For the Love of the Road
For most people, a car is a way to get from Point A to B; it should work reliably and be comfortable. But then there are those people who see themselves as more than drivers; they’re Drivers.
Indulge their fantasies with gifts that will keep their car looking good and running like new, that will teach them how to drive like the pros and let them look the part.
--Produced by Alex Davies
Real Racing HD for iPad
Your friend may follow the speed limit on the road, but he can let loose on his iPad with the best and most realistic driving game out there, Real Racing HD. With 12 tracks, customized cars, single player career mode as well as online multiplayer, your friend can hone his skills and then test them out against the rest of the world.
He can even play music from your own library, upload his best races to YouTube (and insist that everyone he knows watch them). The game has overwhelmingly excellent reviews on iTunes- 75 percent of more than 3,000 reviews give five out of five stars.
(Real Racing HD for iPad, $1.99)
Thermos Travel Mug
When it comes to travel mugs, Thermos is still the go-to brand. Its 16-ounce travel tumbler is simply the best model out there. It fits different cup holder styles, can take a hit without spilling, is easily cleaned, and will keep your coffee piping hot for up to five hours.
The mug has a double wall vacuum insulation so you never burn your hands -- it's even got a sweat-proof grip.
(Thermos 16-ounce Travel Tumbler, $27.99)
Brighten up the hours your friend spends in his car with satellite radio, so he can listen to music, news or whatever makes city driving the easiest to bear. This satellite radio package will even record songs, so if he hears his favorite tune, all he has to do is hit record, and play it back whenever the traffic gets really grim.
It includes the radio itself, plus all the wires, controls and chargers you'll need to make it play in the car and the house. Now that Sirius and XM have joined forces, there's no need to struggle over choosing a provider; plans range from $12.99 to $16.99 per month.
(Audiovox XPXMP3H1 XMP3i Receiver, Car & Home Kit, $199.95)
Anti-Sleep iPhone App
The problem with long rides in nice leather seats is that they can lull anyone to sleep. Help your friend stay awake and alert at the wheel with the Anti-Sleep Pilot iPhone app.
The app actually calculates how tired the driver is, based on how long he’s been driving, the time of day, his reaction times and how tired he was when he started the car. It will keep him safe by maintaining his alertness with simple tasks and speaking up when it’s time for him to pull over and take a break.
(Anti Sleep Pilot iPhone App, $7.99)
Race Driving Lessons
Traffic laws are generally a good thing, but every driver wonders from time to time what a tour on the NASCAR circuit would feel like. Let out your friend's inner speed demon by putting him on the track, with professionals there to show him how to really drive -- and not crash doing it.
Racing Adventures teaches participants the basics of high-speed racing – how to handle a race car around curves and how to win a race. It offers different level lessons for return customers, so if your friend is happy with his first trip, you don't even have to think of a new gift next holiday season.
(Racing Adventures School, $999 for a day-long, Level 1 lesson)
Complete Car Care Kit
If the driver in your life loves his car, he takes good care of it. You could steal his keys and go to the car wash for him, but it's better to avoid possible grand theft auto charges and buy him Meguiar’s complete car care kit.
Liquid wax, car wash shampoo and conditioner, endurance gloss, a microfiber wash mitt, and more will make his ride look like new, no matter how many miles are on the odometer.
(Meguiar's Complete Car Care Kit, $70)
When it comes to pulling off the old-school driver look, goggles are out (thanks to windshields), but driving gloves are as cool as ever. There are endless styles, types, and colors to choose from, but you can't go wrong with Fratelli-Orsini.
The Italian gloves are all handmade with top of the line materials. The deerskin leather gloves are especially nice, and are sure to add a classy touch to your friend's driving routine.
(Handsewn Deerskin Driving Gloves, $114.95)
Tire Pressure Tool
Accurate tire pressure is important for safety, fuel economy, tire life, and ride comfort. Make sure your favorite driver can keep an eye on how high he's riding with the reliable Accutire MS-4021B.
It's built to last, easy to use and works on a variety of valve stems. And thanks to its automatic shut off, he won't be deflating his tires while trying to get an accurate reading.
(Accutire MS-4021B, $9)