No limit gift
I’d like to get a pea-shoot-green Porsche 911 for Christmas, but not with the Fiscal Cliff starring us down. So a super snappy radio-controlled car will provide semi-affordable thrills.
The Traxxas Slash 4 x 4 is a short-course electric race truck. The 1/16th-scale monster truck is called a backyard basher, suitable for racing in rain, snow or blistering heat. It’s fast — like 80 km/h fast — and capable of performing daring stunts.
Traxxas fans love their expert detailing and because they look a lot like their full-size counterparts. Once you have the truck, then it’s time to customize. Just check out the display of parts at Best Buy: body parts, suspension parts, tires, all kinds of stuff for obsessive tinkering and tuning.
Slash is serious fun and ready to race for $440, from Best Buy and hobby shops.
Gifts under $100
Continuing with the shifting gears theme, I took a shine to the wine stoppers inspired by the shifter knobs on Mercedes Benz classic cars.
A set of four wood and stainless steel stoppers, nicely packaged would be a classic gift for a classic guy or gal. Sets of two are also available. $93 at select Mercedes Benz dealerships or online at amazon.com.
Like taking your dog on road trips? Then a Kurgo Wander Hammock will help keep things cool. The waterproof hammock lashes down to protect the back seats from dog hair and slobber. It also can be used to keep your dog in place, instead of frolicking around the car. Includes a water bottle and a carrying case. $60 at kurgostore.com or renspets.com.
Gifts under $50
I still love maps. I just bought a mint National Geographic map of the U.S. at a thrift store for $1. If you’re not a thrifter, you can find the 2013 Michelin Road Atlas for USA, Canada and Mexico at bookstores. The maps are arranged geographically so there’s continuity from page to page. Scenic drives are included. $20 at Chapters/Indigo.
I love the 6 Speed Shift Gate t-shirt for women from Zazzle. It may be a museum piece someday. Declare your love for a real manual transmission. Other designs available for guys. $34.70 at zazzle.com.