The holidays are here once again, and you need to buy gifts for your european car enthusiasts and friends. Well, it's time for another european car Magazine Holiday Buyer's Guide to help aid in items for them, and perhaps influence some items for your own wish list.
To change things up a bit, most items this year are fairly affordable, and less than $1,000. There's everything from books, art, kitchen supplies, clothing, and accessories to the unforgettable toys (for young and old alike).
Bentley Publishers Motorsport Books
If a racing technique book recommended by triple F1 World Champion Niki Lauda wasn't enough to sell you, Piero Taruffi's 1958 classic The Technique of Motor Racing ($42) has held up well to the test of time. Much can also be said about Sports Car and Competition Driving by Paul Frere ($25). Many call Mark Donohue's The Unfair Advantage ($35) the best racing book ever written, and they would be correct. If looking for something not written decades ago, the new Physics for Gearheads ($80) should be the only physics book needed for automotive enthusiasts. From $19.95 (Indy Cars of the 1950s)
Sam Posey's Where the Writer Meets the Road
It's my opinion that if Sam Posey were to write an introduction to the most boring sport imaginable (archery comes to mind), he'd make it appear it to be the sport everyone should watch. Thankfully, he chose the world's greatest sport, motor racing, to lend his supreme writing talent. This collection ranges from his TV introductions to F1 races to articles ranging in topic from Le Mans to test-driving his uncle's propeller-driven Wind Wagon. $29.95
The Art of Lego Scale Modeling
Unlike myself, some Lego builders don't need an instruction book to build something cool from the bricks, allowing their models to be unlimited in detail and depth. Authors Dennis Glaasker and Dennis Bosman introduce us to 24 such builders who build vehicles from locomotives with lights to Ferrari and Renault F1 cars. One can only hope LEGO will officially produce some of these for people like me to build one day. Until then, you can drool over the images in this book. $29.95
This fresh automotive art talent has created bright, bold, and detailed artwork sure to catch the eye of any passerby. The graphic design also seamlessly integrates informative details about the car and/or its driver, stating race years and information. His automotive subjects range from touring cars and sports cars to DTM, F1, and WRC. If having it on a wall isn't good enough for you, you can get a shirt with the design for portability. From $27 (various small prints of 1993 season IndyCars)
Well into his twilight years, this prolific motorsport artist isn't showing any signs of slowing. He's been painting the subject since the 1950s, and quite famously so. His artwork has been featured for iconic Monaco posters from the 1960s, and the movie Grand Prix showcased his art multiple times on racers' walls. His art captures the speed and beauty of sports cars and grand prix alike through his paint strokes and captures the environment with a simplistic yet detailed eye. Timeless like an old-fashioned cocktail. To buy a signed print from his studio comes extremely recommended. From $40 (Open Edition print)
With seemingly everyone owning a pair of Persols or Ray-Bans in the automotive world, it's long past due to bring back another legendary brand, Carrera. Once seen on famous racers from Niki Lauda to Paul Newman, they harken back to an era of simplicity and raw power. The New Champion model ($129) provides a modern touch to a classic icon, and the 90 ($149) and 81 ($129) models give you the classic Carrera look with less plastic. From $65 (children's Carrerino 11 Aviator Sunglasses)
Like Carrera, if the name doesn't give it away, these sunglasses are directly automotive-related. As seen on the faces of racers such as Ryan Briscoe and Ricky and Wayne Taylor, these modern-looking sunglasses provide a functional stylish addition to your wardrobe. Their VisoChromatic polarized lenses react both to UV and visible light, allowing the glasses to transition in darkness, even behind your car's windshield. $150 for all models, including the Ryan Briscoe Edition "Monaco" sunglasses
Clothing and accessories:
Add a little red and yellow to your red and green holiday season this year. In addition to MOMO's great automotive parts such as the limited-edition Prototipo Anniversario wheel ($249.95), more budget-friendly merchandise items can be great stocking stuffers for the enthusiast in your life, such as this Moby Dick T-Shirt celebrating 50 years of MOMO with illustrations of the Porsche 935/78 driven by the company's founder ($25).
