I am always the last guy to submit this list, and if more than one of us suggests the same item, the editor uses a first-come-first-served criterion rather than the incontestably fairer seniority criterion to decide who gets to use it (well, fairer to me).
So the usual suspects are probably gone — advanced driver training school, Mephisto driving shoes, CAA membership, bright red Ferrari 458 Spider.
Forces me to be more creative.
In the true spirit of Christmas and embracing the modern do-it-yourself ethic, I’d put together a personalized driving tour along the lines of what we used to run back in the 1990s — an Autobahn Fantasy Tour.
I’d rent a fleet of hot German cars — maybe a Porsche Boxster, BMW Z4, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster, Audi R8 — and have them delivered to various luxury resort hotels throughout the country; we’d drive each one for a couple of days.
The itinerary would start in Munich (yes, the BMW Advanced Driver Training Program and the BMW museum), run southeast to Berchtesgaden, then west along the Deutsche Alpenstrasse to Konstanz, north to Stuttgart (Mercedes and Porsche museums) westward to Malhouse, France (Schlumpf museum), north to do a few laps of the Nurburgring Nordschleife, then south-west through Rothenburg ob der Tauber, to Ingolstadt (Audi museum), returning to Munich.
It’d take about a week, it’d be something the lucky recipient will never forget, and if I can find 20 people who think this would be worth the $15,000 or so per person it would cost, I’d be happy to try and put it together.
Gifts under $100
Maybe somebody has picked off Mephistos, but for a lot less money you can get a pair of Piloti Spyder SV driving shoes, the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned. I’m on my third pair now, and I’m trying to find some more. I bought my last two pair online from Shoebacca.com (no, I’m not kidding) and they can go on sale for $24 (regularly $75). But at the moment, they don’t have my size in stock. Also, shipping to Canada is a pain; find a friend in the U.S. and ship them there. Or, try Pfaff Tuning, part of Chris Pfaff’s Porsche/McLaren empire at 33 Auto Park Circle in Vaughan (905-907-1001).
Anybody chosen a car cover yet? Checking buyautocovers.ca for my 1977 AMC Hornet Hatchback, they’re actually available for as little as $79.50 and over our limit to $182.50. Hey, what you save on the Pilotis you can apply to the car cover. Canadian Tire has a wide selection, too.
Gifts under $50
I’d give my annual Car Photography Charity Calendar: 13 pretty nice photos (if I do say so myself) of some pretty nice cars — 13 because we give you January 2013, too. ($15, available at jimkenzie.com.) Half of all the proceeds go to PARACHUTE, the new injury-prevention foundation and successor to SMARTRISK, which has been our beneficiary for the past seven years of the calendar.
I’d also give Eddie Bauer Fog Off, a little sponge that removes condensation from inside your car’s windows and mirrors (eddiebauer.com). Click on “Gear,” scroll down to click on “Travel Gear,” scroll down a little, and there it is: “Fog Off” for $12.50. It’s apparently Canadian-made, and a colleague noticed it in an Eddie Bauer store in Toronto for $16.50. We’re getting ripped off again.
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