Unless your name is Elon Musk, it’s unlikely you’ll be wrapping up cars with a Christmas bow and putting them under the tree for your loved ones. So, instead of giving cars, here’s a list of gifts, ranging from the fun and frivolous to the practical and functional, to make the Yuletide brighter than high beams on a dark winter night for the drivers on your naughty and nice list.
Car lovers of all ages can customize their own vehicles, one crayon colour at a time with the Classic Car Coloring Book ($11.89) by artist Bruce LaFontaine. The 112-page book from doverpublications.com features everything from the 1957’s Lincoln Continental Mark II and the 1955 Pontiac Starchief convertible to the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren two-door coupe and Maserati Spyder two-door Convertible Roadster.
Cup holders are standard features on new cars so why not gift a not-so-standard mug to your coffee loving car owner? Zazzle.ca offers up a variety of motor themed, microwave and dishwasher safe mugs including the Retro Garage coffee mug and the customizable Insert-Your-Name-Here Hot Rod Garage 11-ounce ceramic mug for under $20.
Blue Jays Car Mat, $29.99, homedepot.com
Baseball season is over for now, but Toronto fans can show their hometown pride all year long with the gift of a Toronto Blue Jays Heavy Duty 2-Piece Vinyl Car Mat ($29.99) from Fanmats and Home Depot. If the Jays strikeout with your giftee, Fanmats also has a selection of other officially licensed design mats, including the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors.
It is said the sense of smell is our most powerful sense. A familiar aroma can bring back a flood of memories and emotions. For the car lover that could be the new car smell or the distinctive scent of a mechanic’s garage. Trigger that memory with a 2 Stroke Smoke Candle for $39.80 (U.S.) from Flying Tiger. Handmade with “real live 2 stroke oil boosted with high-octane fragrance,” the candles provide a nostalgic, reminiscent, and most importantly, non-toxic experience.
Based in Switzerland, autoplush.com aims to supply “plushy goodness” to car lovers. Whether the car enthusiast in your life is a fan of Mustang Fastbacks, F150 pickups or the Miata MX5, Autoplush has the perfect gift for them: plush slippers designed to look like iconic car designs. No word on whether they handle as well as the MX-5 Miata on the corners, but at under $70 (U.S.) they are a deal.
Hammacher Transformer, $99, hammacher.com
Many a Transformers fan has gone to sleep on Christmas Eve with dreams of a toy garbage truck that morphs into a 14-inch robot at a verbal command dancing in their heads. Now, for $79 (U.S.) Hammacher.com’s Voice Activated Transforming Garbage Truck makes that dream come true. Battery operated, it works by remote control and follows simple voice commands like “forward,” “stop” and “transform.”
You may already have portraits of loved ones and maybe even your pet, so why not one of your car? Personalized, customizable hand-made car portraits are available at the For the Love of Cars Etsy.com shop by professional automotive designer and digital artist Ibrahim. Prices range from $124.33 for a one-car image, all the way up to $666.07 for a portrait of 10 of your favorite cars.
Want an elegant gift alternative to the Little Tree disposable air freshener for the car lover in your life? The aluminum CLEMT Perfume Diffuser DM1 Pebble attaches to the vehicle interior, on a dashboard or console, and comes in a variety of aromas like Baies, Aqua Kiss and Lime Citron. Find them at clemt.com for $135.59 for a diffuser and a three-month supply of essential oil scents. The 2019 iF Design Award winning item comes packaged in a designer gift box.
Toronto Motorsports Replica Helmet, $229.99, tomotorsports.com
A new, brand name Formula One racing helmet can cost upwards of $4,000. Toronto Motorsports has the next best thing, perfect for the racing lover on your list, a 1:2 scale resin, acrylic and fiberglass 2021 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Formula One Replica Helmet ($229.99). The size of a softball, it comes with all the bells and whistles collectors look for, including interior padding and fastening buckles.
For the car lover who has everything comes AeroPods, the perfect gift from artist and furniture-maker Dean Jackson. Inspired by classic automobile designs, these beautiful sculptures are handmade, signed, numbered and personalized for the owner. The AeroPod cabinets come in colours like Ferrari Red and Alfa Romeo Blue, and the look of the insides is limited only by the imagination. Past customers have requested liquor cabinets, jewelry chests and even a waterfall. Prices start at start at $25,000 and, Jackson said, “they are essentially treasure chests designed for maximum ‘wow’ factor.”