Automobile's Motorsports Gift Guide for 2019
Gear sure to bring any race fan closer to the action.
Buying gifts for avid motorsports fans can be tricky—but we're here to help. Whether they race themselves or just veg out in front of the TV on race day, here are some of the best track-day toys, desk decorations, and post-race distractions for the racing aficionados in your life. And who knows? You might find something that revs your own engine.
MotorTrend OnDemand Premium | $4.99/month | MotorTrendOnDemand.com
You've no doubt seen the advertisements in Automobile magazine and on our site, but have you tried our company's video-on-demand service yet? It includes hit original programs like "Roadkill," "Hot Rod Garage," and "Head 2 Head"—but it's also a great resource for motorsports junkies, with streams of racing action from Le Mans, the Nürburgring, the Isle of Man, various GT series, rallying, Australian V8 Supercars, even karting and powerboats—plus more. It's a must-have service for gearheads and racing enthusiasts alike.
Model Cars | pasteiners.com
If you need something a little more substantial than a Hot Wheels, check out some of the latest realistic scale models from some of the biggest brands. GT Spirit has released a $159.95 resin 1/18-scale Ford GT Heritage Edition to get you in the Le Mans mood. While we're speaking of the world's most famous endurance race, Greenlight Collectibles offers this excellent 1/43-scale 1970 Porsche 917K in Gulf livery complete with a scale figure of Steve McQueen, who drove the car in the 1971 film Le Mans, for $28.50. For F1 fans, Bburago has a 1/18-scale version of the Ferrari SF71H, Sebastian Vettel's latest car from Maranello ($79.95).
The History of Motorsport: From the Beginnings Until Today | $45 | amazon.com
Don't let the monochromatic green cover fool you; this is one of the better and most complete racing history books out there. From Formula 1 to rallying, this covers it all in impressive detail, pairing well-researched reports with stunning photography from each respective era. This book is worth checking out even by hard-core motorsports followers who think they already know it all.
IMSA: Celebrating 50 Years | $170 | imsa.com/50
You may have seen our coverage of IMSA's 50th anniversary, and if you want to dig deeper and relive the sanctioning body's racing history, this is your book. Revealed during the 2018 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and limited to 2,000 copies, it profiles the people, places, manufacturers, cars, and teams that have battled wheel to wheel for 50 years in one of America's premier road-racing categories.
Alpinestars Suit and Shoes | alpinestars.com
Whether you participate in motorsports or simply watch as a fan, Alpinestars needs no introduction. Its line of motorcycle and automotive products features prominently on riders and drivers around the world. Two of its most popular auto-racing products are now even more appealing for 2019. The GP Pro Comp suit is a lightweight, three-layer, fire-resistant construction perfect for all level of drivers, and it's now available in a new range of colors for $849.95, $150 less than before. The Tech 1-T shoe, meanwhile, is the same one used by top professionals and features a complete redesign incorporating upgraded materials and improved comfort, all for the same $269.95 as the previous version.
Bell RS7C LTWT | from $1699.95 | bellracing.com
We're always on the lookout for the latest in head protection; the closer we can get to what the pros wear—without entirely decimating our budget—the better. So we're excited about Bell Racing's new RS7 Carbon Lightweight helmet. Bell developed it in collaboration with Team Penske's NASCAR operation, and extensive re-engineering of the already excellent, standard RS7 Carbon (an Automobile favorite) led the company to build a helmet that weighs less than 2.75 pounds—almost a full pound lighter than the regular version—without compromising impact performance. That's significant and results in less driver fatigue and improved comfort. Almost as cool, Bell will for the first time across its HP Series range of lids offer various interior liner colors (a $200 upgrade) beyond the drab gray or black of most helmets. The RS7C LTWT is available with a host of additional options as well.
Game TimeB | amazon.com
No, video games and even top-flight simulators still aren't a one-to-one substitute for the excitement, thrill, and fear that real-life racing provides, but they certainly have gotten more immersive and more fun by the year, and many of them start at just $25. The latest crop ranges from the PC-only simulation-style "Assetto Corsa Competizione" (a real challenge and the official game of the Blancpain GT Series) to the down-and-dirty fun of "NASCAR Heat 3." In between are always-improving titles such as Codemasters' "F1 2018," which is popular with the Grand Prix nerds on our staff, and "Forza Horizon 4," the latest installment of the open-world racing franchise that seems popular with, well, just about everybody. There's no better way to pass frigid winter days than working up a sweat gunning for another lap record from the comfort—and safety—of your game room.