Typically, the holiday season is a time when we express our affection for the special people in our lives. This may take the form of a heartfelt toast at the holiday dinner or a lovingly prepared peach cobbler brought to be shared at the same event.
More often than not, though, the warm spirit of the season is conveyed via gift-giving. A well-chosen gift can heal a year's worth of complaints, and can be more powerful than words in showing your nearest and dearest just how much they mean to you.
Cars have come to play a dominant role in our culture, and as such, it may make sense for you to purchase a car-related gift. With this in mind, here are 10 automotive-themed gifts for the 2014 holiday season, listed in alphabetical order.
Best for: The Pool Shark
On top, the Collector's Edition 1965 Ford Mustang Pool Table is a regular 4-by-8-foot billiards table, but down below, it's something else entirely. Its base is molded from a 1965 Ford Mustang, and is trimmed with genuine parts from the legendary pony car. Painted in the model's original 1965 Rangoon Red, the base even features a working set of headlights. A mock VIN and title are included.
Price: $499 per driver and up
Best for: The Dreamer
If there's someone on your gift list who's always dreamed of driving an exotic sports car, know that you can make this dream a reality — at least for a day. The Exotic Car Driving Experience gives each driver a chance to get behind the wheel of high-priced models from manufacturers such as Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche. Tours vary in length from 30 to 120 miles and take place on scenic streets in and around Las Vegas.
Best for: The Music Buff
Cars, music and technology combine with dazzling effect in the Formula One Speaker Dock. Assembled in Modena, Italy, this speaker dock for iPhones and iPods is built from the manifold of a retired eight-cylinder F1 engine of your choosing, from a lineup that ranges from a 1978 Cosworth DFV to a 2007 Ferrari 056. Providing crisp highs from the head pipes are two 70-watt tweeters and two 70-watt midrange speakers, while the end of the manifold's collector tube is home to a 140-watt subwoofer that bottoms things out with jaw-rattling bass.
Best for: Any Driver Who's Ever Needed a Jump Start
With the Juno Power JunoJumpr, drivers never have to worry about being left stranded by a dead car battery. Weighing just 7 ounces, the JunoJumpr is about the size of a cell phone, but it packs enough juice to bring a dead car battery back to life. It's also capable of charging a smartphone, camera or tablet.
Best for: The Codebreaker
The Lemur BlueDriver Wireless Vehicle Monitor uses a sensor (plugged into the vehicle's OBD-II port) and an app to turn a smartphone into a useful automotive diagnostic tool. If a vehicle's "Check Engine" light illuminates, this tool can decipher whether the cause is minor or a true safety hazard. Its other talents include clearing trouble codes and offering insight as to whether a vehicle is ready for a smog test. This tool works with all makes and models that are model-year 1996 or newer.
Best for: Any Driver Whose Vehicle Has Leather Upholstery
Without proper care, a car's leather upholstery can look less than its best. Lexol offers a line of products designed to keep a car's hide in fighting form. Used by professional restorers of the world's rarest automobiles, these products are proven to renew the natural oils used in the tanning process. The end result is leather that's softer to the touch and more resistant to dryness and cracking. The Lexol Leather Care Kit includes leather cleaner, leather conditioner and an applicator sponge.
Best for: The Very Young Luxury-Car Lover
For the youngster who's already developed a taste for life's finer automotive pleasures, there's the Mercedes SLS Two-Seater Electric Ride-On Car. Suitable for children who are more than 3 years old, it accommodates a maximum weight of 66 pounds. This battery-operated car drives forward and in reverse, and includes LED headlamps, a chrome front grille and a battery charger.
Best for: The Camper
Despite its name, the RoomBox Free Tech Modular System isn't exactly free. For the money, though, you get an easily portable modular system that's sure to delight the camper in your life. The system includes two tables and a double bed, and breaks down into a package that's about the size of a large briefcase. Setup is quick and easy, and requires no tools.
Best for: The Smartphone Addict
Most of us have a friend who's joined at the ear to his or her smartphone. If your friend's vehicle isn't equipped with Bluetooth, the SpeeCup Voice-Enabled Bluetooth Speaker would make the perfect gift. This portable speaker is designed to look like a travel mug, and fits in any standard-size cupholder. It works with a smartphone to deliver Bluetooth connectivity, and features a noise-canceling microphone and a rechargeable battery for up to 20 hours of use. In addition to voice control, this speaker offers gesture control, which allows the user to change audio tracks, for example, with a wave of the hand.
Price: $160 and up
Best for: The Art Lover
Some would argue that a supercar is the finest piece of art man has ever known. For the art lover who'd like nothing more than to gaze contemplatively at the sculptural lines of these modern masterpieces, there is the Supercar Canvas. Spotlighting models such as the Ferrari F50 and Lamborghini Reventón, these canvases allow automotive enthusiasts to hang images of their favorite supercars on their living room walls. Standard canvases are 24 inches long and 36 inches wide. Tricut canvases are also available, with each of the three pieces measuring 30 inches long and 15 inches wide.