We all have them. Neckties and sweaters and scarves that are in a box in the basement, or the back of the closet. Some are so low on the goodtaste scale that they could not even be re-gifted. Some can only be worn one day per year in very understanding company. Most are waiting for people to forget that they gave them to you, or for moths to completely devour them, or for the pawn shop to open. Wouldn't it be great if you could ensure that you at least got something useful, however inexpensive ? I have offered other Holiday posts and suggestions before (see Twas the Night, The Twelve Days of Classicus, and Gearhead Gifts). This year, I offer help for the last minute shoppers (ie: the procrastinators, the unorganized, and the few truly busy) with not much to spend (ie: those of limited means, those buying for people they don't really care about, and cheap SOBs) but who need to hand something to a known gearhead. I guarantee these will be appreciated and used, and I guarantee that you can still find these items in stock....
1. A Box of Latex/Vinyl Gloves. These represent a brilliant leap forward in gearhead hygiene. They also say "You are only worth a few bucks, and I got this on the way over here, but I am thoughtful."
2. A Box of Shop Towels. Ditto
3. A Case of Oil. Get the right stuff by peeking into the garage, or in the trunk. Nothing says you care like Castrol.
4. A Gift Certificate for the Tire Rack, Bike Bandit, Autozone, etc. Hard to go wrong here. This is also a good gift for a gearhead that you don't really like because it will cause them to spend their own money to make up the difference between your $20 gift certificate and the $2000 set of wheels and tires they need.
5. A Zippo Hand Warmer. Just the thing for a cold garage, a cold ride, or a cold heart.
6. Spark Plugs. Inexpensive, but you need to get the right ones. If in doubt, see #4.
7. A Key Safe. If the person has more than one vehicle, or even just more than one key, this along with some of those little plastic labels will help. Don't get the kind that lock with a key.....within a week you will be repairing a wall, and helping the person to recover from a self-inflicted wound.
8. An Air Pressure Guage. Even if one exists, you need one to keep in the vehicle toolkit, one for the toolbox, etc. You can never have too many.
9. A Scale Model. This can be for either an existing or a dream vehicle. If for a dream vehicle, attach a note that says "Full scale model to follow on or before mm/dd/yyyy." If for an existing vehicle, attach a note that says "It's been nn years, when is it finally going to look this good?"
10. A DVD. Search Amazon and the web for movies featuring a specific vehicle, or just get a gearhead-centric movie. Gearheads will repeatedly watch a 90 minute movie for a 2 second glimpse of their vehicle in the background partially obscured and out of focus.
11. A Gas Card. This is a great multi-faceted gift. It says, "Let's go for a ride/drive honey", "Your vehicle deserves the very best. You on the other hand..", "Go take a long ride/drive", "Get that @#$$% thing running", "Haven't seen you at the club meetings in a while, maybe you need this", "Show your carbs some love by using the good stuff", "Fix the @&$%^# fuel guage", "Take care of that vehicle, its gonna be mine very soon", "Next time fill-up BEFORE the rally starts", et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. It should be delivered with the appropriate facial expression and hand gestures to help convey and amplify the meaning. After all, it is the season of giving.