2022 Gear Head Gift Guide – What to Get the Auto Fanatics on Your Shopping List

Have an automobile enthusiast on your holiday shopping list, but don’t know what to get for them?  Time is running out, but don’t worry, the New England Motor Press Association (NEMPA) has you covered with its Holiday Gift Guide for the auto fanatics in your life. 

A Good Book: Secrets of the Barn Find Hunter: The Art of Finding Lost Collector Cars
Join “The Barn Find Hunter” Tom Cotter for a thrilling, illustrated behind-the-scenes look at how he deploys his well-honed auto-archaeology skills to ferret out amazing collector car stashes.

Car Cover: A good car cover can save the day. Empire makes some great covers, NEMPA president, John Paul’s car cover survived a category 4 hurricane this year!

Auto Museum Membership: Auto museums do more to promote enthusiast culture than perhaps any other kind of organization. For the cost of a single membership, you can gift the automotive enthusiast in your life with a full year’s worth of great events and opportunities to meet and mingle with like-minded people. We’ve singled out the Larz Anderson Auto Museum, which is home to America’s Oldest Car Collection, for the New Englanders, but with more than 100 car museums in the United States, you’re bound to find one convenient for any enthusiast on your nice list.

Golden Age Exhibit at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum

Speed: True, not all car lovers are speed demons, but they are generally overrepresented in that crowd. If your automotive enthusiast wants to go fast, they’ll love a track day experience. There are lots of options out there, so the choice is up to you (and how much you trust them behind the wheel). Those who are new to the track scene or are unlicensed might like to get their feet wet by riding along for hot laps with a professional driver, while the gearhead who dotes on their Mazda Miata or Subaru BRZ might enjoy a day at the local autocross.

On Whiskey Hill mountain — in Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley — is Whiskey Hill Raceway.

Fun: Aluminum Billet Dustproof Plugs add a smile to your daily commute. These dustproof plugs, meant for decoration and silent screams, are a great coping mechanism for the stress in your life. 

Car Slime (Interior cleaning gel): Few people would be excited about getting slime as a gift, but auto enthusiasts are a different breed. With this PULIDIKI cleaning gel, your favorite car nut can clean every nook and cranny of their car.

Performance Meter: For those who obsess about their 0-60mph and quarter-mile times, this tool by Dragy and its accompanying smartphone app are a must-have. Use responsibly!

Rally School: If your favorite driving fanatic loves to go fast and sideways, sign them up for one of the many courses available at the Team O’Neil Rally School in Dalton, NH. Enrollment isn’t cheap, but can you really put a price on professional rally, drifting, or winter driver training? https://teamoneil.com

A Day at the Races: If a rally school is a little too structured – and expensive – there’s an excellent alternative. A New England Ice Racing Association event will give you a new perspective on winter fun, and admission is only $10 per car. http://www.newenglandiceracing.com

Automotive Art: Art is subjective, so while you may not see the beauty in a rusty tailgate bench or a lamp made of engine parts, your gearhead friend may consider it the best gift they’ve ever received. Note: Unless they live alone, you might want to check with your friend’s significant other first. There are more ideas on Etsy.

Turn their Beater into a Lexus: For the automotive enthusiast with champagne taste and a PBR budget, you’ll want to shop eBay. Simply search for “OEM badges” and you’ll find everything needed to turn that Geo into a Lexus. 

Drive Day Coupon: This one is free but may be the most valuable gift on this list. For those of you with an auto enthusiast spouse or relative, provide them with an all-day pass to do whatever their car-loving heart desires, free of concerns about kids/pets/to-do lists/chores/etc. Let them drive the open road till their heart’s content.

– NEMPA writers Thom Blackett, John Goreham, Natalie Harrington, John Paul contributed to this story.

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