Ten Automotive Gifts We’d Like to Buy Ourselves

Hopefully each and every one of you had a spectacular holiday season and got a few nifty car-themed gifts. If you didn’t, we have a few suggestions for automotive gifts you should buy yourself with a leftover bonus or cash that was gifted to you. Here’s what we have on our shopping lists.

AMG 45: The Cars, The Story.

The last time I spent $100 on a 474-page hardbound book, I was buying brand-new biology textbooks in college. Rest assured that publication was nowhere as enthralling as “AMG 45: The Cars, The Story.” Mercedes’ performance wing has a long (and occasionally wild) history, and this book does an amazing job of chronicling it all – even interviewing co-founders (and occasional rivals) Erhardt Melcher and Hans Warner Aufrecht at the same table. A North American release is available for pre-order on Amazon for a mere $56, but if you have to have it now – or before March 2013, anyway – you’ll need to order it from Europe for somewhere around $80-$100.  – Evan McCausland

Available: March 2013


Schuco 1/18 Porsche Renntransporter Package

If you’re going to assemble a vintage Porsche racing team in 1/18th scale, you’re going to need a transporter. Luckily, Schuco builds a massive 1/18th scale replica of the custom-built hauler – essentially a modified Mercedes-Benz bus — Porsche employed in the early 1970s. The model is detailed to the nth degree, and features opening doors, double-decker car storage (there’s room for four cars within), and a working loading ramp/lift. The model is nearly two feet long, 9 inches tall, and weighs 12 pounds.  Finding a Renntransporter in the U.S. is a little tricky, but if you want to build a scale team in one fell swoop, Exoto’s bundle pairs the Porsche-hauler with two beautiful replicas of the 1967 Porsche 910 for a cool $1200. – Evan McCausland

Available: Now


Black zirconium and carbon fiber ring

I already have a watch with a carbon fiber face, and it is one of the most-commented on things I wear. As I am wed to my passion of cars, it’s only appropriate to have a ring that recalls some of the most desirable supercars with its black cubic zirconium bling and a five-millimeter inlay of carbon fiber. – Donny Nordlicht

Available: Now


Lamborghini carbon fiber weekend bag

My circle of friends works in all areas of the transportation sector, form cars to planes to trains. This means we’re often jetting off to exotic locales for fun, and grabbing our most trusted weekend bags with us. While I’ve had some pretty good work trips (sledding in the Austrian Alps, anyone?), most of my for-fun travels are short jaunts to places like New York, Atlanta, and Chicago. If I can’t join my friends for their awesome weekends to Istanbul or Oahu, I can at least have the best weekend bag. Not only is this $1900 Lamborghini weekender made from leather, palladium-plated brass, and real carbon fiber weave, it’s also the perfect size – it fits under an airline seat, but isn’t so small that you need to bring a second bag for your trip. – Donny Nordlicht

Available: Now


ALDO Casual Loafers

Gentlemen who drive as much as we do deserve a good pair or two of driving shoes, preferably with the kind of rounded heel that makes pushing pedals a comfortable affair. While many of my colleagues like racing shoes for that reason, my problem with Pilotis is that when you get wherever you’re going, you’re going to be wearing a pair of garishly colored, racing-striped sneakers. Unless you’re hitting the track, opt instead for a pair of driving moccasins/casual loafers. My personal favorites are ALDO’s Fick leather driving moc ($100) and Sawhill suede moc ($90), which wear well whether you’re going to work, going out, or rev-matching your downshifts. – Ben Timmins

Available: Now


AutoCheck One-Month Membership

I am in the market for a decent used car, which means that I’m trying to find a vehicle that hasn’t been seriously injured in an accident or the subject of used-car-lot shenanigans like flood damage. Experian’s AutoCheck–which partners with used-car extravaganza eBay Motors–offers a full report on one car for $29.99, but also offers a full month of unlimited VIN lookups for $44.99. Considering that it could save you thousands, it’s not a bad investment. – Ben Timmins

Available: Now


Porsche Design Heritage Black Chronograph

Do I own a Porsche? No, but that doesn’t mean I can’t lust after this slick black watch from Porsche Design. Though not officially listed in the U.S. catalog, Porsche Design’s European website confirms that the Heritage Black Chronograph was inspired by the company’s first watch from 1972. The face is simple and clear, with delicate white numerals printed over a slate-gray background; the muted gray band and the fact that “Porsche Design” appears in a tiny font prevent this watch from looking too ostentatious. But with a list price of €3500, I don’t think I’ll see this in my stocking. – Jake Holmes

Available: Now


Bendpak Two-Post Lift

You know my least favorite thing about working on cars? Crawling around on a cold garage floor in the foot of space afforded by typical jack stands. While I lack the large garage and safety training necessary, I’d love to have one of these Bendpark two-post car lifts. It would make even the mildest of car maintenance tasks so much easier. No longer would I have to lie on my back and contort in positions that would make yoga pros wince to change oil or brake pads. Having better space and access might make working on my used car fun again. Yet even if I had the space and know-how for this lift, there’s one thing I would lack: money. When a website advises that customers call for a quote, I instantly know the asking price will stretch beyond my budget. – Jake Holmes

Available: Now

Price varies

GoPro HERO3 Black Edition

I thoroughly enjoy 24 Hours of LeMons racing and taking my ’92 Miata on pilgrimages to twistier parts of the country. Of course those activities only amount to tens of hours of my year. A GoPro makes bringing back stunning high-def video to enjoy later a piece of cake. The audio capabilities are less impressive, but I’ll happily trade perfect video for muffled audio since neither my race car nor my Miata have pleasing exhaust notes. I prefer the Black Edition GoPro for the Wi-Fi remote control and 4K resolution capability. – Phil Floraday

Available: Now


Escort Passport 9500ix

Although I appreciate having a quality radar detector for advance speed trap warnings, my favorite feature of the Passport 9500ix is the GPS-verified speed reading. I love being able to see how fast I’m going without having to look all the way down to the speedometer, plus I know the speed reading is accurate – that’s not always the case with an analog speedometer, especially on an older car. The built-in (and updatable) safety camera database is also outstanding. – Phil Floraday

Available: Now


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