centre can easily be negotiated at this time of year. Depending on the shop, you can have other services included, such as brake inspections, chassis inspections, pre-trip inspections, vacuuming, etc.
Car wash certificates. Sometimes it makes sense to have your vehicle washed automatically. I don't mean with a scrubbing brush car-wash, 'cause no self respecting car guy or girl would put their ride through that torture. I'm talking about touchless and more importantly, an under car wash, especially during and after heavily salted winter conditions.
Magazine subscriptions to enthusiast publications are always a great gift. The thing is, you can pinpoint the focus of the gift-getter's favourite style of motoring. Many of them like AutoWeek or Automotive News are very well written and will contain news as well as reviews. If your guy is into collector cars there are myriad magazines available for that segment too.
How about an ultimate gift? Plan a weekend driving trip to an exotic location! Depending on your location, there are always spots that lend themselves to a driving getaway. Include a bed and breakfast in your plans and you have the makings of a travelogue.
Here's a hot item - the Hogwash Pressure Washer. It's a hand pumped pressure washer that would work wonders at cleaning hard to reach places. I can see this being used under the hood of my car cleaning the engine compartment. This can be ordered on-line through www.MarksTechnologyNews.com or www.AutoExpress.co.uk.
Satellite Radio. This will, however, require a subscription but you know, that isn't a bad thing as they are not expensive. Most of these little units are portable so they can be taken out of the car and used inside the house, in a boat, in a motorhome...pretty much anywhere. They can even be set up to work through your vehicle's sound system.
Another sound option is an MP3 Player. The range of options and prices is amazing. There is a whole industry behind this technology. These too can be set up to pump your music through your vehicle's sound system.
A portable jump start kit is great gift especially during the winter months when the battery is put through its toughest assignment: cranking a cold engine which can kill a weak battery.
Portable vacuum cleaner. They are not all weak as this is one of the complaints of these devices. One of the best on the market is the Vac and Blo. It's very powerful and can get into the tight spots between the seats and into the crannies of a console.
And finally, how about an X-Box? But not with just any old game, I'm talkin' Forza Motorsport 3. This game rocks! I have even read about FM3 in my car magazines. The graphics are unbelievable, the car choices number in the hundreds and the tracks are actual race tracks...no racing through cities breaking every law written.
Stocking stuffers are easy and can be picked up at most stores. Imagination is the key to success with these little gifts. Things such as:
- Self-Heating/Cooling Travel Mugs
- "Swiffer" dusters. Don't laugh, these things are the best for cleaning the dash, consoles and dashboard ducts
- Digital tire pressure gauge. Useful for the obvious reason but more importantly, they are accurate
- Air duct deodorizer. Sprayed into the air inlet at the base of the windshield, it can help to remove that mildew smell that tends to build up with heavy use of the air-conditioning system.
There you have it. Any one of these will be hugely appreciated - I can tell you for sure because I would love to see any of these gifts under my tree!
Merry Christmas Jane.