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If you're still agonizing over Christmas presents for friends or family, here's a fun fact: there are 22 million cars and trucks on Canadian roads so chances are you know someone who owns one.

That means whether your loved one or BFF treats their ride as an object of unnatural affection or merely a transportation appliance, there's probably an automotive gift for them.

"A lot of people are commuting and they're spending hours and hours in their car," says Joanne Elson, spokeswoman for Canadian Tire, which recently issued its Christmas catalogue.

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"So a lot of these products are really a great gift idea. They're not always something that you'd buy for yourself."

Electronic gadgets are a good place to start.

"We're seeing a lot of provinces now rolling out the hands-free legislation," says Elson, referring to the half-dozen provinces that so far have banned hands-on mobile phone use in cars.

"So a lot of the Bluetooth products have become really popular, especially this year."

Phones equipped with Bluetooth wireless technology can link to a variety of devices that allow voice-enabled hands-free dialling and talking without necessarily wearing an earpiece.

Canadian Tire's catalogue includes units that clip to the sun visor and one that displays numbers in the rear-view mirror. Electronics and mobile phone retailers, as well as some car audio shops, are other good sources.

A lot of newer cars come with audio systems capable of handling iPods or other digital music players but the aftermarket offers some options for older cars.

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The easiest setups involve small units that plug into the car's power outlet and use an FM signal to send the music to the car's FM radio on an unused frequency. These cost around $100 at electronics stores such as Future Shop but the sound quality is limited to the radio's abilities and can be subject to interference.

Hard-wiring an iPod adapter with an auxiliary input or USB connection into, say, the glove compartment, is a better bet. Kits are available that use either the FM radio or an input on the system that allows the driver to control the iPod using the car stereo's controls.

These can cost up to several hundred dollars for hardware and installation and it's best to research the type of stereo in the vehicle before buying anything. Car audio shops are the best source of information for this.

Navigation systems are becoming ubiquitous and affordable but finding the right combination of features and map coverage takes some research.

It's worthwhile checking websites such as cnet.com for reviews (that goes for other car electronics, too). Prices are in U.S. dollars but give some idea of the range. Then it's an easy step to find Canadian retailers carrying the one you'll wrap up for under the tree.

As people carry more stuff in their vehicles, car organizers and storage systems have become more sophisticated. There are bins and bags that fit in trunks or attach to seats. Canadian Tire's catalogue even features an inflatable roof rack.

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Getting a cleaning appliance for Christmas is usually a relationship-ender but who wouldn't appreciate a powerful hand vacuum cleaner that can suck the dog hair out of the back-seat upholstery?

Guys probably won't turn their noses up at a pressure washer - though finding stores that stock them during the winter may be a challenge.

Another approach is a gift certificate from a reputable auto-detailing shop, essentially a spa day for one's wheels.

Beyond such practical gifts, there's a trove of things for people who just love cars - models, books, videos and memorabilia.

Ted Wilkinson turned a love of things automotive into a small business, eventually opening Wilkinson's Automobilia in Vancouver in 1988.

It's a mecca for people looking for scale models of their favourite vehicles, books, old car brochures, classic Dinky and Corgi toys, shop manuals and other stuff. The little store gets crowded around Christmas.

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"It's the busiest time of the year, that's for sure," says Wilkinson.

The store has had an online presence for a decade and its site - eautomobilia.com - was recently revamped to make it easier for customers to search its stock of 20,000 items.

"Just about all automotive enthusiasts are very particular," says Ted. "We have to carry so much different stuff."

One regular customer buys nothing but the latest Corvette model for her husband's collection.

Fanatics follow the release dates for models of their favoured car marques very closely.

Wilkinson is awaiting a new 1:18 scale model of the 1958 Testa Rossa ($350) from CMC, whose highly detailed models are designed in Germany and hand-built in China.

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"We're supposedly going to get that just before Christmas, so that will be a big seller for us," says Ted.

If the price is a little too rich, model makers offer something for almost every budget.

Books, too, can range in price, from "Throttle," a reproduction by Rodders Journal of a set of magazines from the dawn of the hot-rod era in the 1940s ($49.95), to "Lancia: 70 Years of Trailblazing," a lavish history of the defunct Italian marque with a DVD included for $154.95.

Speaking of DVDs, no suggestion list would be complete without some great car movies: "Bullitt" (Steve McQueen, a green Mustang, a Dodge Charger and San Francisco's hills), "Vanishing Point" (a man on a quest in a Dodge Challenger), the original "Italian Job" (Michael Caine, Minis racing through storm drains) and John Frankenheimer's lavish "Grand Prix" (thrilling non-CGI racing scenes on real tracks like Monaco and Monza overlaid with a soap-opera plot). That's just a few.

Speaking of racing, a web search turns up plenty of race-related items from videos to clothing and related swag that a dedicated fan will appreciate.

Don't overlook your local car dealership as a source of giftware. The parts counter often features items from models to key chains and caps featuring your giftee's favourite brand.

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Car magazines market a variety of things from T-shirts to framed or unframed photo reprints. Road and Track, for instance, has an archive dating back more than half a century.

Stocking stuffers? Travel mugs, model-specific key fobs, little LED flashlights for the glove box, electronic tire-pressure gauges, gift subscriptions to car magazines.

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