PUMA Motorsport Collection:
Shopping Puma's online motorsport collection should save you a lot of time this year if you're looking for racing fan gifts. Officially licensed with Ferrari, Mercedes, and BMW, Puma offers everything from BMW Motorsport backpacks ($70), to shirts branded with Mercedes AMG F1 Team ($150), and Scuderia Ferrari shoes ($120). From $35 (BMW graphic shirt)
Jim Clark Driving Gloves
While stepping into Jim Clark's shoes won't likely be happening any time soon, slipping into his gloves may be possible this holiday season. These gloves were re-created using an original set owned by Richard Griot of Griot's Garage, and exclusively by a master glove maker in a 250-year-old farmhouse in Great Britain. Do we really have to say more? $124.99
Reactor Warp Tachymeter Watch
For those moments when the speedometer doesn't seem to work, give your classic European car collectors one of these watches this year for the holidays. With it, they'll be able to figure out what their speed is with use of its numerical markings on the tachymeter just like carmakers of old. Built from a forged solid stainless steel 316L case, it's capable of being 200 meters underwater and features a 1/20-second chronograph with a 1/4-second sweep hand. It's a watch built to last without breaking your bank account. $600
No longer can only children dress as their superhero idols. Enter Suixtil, the legendary clothing supplier from racing's golden age in the 1950s. Now you, too, can wear the Nassau polo ($105) and Original race pants ($180) once worn by the likes of Sir Stirling Moss or the Florio Polo ($125) worn by Harry Schell. However, you may look out of place in these clothes while driving to the grocery store in your Passat. From $50 (Linen Race Cap)
Cyberoptix Tie Lab
While on motorsport press trips, it can be difficult selecting an appropriate tie to wear at dinner meetings. This Detroit-based company has made my life so much easier. Featuring a multitude of automotive-related ties, pocket squares, scarves, and bow ties, you'd be able to wear a different item every time, all handmade here in the USA. Highlight designs include a tie featuring the track maps of world-renowned courses ($30), a scarf featuring the Gulf livery colors ($25), and a perforated leather tie ($90). They have something for every enthusiast to show off at his next formal outing. From $21 (Engine Rosette pocket-square)
69 Pit Stop
For enthusiasts who wish they could carry some form of their favorite car on their wrist, then 69 Stop is ready for you. In addition to automotive shirts and other trinkets, they offer several watches with nods to the BMW 2002 and other iconic models, however, the Classic Ride Edition speedometer in the deign of the OS speedometer of the '56 Citroen 2CV (~ $130) stands out as the watch to have at your next local French auto show. From $10 (BMW 2002 keychain)
Autodromo Prototipo Chronograph Brian Redman Edition
For the second time, Autodromo makes an appearance in our Holiday Guide, and with good reason—the company keeps making stuff we want. This particular timepiece takes its already outstanding Prototipo Chronograph and adds an even cooler touch. Commemorating Brian Redman's victory at the 1969 Nürburgring 1,000km race with Jo Siffert, this watch shares the same red and white paint scheme as Redman's Porsche 908/02 Salzburg car, even with the bright-green centerstop hand. The caseback is equally impressive, featuring a map of the 170-corner Nordschleife. It features a stainless steel case, Japan Made Seiko VK63 Chronograph Hybrid Meca-Quartz Movement, and is limited to 500 examples. Oh, and the 48-page booklet it comes with is signed by the legend himself. $775.
