As the song goes, ’tis the season…’ and if there is a special car guy or gal on your shopping list, the question always becomes, what do I get that will bring a smile to the face of someone I care about? Here is a brief list, from very inexpensive to wow, that’s gonna leave a mark. Let the shopping begin.
Floor Mats: During the winter season, mud, snow, salt and slush can really stain the carpet in a vehicle. The best way to prevent permanent damage is with good set of high quality floor mats. The best kind are made of a hard but flexible rubber. They don’t absorb water and clean easily. We like Weather Tech’s products. They are laser measured for each make and model so they fit very well. Better yet, they have raised sides so that they hold that melted snow, preventing it from soaking in the carpeting. A full set for a BMW 3 Series – available in black, tan or gray – is less than $100 and will last for years. See Weather Tech’s website for other fitments.
Magazine Subscription: Most car loves have at least one automotive publication that they read from cover to cover. The long-time favorites, Car and Driver, Road & Track, Motor Trend and Automobile are filled each month with road tests, race reports and other exciting articles about cars, trucks and SUVs. These publications are a mile wide and a foot deep on various subjects. However, there are publications called “buff” books that focus on a single marque going a mile deep and a foot wide. For the BMW fan, Bimmer is a great magazine that lives and breathes these great cars. A full year is under $20. See Bimmer’s website for more information.
Let it Shine: If that special someone really loves his or her vehicle, then I bet giving it a good spit and polish is something that’s always on the to-do list. Modern cars have special two stage paint (color coat topped by a shiny clear coat) that requires the right wax to both add a layer of protection and bring out the shine. The folks at Griot’s Garage have this challenge handled with lots of products that wash, clean, polish and wax easily, effectively and more important, safely. They are selling a starter care kit that retails for about $66 that has every product a car lover could need. Check it out at Griot’s Garage online for the details.
Time on Their Hands: In the age of digital everything, having an analog wristwatch under your sleeve may seem an anachronism. But for some reason, known only to car people, having a really nice watch on your wrist says something about who you are. The grand daddy of special watches is the Rolex Daytona. It’s the prize awarded to drivers at the annual 24 Hour race in Florida and a coveted trophy, more valuable than money. But if you can’t win one at the 2016 race, you can buy one to provide a truly special gift. The price is, if you have to ask, stratospheric. Various models are available from stainless steel to gold and even the least expensive is over $15,000. However, this is an investment grade timepiece and will hold its value or possibly even appreciate over time. I wear a 1978-era Rolex Submariner that is valued at ten times what I paid for it over 35 years ago. Check out Rolex’s website to be amazed.
Hands On: If your car afflicted person is someone who actually works on his or her car, then quality tools are always appreciated. The big dog in the tool world is Snap-On and their quality is reflected in the price. American made and jewel-like in their finish, these are heirloom tools that will pass from generation to generation. My personal favorite Snap-On products are called “Flex Head / Open End Combination” wrenches. These tools have a socket end and an open end wrench on the other. These are available in the most common sizes you will find on a BMW. Over the years I have found that the 10mm, 13mm, 17mm and 19mm are most useful. Prices start over $50 for each wrench (not a typo) but will last and last and are a joy to use. Go to SnapOn on the web and follow the links to their wonderful hand tools and wrenches.
Got You Covered: The easiest gift for a car fan is a marque hat. These relatively inexpensive gifts tell the recipient that you understand their passion for their car. BMW has several varieties on their web site. They offer caps that can be used for golf or tennis, worn at a car club event or just to remind the wearer that they have a very cool car. Click on BMW’s website to see what I mean. They even have kids sizes; always a favorite in my family.
That’s just a taste of what the car gift world has to offer. Many more items can be found that will make your special car person happy. But remember, if you give a car person a car oriented gift, that makes you someone special.
Happy and merry to you and yours.