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Ho-ho-GTO: Great gifts for automotive fans on your list

Laser-cut Ferrari art, replica Shelby Cobra Daytona or a Tag Heuer Monaco watch would all be welcome under the tree.

Published November 15, 2012

Every year, my family asks what I want for Christmas. Coming up with a response is more challenging than you might think. There are lots of automotive toys and trinkets I would just love to have, but most don’t fall within any sort of reasonable budget. Without an eye to expense, here are some things I would love to receive, along with a few more realistic options.

Gifts for him by Gary Grant

WHEEL TIME: I don’t wear a watch. In fact, I don’t think I even own one that works. If I was ever to wear one, though, it would have to be a Tag Heuer Monaco. This is the watch that Steve McQueen wore, the grand-daddy of motorsport watches. Some folks pine for a Rolex, but I like the classic simplicity of the Monaco, vintage or new. The current version features a blue face, with classic white racing stripes, red hands and a blue leather strap. But at $7,500, I doubt Santa is going to be bringing me one anytime soon. tagheuer.com

COBRA CRUSH: Like most car fanatics, I love diecast models, the more detailed the better. I also have a certain fondness for cars that bear Carroll Shelby’s name. Exoto makes ultra-detailed models and has just two left of the stunning 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona. A 22-cm recreation of the very first Cobra Daytona, and the only one that was built entirely at the Shelby American plant in California. CSX 2287 won the 12 hours of Sebring in ‘64. The model features hand-painted details, opening doors, hood and hatch, and reproduction Goodyear Blue Streak Tires. The white fenders and “Dan Gurney for President” stickers were added for the 24 hours of Le Mans in the same year. I doubt Mrs. Claus will be shelling out $998.95 for this one, but I would be equally happy with a nice selection of Hot Wheels. exoto.com

WHEELS OF STEEL: I first met Halifax artist Paul Chenard a few years ago when he commented on some photos I had taken of the historic Hubley Blue Nose Special dirt track racer. A longtime fan of the early days of racing, Chenard combined that passion with his own pen-and-ink style to create works of art that bring racing history to life. Chenard’s latest work starts as a sketch of the legendary NART Ferrari GTO, which is then laser cut into a sheet of stainless steel and powder coated in red. Paul then hand paints the details onto each of the limited-edition pieces. How limited? There will only be 10 of these, followed by a blue Cobra Daytona. Santa, this one will set you back $1,500 but will look awesome on my desk. automobiliart.blogspot.ca

BIG BOSS:  What could be cooler than a modern recreation of an icon that has all of the raw appeal of the original? Every week someone asks what my favourite car is. This is the one I want under my tree. If someone has an extra $57,035 kicking around, then I’m sure Mrs. Claus will find a bow big enough. In School Bus Yellow, please, if it isn’t too much to ask! ford.ca

GARAGE GUY: On a more practical note, my garage could use some real organizational solutions. I would be super happy if Santa would bring me some Gladiator GarageWorks cabinets and shelves to give me somewhere to hide my stuff. I already have one of the low, rolling cabinets in the kitchen and I love the diamond plate styling and tough construction. Best of all, they are affordable! gladiatorgarageworks.com

OUTLAW CLOTHING: Toronto filmmaker Tamir Moscovici recently released a short film called Urban Outlaw, which captures the passion and creativity of Porsche restorer Magnus Walker. Using scrapped Porsche 911s, Walker brings new life to old cars with his own unique touches. The dreadlocked and tattooed creator got his start in the vintage clothing business, growing into a designer as he carved his own style. To partner the launch of Urban Outlaw, Walker has released a line of duds that are sure to make every Porsche fan drool. Santa, please bring me a couple of shirts, a beenie and a ball cap! magnuswalker911.com

Gifts for her by Rita Zekas

No woman wants a pedestrian Christmas gift — that constitutes a vehicle infraction. Here are a few automotive-themed gifts that should keep her smiling. Failing that, there is always a DVD of Driving Miss Daisy.

PEDAL PUSHERS: No matter how stylin’ they look, you can’t work a gas pedal efficiently in stilettos. That’s why Tod’s driving moccasins took off. They come in tons of styles and colours, including metallic, leopard and zebra print, and range in price from $435 to $995 for python print. There is even a winterized version with a thicker tread. Available at select Holt Renfrew stores.

SILKY WAY: What could be more chic for Madame than a Hermès silk scarf to tuck in her tresses while racing around the French Riviera in an open car, à la Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief? The classic 90 cm twill silk scarf sells for $420 at Hermès stores or Hermes.com.

HAND WARMERS: Driving gloves are de rigueur, darling! Sermoneta Gloves come in a delicious range of colours, including purple, green, electric blue, hot pink and yellow, as well as neutral hues. Ladies’ styles range from $60 for satin to $300 for cashmere. Available at 131 Bloor St. W. in Toronto or at sermonetagloves.com.

SWISS MISS: A Swiss Army knife should be mandatory in every glove compartment. David French, sales manager at Toronto’s Victorinox, recommends the Rescue Tool model, which includes a seat-belt cutter, window breaker for shatter-proof glass, a Phillips screw driver and a wire stripper. “It’s all the basic needs for survival, and a little bit more. It also has all the classic five features: knife, scissors, file, tweezers and toothpick.” $105 at Victorinox stores or at swissarmy.com.

PINK POWER: The “See and Be Seen” flashlight from Bed Bath & Beyond is only $12 but can be pressed into service for disco nights. Press once and it shines regular light. Press twice and the body turns hot pink. Press a third time and the body flashes hot pink, perfect for flagging down assistance from the side of the road.

DASH DANCING: Every car needs a hula girl on the dashboard. Not only do Rolo stores have them (for $8), they also have Zombie ($10.95), Lola the pole dancer (who costs $14.95 and smells like cherries), and Dashboard Jesus ($7).

TIRE TALK: Canadian Tire couldn’t be more car-centric. In addition to the iconic fuzzy dice ($4.99) for the mirror, there is a cosy cushion priced at $8.99 for insertion between shoulder and seat belt to prevent chaffing. It also offers a rear-view mirror speaker phone for $150 for hands-free calling, along with a cup-holder mount ($90) and a visor model ($120).

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