Buy your significant other a Ferrari this year for Christmas. While the automotive version may be slightly out of budget (you had to buy that Pagani after all), the affordability of its watches puts the Italian marque right back on your Christmas list. You can go for the retro-inspired Formula Italia watch ($325) with charming sepia tones or opt for a more modern Scuderia XX Carbon Fibre Steel Chronograph ($425) featuring Scuderia Ferrari F1–style numerals. These two watches are even among the several that are Italian made. From $125 (Pit Crew watch)
Autodromo Stringback Driving Gloves
If watches aren't your bag, Autodromo still has you covered…or at least your hands. A faithful tribute to the driving gloves found on racers throughout the 1950s and 1960s, these beautiful driving gloves will protect your sensitive, lotion-conditioned hands from the wooden steering wheel as you toss your Alfa Romeo GTA around the backroads. Various color combinations all at $125.
Peugeot Kitchen Grinders
One of the best things to come from France is the country's cuisine. Then there are some rather striking automobiles. Create a perfect merger of Francophilia for your favorite chefs by buying them a classic Peugeot grinder for the holidays. There's always the classic salt/pepper grinders in a variety of styles by the company, but the Olivier Roellinger Pepper Mill ($100) named after the celebrated Michelin star–awarded chef takes the cake when it comes to timeless quality. However, since it is the holiday season, we also recommend its Tidore Nutmeg Grinder ($35) to top off your eggnog.
Gear Shift Wine Stopper
Perhaps the only acceptable combination of drinking and driving, these surprisingly well-crafted Gear Wine Stoppers are of a solid weight and construction and turn your unfinished wine bottle into a long-throw shift knob. However, it's best to keep it in neutral while on display. $15.95
LEGO VW T1 Camper Van/Mini Cooper Models
For the child in all of us, these LEGO sets provide a model that'd be worthy of any office desk, bookcase, or coffee table. The T1 Camper Van ($199.99) features details such as a re-creation of the engine in the rear, the folding seat into a bed, "Safari" windows, lava lamp, and a "Make LEGOs not War" shirt piece. The Mini ($99.99) comes with a picnic basket that fits in the trunk and features a glass of grape juice or wine (depending on how old the builder is) lego.com
Traxxas XO-1 R/C Supercar
While we'll likely never own the world's fastest supercar, owning the world's fastest ready-to-race remote-controlled supercar is certainly attainable thanks to the Traxxas XO-1. Capable of getting from 0-60 mph in 2.3 seconds, it gets to its top speed of 100 mph in just under 5 seconds. Supercar indeed. The accompanying app allows you to see the car's telemetry in real time, though sadly there's no in-car camera to complete the experience. The car also features Traxxas Stability Management, which will likely become very important while you attempt to drive at these speeds with a short wheelbase. $699.99 (batteries sold separately)
Forza Motorsport 6
Save some money on track days and car maintenance by going virtual racing. The latest installment celebrates 10 years of the franchise and is the biggest and most beautiful Forza to date. There are more than 450 cars you can fully explore, rain and night racing, and beautiful real-world locations. Don't own an Xbox One? Then get the special-edition Forza Motorsport 6 edition console that includes the game and features a custom blue/blue racing stripe paint scheme console and controller, plus a simulation of the new Ford GT starting up when you press the start button, plus a copy of the game. Game starts at $60, Special Edition Console at $400
And the rest:
Pininfarina Cambiano Forever Inkless Pen
The Ferrari Dino. The MGB GT. The Fiat 124 Spider. The Cambiano Forever Pen. Well, at least the name's fancy. Give your writer friends (my address is available upon request) the gift that'll keep on giving in the form of one of these stylish inkless pens from the famous Italian car design firm responsible for some of the most gorgeous car designs in history. The Ethergraph tip is made from a unique metal alloy that will never need ink and refills, allowing one to write in service records of your classic car for longer than the car may survive. It's also constructed of walnut and aluminum if you needed another "ooo" factor. ($100)
Felt "Little Bastard" 1-SP Bike
You don't need to buy a 550 Spyder (or replica) to own your own little piece of tribute to the legendary car driven to James Dean's death in 1955. Decorated in the same shade of silver and featuring the iconic red stripe and painted name and number, this bike from race-winning bicycle manufacturer Felt is drool-worthy. I would stay clear of Route 46 while riding it, however. $529