DVD and some books will rev your engine
Gerry Malloy's ultimate gift would be a Chrysler Atlantic sculpture.
Gifts for me, under $50
Can Am: The Speed Odyssey
This was on my list last year, but its release was delayed so Santa couldn’t come through. Now it is available â€“ more than 90 minutes of original film footage from the legendary Can Am Series on DVD, narrated by former driver Sam Posey. That was the golden age of racing and, if you were there, you will understand why I want to experience the sights and sounds again. Donohue, Gurney, Hall, Hulme, McLaren, Stewart, and many more â€“ all the stars of the day. $34.95 (U.S.).
General Motors History
With General Motors both celebrating its 100th anniversary and fighting to survive for another year, it’s appropriate to brush up on the company’s history. Three books on the two men who set GM’s course early on are good places to start, and all can be had for less than $50 total:
Billy Durant: Creator of General Motors (paperback) by Lawrence R. Gustin. $14.40;
Sloan Rules: Alfred P. Sloan and the Triumph of General Motors (paperback) by David Farber. $13.15;
Billy, Alfred, and General Motors: The Story of Two Unique Men, a Legendary Company, and a Remarkable Time in American History (hardcover) by William Pelfrey. $19.76.
Photo Memoirs of the Auto Industry
A trio of photographic memoirs of the North American auto industry, in paperback, all by Michael W.R. Davis: Chrysler Heritage: A Photographic History; Ford Dynasty: A Photographic History; and General Motors: A Photographic History. Available as a bundle for $48.22.
Gifts to give, under $100
The IceDozer is a super-duty ice scraper that actually looks a bit like a bulldozer. I have one and it has proven its worth, so now I need to get her one. It deals effectively with freezing rain coatings as well as more common frost buildup. $19.95.
Belkin iPod TuneBase II FM Transmitter
Her car doesn’t have an iPod adapter so she can’t listen to her own tunes through the car’s stereo system. This little gizmo will let her do so. It broadcasts the signal to the FM radio frequency that will ensure the best reception and displays the frequency. $99.99.
With talking on a hand-held cellphone now taboo, she needs a Bluetooth-compatible speaker for her car. There are several available, but I’ll opt for one from Hammacher-Schlemmer that is billed as the slimmest Bluetooth speakerphone on the market. It features built-in echo cancellation and noise suppression software to combat issues common in cars, and it clips conveniently to a visor. It comes with both AC and DC chargers. $69.95.
Gifts for me, no limit
A subscription to Automobile Quarterly is perpetually on my list, and it probably always will be. A hardcover book published four times a year, with spectacular photography and impeccably researched articles by some of the world’s foremost automotive authorities, it is a must-have for aficionados. Not only is every issue entertaining and informative, collectively they form a chronicle of automotive history that is invaluable for research or just jogging your memory. $99.99 (U.S.).
Chrysler Atlantic Sculpure
Chrysler’s Atlantic concept car from 1995 â€“ supposedly based on a sketch quickly rendered by Bob Lutz, who was still with Chrysler back then â€“ is a modern interpretation of classic auto design from the late 1930s, with particular homage to the art deco influence and that of the French school. As such, it is truly a modern classic. The car itself is unobtainable, of course, but the Walter P. Chrysler Museum is offering a limited edition of Atlantic sculptures from the Chrysler Design Office in bronze-toned resin on a black base. I want one. $150 (U.S.).
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR
I didn’t get the Audi R8 I asked for last year so I’ve scaled down my expectations for 2008. I’ll be quite happy with a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR, which will simultaneously satisfy my latent boy racer fantasies and provide a level of dynamic safety that few other vehicles can match at any price. Available at your local dealer for $47,498.