It’s back! Yup, time again for our holiday gift giving guide. Honestly, I am not sure whether this is a list of items for you to give, items you might want to receive, or just my own personal wish list. (Hint, hint) No matter what it is, it is simply a fun exercise in cool stuff for the British car fan. This year we have broken the list of ten items down into five gift-giving categories: Toys, Tools, Trip, Library, and Clothing. I tried to make them all start with “t” but gave up on that. So, five categories with two items each. As always, let’s start with …. toys!
LEGO Caterham – a LEGO version of the Caterham seven 620R, a custom-built sports car with an unashamed old-school vibe. Power steering? no chance. Electric windows? forget it. The Caterham seven is definitely not for the faint-hearted—luxury is for wimps! With over 750 pieces, this set should keep you busy for a little while after the holidays.
Scalextric Slot Car Set – British cars, British toys. There are actually quite a few options here, and you can go with the large 1/32 scale or the smaller micro 1/64 scale, but I landed on the Team Mini Challenge Set. This is a great toy for big boys. The larger scale, which sounds great and is less finicky that the smaller scale, but with MINIs for a bit of a punch. Then of course you could hit eBay and add a few classic Scalextric cars to the mix.
ODBII Scan Tool – Yes, this one is for the newer cars. If was made much before 2000, forget about using an ODBII reader on it. But, for those who drive later cars, this is a great device for being able to know what is going on with that check engine light. The tool I am linking to here pairs with an Apple or Android phone or tablet to let your read engine codes, reset warnings, and it can even serve as the source for a digital dash. (hint – you can use it to watch speed and other stats on your device while someone else is driving. I actually own two of these, and find myself lending them to friends quite often.
Simple Pencil-Style Tire Gauge – This one falls into the “stocking stuffer” category. I don’t really believe in the fancy tire pressure gauges with lights and digital readouts. I prefer simple things that just work. I also believe in keeping a gauge in every car I own, plus at least one in the toolbox, so that I don’t have to go searching around when I need one. While you are at it, teach a friend or young person how to use a tire gauge and how to put air in a tire. Amazing how many people don’t know.
Trip / On The Road
Tile Mate Item Locator – I have senior moments when I can’t find things. I have had senior moments since before I was senior. Guess I am just absent minded, maybe. The Tile Mate is a small square “tile” not much larger than a postage stamp that can attach to keys, tools, dogs collars, or a host of other items. When you can’t find the aforementioned item just use your phone to make the tile emit a tone. If the item is out of reach, you can use the app on your phone to track its last location or even figure out where it currently is by using its mesh network feature. Basically, thing helps you find your lost, misplaced, or hijacked stuff.
2017 Road Atlas – I will admit to being an electronics junky. I used email and messaging and gps more than I ever touch paper. But, there is something to be said for laying out a nice atlas or map when planning a trip. It is fun to draw lines on the pages and use highlighters to trace the roads you have been down. I can’t get rid of these things either. Once I have marked them up they go on a shelf like a diary. Atlases are a great way to daydream – a wanderer’s wish-book.
Standard Triumph Story DVD – We reviewed this one a few weeks ago, and it stands out as a high point of the year and a must-have. If you or your recipient is a Triumph fan, this needs to be in the library.
Classic British Cars: The Golden Age Of The British Car – OK, we have to have a good general British car book here, and this is one. I was tempted to pick something more marque specific, but I already did that with the video above, and so many of us are multi-marque folks anyway. This book, published just a few months ago, is nearly 200 pages of the cars we love with great pictures and history. Put it on the coffee table and start up a conversation!
Clothing and Accessories
JustBritish Stickers, Shirt, Mugs – Shameless self-promotion time here. We have an online store with items featuring not only our Just British logo, but also items featuring artwork of MG, Morgan, Triumph, Austin Healey, and more. You have seen the links and images in our newsletter and in the footer of our site, but give the full shop a view. I think you will like what you find. Dress up in British car style for the holidays!
Brixton Cap – Totally different, but I have a soft spot for these. They look good on both men and women, and they are extremely comfortable. Plus they keep your head warm! I will admit that this is my choice of hat, and you will find me wearing one almost all the time during cooler months. Shouldn’t the wardrobe match the car? And no, I will not be wearing a bowler.
Bonus Item … a club membership! I said we were only doing ten items here, but I wanted to throw this one in. And I don’t have a link for it because it is particular to your car, your marque, or maybe your area. The end of the year holiday season is the perfect time to renew your club membership. Or give a membership to someone else and get them involved in the hobby. Maybe you have a friend who is always talking about joining and being more active – well now is the time to reach out and bring them into the fold. A club membership is something that will be remembered all year long and not only help the recipient, but also help the club.
And check out the artist, Sue Podbery, of “Santa’s Land Rover” at the top of this page. She does beautiful work!
Ho, ho, ho!!