WE PRESENT THE ultimate guide for car-themed Christmas presents in 2016.
Christmas is a tricky time for people with picky petrolheads in their lives; not knowing if they already have a tool set, which car they would most like a picture of on a mug or what their favourite F1 team is.
That’s why we’ve put together this handy list of products, from stand-out to stocking-filler, to help guide you towards something that will put a smile on your favourite car-obsessed person’s face.
MHD Watches CR1
Quite honestly, we’d put this watch on our list even if it didn’t have a motoring connection. It does though, which makes it even cooler! Matthew Humphries, the MH in MHD, is the man who brought us some of the most iconic British cars of the last few decades; the Morgan Aeromax and Three Wheeler, and he’s now turned his exceptional design skills to watches.
Our favourite is the MHD CR1 with the black face and tan rally leather strap, because it manages to draw attention yet remain subtle and stylish. Inspired by classic car dials from the 60s and 70s, it features a case 42mm wide and 11mm deep with a brushed stainless steel finish, knurled crown and bevel-edged mineral crystal glass. Also available are a white face, black, blue and brown leather straps and a range of nylon NATO straps, so it can be personalised to suit anyone’s style.
Price: £250 – Available from: matthewhumphriesdesignwatches.com
Sunstar MG Metro 6R4
An obsession with cars has to start somewhere and for the vast majority, that start was with toy cars. Too young to drive but with a burning desire to experience our favourite cars, we resort to toys which give us the look and, with a little imagination, the sound, smell and driving thrill of the real thing. We’d have you believe that this dies out once we pass our driving tests, but that’s a lie. We simply substitute the “diecast model” for “toy” and buy bigger and more detailed cars.
On that note; introducing the 1:18 scale MG Metro 6R4 by Sunstar. Specifically, the number 15 car driven by Malcolm Wilson and Nigel Harris in the 1986 Rally Sanremo. Complete with big rally foglamps and fantastically period sponsors like Computervision and Totip, this model is extremely detailed yet reasonably priced and is limited to 2499 examples, so get one quick!
Price: £42.99 – Available from: lobsterdiecast.co.uk
Autoglym Bodywork, Wheels and Interior Collection
The one thing you can always guarantee about petrolheads is that they love their cars; sometimes a little too much! That’s why car care products are always a safe choice, because even if they already have some, you can be sure they’ll need more pretty soon. This collection from Autoglym, official supplier to both The Queen and Prince Charles, brings together its best-selling products and has pretty much everything they’ll need to keep their car in prime condition.
The contents will enable them to clean, improve and protect their car’s paintwork, wheels and interior trim and even comes with the sponge, cloth and towel needed for application, all together in a neat little carry bag. If this collection seems too much, Autoglym has smaller standalone collections for each section of the car and also individual bottles, sprays and applicators.
Price: £64 – Available from: autoglym.com
If your particular petrolhead is of a certain age, all you will need to do to make their eyes sparkle and their smile widen, is say three simple words; Colin McRae Rally. The original couple of games on the Playstation opened up the sport of rallying to a whole new generation and played a big part in immortalising the legendary Colin McRae in the hearts and minds of many. Allowing players to tackle rally stages around the world in the rally cars they’ve seen on TV, it was the first truly realistic rallying game.
After McRae’s death in 2007, the game series lost its way a little, switching to the DiRT name and focussing more on Rallycross and Gymkhana, so developer Codemasters has gone back to realism with DiRT Rally, upping the ‘sim’ content and including a huge roster of cars from the 1960’s to present. It’s available on PS4, Xbox One and PC, so all gaming preference are catered for.
Price: From £39.99 – Available from: dirtgame.com
LEGO Caterham 7 620R
Everybody loves LEGO. That may seem like an incredibly sweeping statement, but it’s OK because it’s true. Old or young, rich or poor, it is something we can all truly appreciate. LEGO has been introducing kits of real-life cars over the last few years, including the Mini Cooper, VW Beetle and Ferrari F40, and this Caterham 7 is the latest to hit the shelves.
The Caterham 7 has always been something of a full-size LEGO car anyway, available fully-built at the factory or in kit form so you can build it yourself at home. In a way, therefore, this is a partnership made in heaven. The idea was originally pitched by a fan on the LEGO Ideas website, and after garnering the necessary 10,000 votes to be considered for production, we now have the product you see here; complete with 770 pieces and measuring 28cm long.
Price: £69.99 – Available from: shop.lego.com
A perfect stocking filler, Hot Wheels are having something of a resurgence at the moment and new cars are being released all the time. With awesome paint schemes, modifications and wheels, they may not be as detailed as the big diecast models but they’re much more fun, considerably more affordable and (as many skirting boards can attest) extremely durable, so you won’t be quite so worried when a youngster gets their grubby little mitts on them!
Hot Wheels has tie-ins with a huge number of entertainment franchises and makes somewhat tenuous but undeniably cool themed models including Captain America, Star Wars and Mario Kart. These are great for fans of those franchises, but for the more die hard car fan you’d probably be better off sticking to the real-life production cars. There are so many to choose from though, that you’ve got a really good chance of getting a car they’ll like.
Price: £1.50 – Available from: Most supermarkets and toy shops.
Porsche 911 T-Shirt
The Porsche 911 is one of the most famous and iconic cars of all time, spanning the decades and reigning as the most complete sports car throughout its many generations. This T-Shirt brings together some of the best known models in stylised silhouette form and is available in a huge range of colours, sizes and styles. Not only that, but you can also get this design on further products including posters, stickers, phone cases, mugs and many more.
Price: £17.52 – Available from: Redbubble.com