Top 10: Gifts for petrolheads
For those who love a track day or simply just enjoy taking care of their pride and joy, we’ve trawled the web to find 10 petrolhead-friendly gifts. Check out our top 10 picks for the car enthusiast in your life.
Bilt-Hamber Double Speed Wax
If you want to restore the shine to your pride and joy, as well as wanting to wash it less frequently - we tend to recommend a polish followed by a sealant to protect the bodywork. And, in our opinion, Bilt Hamber Double Speed-Wax is one of the best sealants around.
The Double-Speed Wax needs a little more effort than most to buff but it's a worthwhile labour of love. The well-priced Bilt Hamber wax also comes with a sponge and microfibre cloth.
Farecla G3 Professional Scratch Remover
Farecla's G3 Professional Scratch Remover comes in both liquid (which we've tested) and paste form so you can choose which product suits your needs best. The liquid is useful for larger areas of damage due to its consistency, while the paste is better suited to smaller areas of damage like focusing on particular scratches.
Like T-Cut, Farecla G3 Pro scratch remover liquid is a cutting compound - meaning it restores paint finishes by stripping the topcoat of paintwork, removing light scratches and abrasions. While it can't work miracles; removing deep marks and imperfections (nor does it say it can), it's a great value product and we think the bottle will last a while too.
An aftermarket TPMS is a useful investment for those with older vehicles that don't offer in-built tyre pressure monitoring systems - as well for those who want to keep an eye on towed trailers, horseboxes or the like. Much like a dash camera, it's much better to have the device and not need it than wish you'd had it after a tyre blows out and leaves you stranded.
This offering from Michelin is simple to fit and use with no batteries to change in the sensors or display unit and no cables to route around your vehicle. Tyre pressure readings are accurate and there's a loud beep when the wheels get rolling to let you know the TPMS is up and running. However, we worry about the security of the sensors considering it would only take a couple of minutes to make off with all four.
Rewire Security Spytrack Nano
The Spytrack Nano tracker by Rewire Security is a small tracker device for keeping tabs on any particular thing of your choice. The app integrates Google Maps and the topography can utilise satellite imagery if you choose. Using the desktop site you can set up ‘geofence zones’ that allow you to place markers on the map so that if the tracker goes outside of them you’ll be alerted. Aside from that, you can set up alerts if the tracker moves or travels beyond a certain speed.
If you want to track a car, you’ll need to buy the optional magnetic case to make it fully waterproof and stick it in the wheel arch. The case costs about £25. Or for a fiver less you could buy an official car hardwire kit. That’ll also prevent the battery from running out. On that basis, it’s very cost-effective.
Experience Day - stunt driving or an American classic track day
If you like American cars then the quartet of US muscle cars with Red Letter Days' 'Quadruple American Classic Car Blast and Hot Ride' will definitely get you singing The Star-Spangled Banner. Depending on the location you can look forward to mighty motors like the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Corvette, Pontiac Firebird and even a Ford GT40 replica. You can also see how the pros handle it with a high-speed passenger ride to the finish.
If stunt driving is more your thing, Virgin Experience's Stunt Driving Experience in a Mazda MX-5 will be right up your street. You may have pulled the occasional handbrake turn in your younger days but that’s no substitute for being taught how the experts perform driving stunts on the big screen. Learn how to pull J-turns, slide a car into a parking space and even - would you believe it - drive on two wheels, all in complete safety. Just consider what you eat for breakfast…
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While this gift doesn't exactly scream fun, it'll pay for itself if the recipient is ever unfortunate enough to be in an accident. Take it from us with the myriad of questions we get from readers about dash cams, anything can happen on the road - genuine accidents, crash-for-cash schemes, stones thrown up by vehicles leading to a smashed windscreen, someone reversing into your parked car etc.
Better to be safe than sorry and invest in a cheap and cheerful solution that you can put in the corner of the windscreen and forget about, right? Then again, you might find you prefer a fancier option, like the Nextbase 422GW, which features GPS, WiFi and Intelligent Parking Mode suits you better. It also offers a number of more impressive features like Emergency SOS and Amazon's Alexa voice assistant.
Personalised car mats
These lovely footwell mats expertly cover the floor of your car to prevent inevitable McFlurry stains and everyday wear and tear. Firebox will literally print ANY face you like. Your dog. Your nan. Jeremy Clarkson. Go mad, you’re in charge.
It's the perfect gift for someone who’s finally passed their driving test, or anyone embarking on an epic road trip. Pimp out your stag or hen do transportation or add a touch of character to someone’s fancy new car. The gifting opportunities are endless with this bad boy.
Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari and their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans
There are plenty of good books about motorsport, and Go Like Hell is up there with the best of them. The book also makes a great read if you want to know more behind the 2019 film Ford v Ferrari - featuring Christian Bale (as pro racer, Ken Miles) and Matt Damon (as Carroll Shelby, American automotive designer and engineer). If it doesn't quite pique tour interest, there are nine other options in our Top 10: Books for Petrolheads roundup to choose from.
In the 1960s, Enzo Ferrari emerged as the dominant force in sports cars, creating machines that were unbeatable on the race track. In America, the Ford Motor Company was quickly losing ground as the pre-eminent brand. Thus, Henry Ford decided to declare war on Ferrari, to build a faster car than anything Ferrari had brought to the track and to beat him at the world's biggest race: Le Mans. With practically no safety regulations in place in the European Grand Prix races, horrific accidents were routine with both drivers and spectators killed in many races.
LEGO Technic Land Rover Defender 90
If you know, you know. The Defender 90 is an authentic icon and a cult classic amongst many classic car enthusiasts. If you didn't own one, you definitely wanted to. With LEGO's new Technic build, you can now experience the Land Rover Defender in all it's 2500-piece glory. The model includes a 4-speed sequential gearbox and gear selector with 2 levers for engaging high or low gear, a detailed in-line 6-cylinder engine with moving pistons under the bonnet and various bodywork features like Land Rover emblems, removable roof rack with storage box, pannier, ladder and traction mats, opening doors, hood and tailgate, plus a detailed interior.
Functions include working steering, All Wheel Drive with 3 differentials, independent suspension on both axles, detailed in-line 6-cylinder engine and a working winch. Turn the rear-mounted spare wheel to open the tailgate. The model Land Rover Defender measures over 8-inches (22cm) high, 16-inches (42cm) long and 7-inches (20cm) wide.
How To Be A Motoring Journalist book
Richard Porter’s tale of fictional motoring journalist and bombastic curmudgeon Roy Lanchester is part autobiographically and serves partially as an educational toolkit. Porter was the script editor for Clarkson’s Top Gear and, among other things, runs the Sniff Petrol website – a satirical motoring website.
The particularities of motoring journalism itself are impressively realistic and well observed though, albeit they're fed into a Spinal Tap machine. It's clear that Porter is a veteran. And a very funny one at that. It's also less than £8, so you won't be out of pocket too much if you do hate it.