Leftlane's Holiday Gift Guide for Gearheads
Unless you've been huffing too many exhaust fumes, you know that the holiday season is upon us - and as gearheads ourselves, we know that you want treats for your garage, not sweaters and ties! We've culled together a baker's dozen of the best, coolest and, well, most unusual times that are sure to amuse and entertain your favorite auto aficionado.
1. Piloti, makers of the finest driving shoes for professional racers and casual drivers, introduce their new Scuderia and Speedway models. The Scuderia was inspired by the golden era of road racing, while the Speedway carries a California surfer-cool kind of vibe. Available in a variety of colors, they supply the ultimate in pedal feel with their patented Roll Control heel technology, and all-day comfort outside the car. So good, the Scuderias were the shoes of choice for judges at the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Starting at $95 for the Speedway model, they are available through online retailers, and in spring 2009 at Nordstrom, Dillards, Journeys and Finish Line shoes. For more information please go to Piloti.com.
2. A Hot Seat for the hot foot! Genuine Hotrod Hardware, a division of Summit Racing Equipment, has the perfect gift for any hot rodder. These custom-painted toilet seats come in a choice of hot rod flame style or Von Dutch-style pinstripes and topped off with a clearcoat finish for added durability. Starting at $59.95, they are available at Summitracing.com or local distributors carrying Genuine Hotrod Hardware.
3. Hammaka Hammocks introduced their Hammaka Trailer Hitch Stand a little while ago, but we still think it is one of the wackiest ideas ever to hit a ball hitch! Great for camping, tailgating, or congregating, it attaches to any two-inch standard hitch receiver and supports up to 500 pounds when 250 lbs are distributed to each arm. Available online at Hammaka.com and other dealers.
4. GoPro Cameras introduces their line of wearable five megapixel Motorsports HERO Wide video cameras that are bundled with enough hardware and mounting devices to attach them to almost any motorcycle helmet, car, boat, plane or other powersport activity device. Additionally, they can capture up to 56-minutes of video and shoot five-megapixel still photographs. Available at goprocamera.com, the Motorsports HERO retails for $199.99.
5. California Car Cover Company has RatFink T-Shirts: The Rat Fink Lives! Designed by legendary hot rod artist and designer Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, these classic cartoons on T-Shirts bark back to the horsepower war days of sixties' hot-rodding. Said to have been inspired by Roth's intense hatred of a rival cartoon mouse located in nearby Anaheim, California, the Rat Fink has taken on a life of its own. These retro-look t-shirts are available in sizes M-XL for $17.99. and XXL for $19.99. calcarcover.com
6. Citizen Eco Drive Promaster SST is billed as a race chronograph or pilot's watch with accuracy to 1/1000 of a second. With a miniature gauge binnacle, as seen on your car's dashboard, it is able to recall up to 20 lap times, and calculate average speed, it is powered by Citizen's Eco Drive light powered technology, meaning that it will never need a battery again. It also features world time in 43 cities, alarm, countdown timer, and red LED backlight. All this, and water resistance to 200 meters. Available in stainless steel with black ion plating, $695 or titanium with black ion plating for $895. Citizenwatch.com
7. LED Lenser Flashlights: Coast, maker of fine knives, and hunting gear are the exclusive US distributor of Coast LED Lenser lights. Designed in Germany using the latest in optoelectronic engineering, the lights are among the brightest and most energy efficient on the market. The 7438 Tactical Focus Beam light is a five-inch long, aircraft aluminum encased flashlight powered by 3 AAA batteries. Battery life is rated at 100 hours. Their 7575 Auto LED is perfect for late night map reading and always at the ready, receiving its charge from your car's power port. Available locally at all Lowe's and Home Depot stores. 7438-From $89.95. 7575-From $21.95.
8. Sears Craftsman Portable Automotive Service Tray makes you feel like a dentist even while working under the hood of your prized car. Able to support up to 75-pounds, it easily rolls to where you need it, and keeps tools organized and close at hand. Complete with a non-slip liner, it's just like having a second set of hands. Add the perfect companion to the service tray by way of Craftsman's Rolling Mechanic Seat. With the expressed job of keeping organized, it has a 17-inch circular tool tray at its base. Available at area Sears stores or at Sears.com.
9. With many states adopting hands-free laws, and more phones going Bluetooth everyday, Plantronics introduced their Discovery 925 Bluetooth earpiece. Designed with high performance in mind, it features better audio quality because of its AudioIQ software, which picks up and "cleans" ambient background noise without "overprocessing" the overall sound of your voice, and that of your caller. Three adjustable ear-gel stabilizers give a secure fit, and a carrying case with built-in charger keeps the Discovery 925 ready for use. Available at Best Buy and AT&T stores locally. The Discovery 925 retails for $149.95.
10. Apple, Inc.'s iPod Nano is the latest version of the ubiquitous music player to hit the street and does so as up to 90% of new cars are equipped with some form of iPod connectivity. As featured in such vehicles as BMW's 6-series and Porsche's new 911 Carrera, the iPod contents are displayed on the car's audio display and functions in a manner similar to that of the iPod itself. With the Nano's new accelerometer, you can shake it to the next song. The new 8-gigabyte iPod Nano retails for $149.99, and a 16-gigabyte model is available for $199.99.
11. Also from Genuine Hotrod Hardware is the answer to the white refrigerator blues. With regular refrigerators looking way out of place in a car lover's garage, the folks at GHH came up with the Tool Fridge. Featuring a red toolbox look, and complete with heavy-duty casters, it looks right at home next to that big red toolbox with all the metric bits in it. $299 Available online at Summitracing.com
12. Need a way to wrap that special car you've bought for that special someone? Look no further than Coverking's Gift Cover car cover. At just $39.99 from Coverking.com, the Gift Cover is a low-cost way to make a surprise gift even more memorable. It's a great way to imitate those Lexus "December to Remember"commercials without giving away the surprise.
13. Meguiar's Complete Car Care Kit will bring back your car's brilliance without busting the budget. The kit includes four of legendary detailer Meguiar's most popular products as well as a handy stainless steel travel mug to keep you warm on those cold winter nights in the garage. The kit retails for just $20 and should be enough to keep even the most obsessive enthusiast busy in the garage.
Reporting by Mark Elias and Andrew Ganz.