A great gift for that special motorhead would be a trip to the Grand Prix of Monaco — the pinnacle of motorsports spectating. But it has to be done in style at the slowest, hardest, and most colourful of all F1 circuits, situated in the tiny principality on the French Riviera.
Not only is Monaco a major banking centre with one of the highest life-expectancy rates (90), but the unemployment rate is zero and real estate is the world’s highest, at more than $65,000 per square metre.
To take in all the atmosphere and aura of a Monaco F1 race, the ultimate vantage point is on the deck of a private yacht in the harbour, which is available from grand-prix-monaco.com and others.
For a yacht moored in Port Hercule, a two-day package to watch the 71st running of the Monaco Grand Prix next May 25/26 costs about $3,500. This includes breakfast, lunch with French wines, televisions on board to help you watch the event, hostesses and, of course, ear-plugs.
The price does not include any additional time spent in Monaco, nor transportation costs. If Santa has had a rough year, there are regular stand-at-the-fence tickets available, starting from $57 on the Rocher Hillside to $701 for a seat in the Tribune section. But hurry, since several packages are already sold out.
Gifts under $100
Two gifts that would be appreciated throughout the year are subscriptions to Hemmings Motor News (hemmings.com) for $56 or National Speed Sport News (nationalspeedsportnews.com) for $75.
For a gift they will never forget, give them a ride in a Sprint Car. Sitting in the back of a specially built two-seat Sprint Car, with close to 900 horsepower and instant acceleration, on a third-mile dirt oval is exhilarating. A five-lap ride costs $100 at Ohsweken Speedway, ohswekenspeedway.com.
Gifts under $50
A couple of gifts that are not very glamorous but would be much appreciated are the Michelin Road Atlas of North America ($20), available at most book stores, and the Roadside Assistance Kit ($40) from Canadian Tire.
The 66-piece kit contains all sorts of items (flashlight, shovel, rope) to keep you from getting stranded and includes a year of Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance.