Gearhead Holiday Gift Guide

Lead Photo Credit: Dale Moreau

It’s time to swap the sounds of lumpy cams and squealing tires for the jingle-jangle of sleigh bells! With holidays right around the bend it’s time to think about gifts for your favorite Goodguy – and we’re here to help with our gearhead holiday gift guide!

One thing we know is that car guys and gals love to find hot rod parts and goodies under their tree. Car parts, maintenance items, cleaning supplies and cool automotive collectibles are all welcome surprises for hot rodders, so skip the itchy sweaters or slippers and get them something they really want! We’ve put together a list of nifty parts and pieces with target prices of less than $100, or between $100-$250. Check ’em out for some great ideas for stuffing stockings or wrapping up under the tree!

$100 and Under

Cool Cooler

Whether you’re covering the back roads for a cruise or planning for a day at a show, packing a cooler with a couple sodas and munchies is mandatory. LMC Truck offers these Vintage Metal Coolers that are as cool on the outside as they are on the inside! The classic coolers are made with insulated all-metal construction and come with a removable mini tray and side-mount bottle opener. Available with an embossed Chevy Bowtie or Ford Oval, the coolers measure 18” long, 9” wide and 14” tall.

LMC Truck / www.lmctruck.com


Garage Gloves

Tired of grease smudges on the refrigerator door or holding your car-guy’s dry, busted knuckle hands? Consider a pair of mechanic’s gloves to give them some protection! Classic Instruments offers handy mechanic gloves featuring heavy spandex finger gussets with silicone texture for a firm grip and a durable palm. The gloves are available in M, L, XL or 2XL.

Classic Instruments / www.classicinstruments.com


3-Point Safety

It wasn’t until the late ‘60s until seatbelts were federally mandated in new cars, though they were offered as options in earlier years. Thankfully, Seat Belts Plus offers a catalog of easy-to-install seat belts in a number of lengths and colors to match nearly any interior and style. Their 3-Point Retractable Seatbelt features a classic style chrome lift latch, an adjustable lap and shoulder webbing that is 133 inches long (it can also be adjusted to a smaller length). The belts are crafted in the USA and are carry a one year warranty.

Seat Belts Plus / www.seatbeltsplus.com


Classic Artwork

Whether it’s for your office, man-cave or living room, receiving some fun automobilia flavored artwork is always a welcome surprise. In the case of these vintage Bell Auto Parts advertisements, drawn by Tom Medley, you get a glimpse of automotive marketing history.
Tom Medley, best known as the man behind the whimsical Stroker McGurk cartoons as well one of the original staffers at Hot Rod Magazine, often created promotional ads for advertisers. This set of three 11”x17” prints capture the early times of hot rod advertising and will add a touch of humor and nostalgia wherever they’re displayed.

Stroker by Medley / www.strokerbymedley.com


Tool Time

While working on cars and projects, it’s recommended not to wear any jewelry or watches, however most guys would love to slip on a watch from Snap-On once they’re done in the garage. This handsome black watch carries the same well-built construction and functional design of every Snap-On product. The watch movement is precise and durable along with a black silicone band while the face features thick hands with easy to read silver on each tip. The watch even comes in a custom tin making it a perfect stocking stuffer.

Snap-On / www.snapon.com


Rise and Shine

Start each morning with a cup of joe steaming from your own Shine Speed Shop coffee mug. If you didn’t figure it out yet, Shine Speed is the work of hot rodding’s Jimmy Shine, best known for his mad fabrications skills, So-Cal work, and his ’34 Ford pickup. The shop is located in Orange, California, and can handle everything from hot rod updates and upgrades to complete builds. If your hot rodder isn’t into coffee, Shine offers a variety of art and prints as well as apparel – all with the Jimmy Shine flair for style and function.

Shine Speed Shop / www.shinespeedshop.com (Mention “Goodguys” as the promo code and get an extra 10% off!)


Lean on It

You never realize how handy a drink holder really is until you don’t have one! The same can be set about a center console to but Classic Car Interior recognized the need for both and now offers a number of great looking bench seat consoles called the Drinkster. The American manufactured console comes with two standard sized cup holders and a felt-lined storage compartment to fit all of your accessories. The Drinkster is available in over 30 colors to match up with your interior adding a touch of comfort and convenience for the next cruise.

Classic Car Interior / www.classiccarinterior.com


Speedy Sign

Add style to their shop with a retro sign from Speedway Motors. Designed in the popular Googie style of the ’50s and ’60s, this realistic reproduction sign shows a night-time ‘lit’ neon-type printed version on one side, with a vivid daytime printed view on the other. The 18×18-inch sign is made of heavy-gauge powder-coated steel and the mounting flange can easily be bent 90-degrees for wall mounting.

Speedway Motors / www.speedwaymotors.com


Well Detailed

The perfect gift is something that one needs and wants, which is generally a tough goal to achieve. If you’re shopping for a car-guy take note – they all need detailing products and they want detailing products! Meguiar’s understands the needs of hot rodders and have put together an all all-inclusive package at a great price! Their Complete Car Care Gift Kit includes their Deep Crystal Car Wash, ScratchX 2.0, Cleaner Wax, Hot Shine Foam, Quik Interior Detailer, Perfect Clarity Glass Cleaner and a foam application pad – all for under $25! They offer a number of larger car care kits as well so you can help your car-guy keep their car clean!

Meguiar’s / www.meguiars.com


Maintaining Health

When you park your car for the winter or a long period of time, it is important to keep the battery charged to ensure its health and long performance. OPTIMA is certainly familiar with battery performance and they offer their Digital 400 12V Performance Maintainer and Charger. This unit automatically maximizes battery life and performance, recovers deeply-discharged batteries, and keeps batteries healthy during storage. It also offers a hybrid LED battery-charging gauge with LCD screen with a quick-set battery selection for easy operation.

OPTIMA / www.optimabatteries.com


Polish Action

Keeping the finish of any hot rod looking shiny and glossy isn’t as hard as you would think, that is, when you have the right tools. TP Tools offers the Polish Mate, a durable, lightweight dual action polisher that will make your finish glow within minutes. The orbital action of the slim, compact unit offers a variable speed between 2,500 – 6,500 orbits per minute via 5.2 amp motor while the sure-grip nose design allows for secure operator control. TP provides a 16-feet cord, 6” foam polishing pad, 5” backing pad, and more.

TP Tools / www.tptools.com


Add some Braids

It’s important to keep your wiring routed away from moving and high temp components, and Painless Performance offers two simple solutions to help with their PowerBraid. PowerBraid is a flexible, semi-rigid material, with a tough woven texture and appearance that easily installs over the wiring. The tough material protects against abrasion, heat (up to 257°F) and the majority of underhood liquids. The great thing about PowerBraid is that it is a split loom that easily installs over wiring that has already been installed.The looms are supplied in sizes ranging from 1/8’’ to 2’’ in a variety of lengths. Painless also offers ClassicBraid with more of a satin finish perfect for vintage rides.

Painless Performance / www.painlessperformance.com


Smudgelss and Dustless

It’s amazing how much dust and smudges will turn up on your car after a cruise night or show. For a quick and safe shine-up on any painted surface, Griot’s Garage recommends their PFM Speed Shine. This easy-to-use detailer is formulated with special lubricants that ensure safe detailing without water and this detailer is complemented with Griot’s super soft, long nap weave PFM Detailing Towel. Talk about a win-win combination! Griot’s offers a number of handy gift ideas from detailers to garage tools on their website.

Griot’s Garage / www.griotsgarage.com


Mini-Pump

This trick, vintage gas pump drink dispenser holds up to 32 ounces of your favorite high-octane beverage. Not only does it look like an old pump, but it actually works! Simply remove the nozzle from the hook and give the trigger a squeeze to fill your glass. The pump is made of chrome-plated steel with a clear acrylic reservoir complete with hash marks so you always know when it’s time to fill ’er up. Summit also offers one with a traditional globe on top in place of the skull.

Summit Racing Equipment / www.summitracing.com


Sit and Wrench

There’s no reason to strain your back or knees while working around your hot rod. The team at Mychanic has designed a new shop stool that is full of function and thought with an adjustable height seat, power tool holster, hardware bins and deep padded drawer. To help glide around the shop, oversized 3” casters are used under the sturdy steel frame. And to keep your tools in order, there are ball bearing supported drawers and a folding magnetic side tray to store any hardware you’re working with.

Mychanic / www.mychanic.com


Car Threads

Okay, if you insist on getting a shirt for your hot rodder, at least select something cool like the V-8 Pinstripe Panel Shirt from CarShirts.com. We’re not sure if this style shirt falls into the casual corner or the special occasion area, but we’d say it’s perfect to wear anytime! Select between three color combinations; blue with a blue panel, black with a mustard panel or black with stone. The shirts are available from M – 5X and are made in the USA. Be sure to check out the other styles and offerings on their website.

Car Shirts / www.carshirts.com


Top it Off

Don’t let the small size of this battery charger, maintainer and rejuvenator fool you as it’s up to task of keeping any 6 or 12 volt battery charged to its full capacity. Battery Saver’s #1200 is an energy efficient, fully automatic device that will support and maintain your rod’s battery for years to come. If your street rod gets parked for long periods of time, simply connect the Battery Saver and let it do its thing. You’ll never open the garage door to a low or dead battery again.

Battery Saver / www.batterysaver.com (PLUS free shipping with code: GGFREESHIP)


Stay Connected

Taking a cruise in your hot rod always provides a taste of nostalgia, but thanks to Classic Car Stereos, you can bring in a little modern technology to make the drive even better with their Blukit Bluetooth Adapter. This handy little device easily connects to a number of aftermarket radios such as the Custom Autosound USA-630, USA-66 Slidebar and both the Secret Audio SST and SRMS stereo models allowing you to stream music and make phone calls from your IPhone, IPod, Android or any kind of Bluetooth enabled mobile device.

Classic Car Stereos / www.classiccarstereos.com


Shop Time

Every shop needs a clock, and it might as well be a classic one! TP Tools offers over 90 different nifty neon clocks including Mopar, GM and Ford brands as well as soda and fuel brands. The 15” clocks feature a hand-blown glass neon ring around the clock along with a multi-tiered chrome art-deco-style outer rim and glass face. The updated quartz clock movement requires AAA batteries while the neon uses 115 volt AC adapter to glow (there’s an on/off switch built-in).

TP Tools / www.tptools.com


Third and Turn

A third brake light is a smart thing to add to your street or hot rod, just to make sure the distracted driver behind you knows your stopping. Juliano’s took things even farther by adding turn signals to their billet third brake light system. The sleek billet housing features six high intensity LEDs per side and flashes with your directional signals. The assembly is 8” wide and only 1.75” high for easy mounting on the package tray or garnish molding inside the rear window.

Juliano’s Interior Products / www.julianos.com


Hello, Dolly!

Garage space is of utmost importance to any car guy and if you need to move a car into the corner for storage, these Pittsburgh Automotive Vehicle Positioning Dollies will do the trick! Each dolly, #61917, is rated for 1,250 pounds and is safer and easier than using a jack. The dolly features a built-in jack and foot pedal ratchet system to lift a tire easily, leaving your hands free for positioning and making safe adjustments.

Harbor Freight / www.harborfreight.com


$100 – $250

Control Your Cool

Do you have a hot rodder planning to update to an electric fan system over the winter? To get the most benefit from an electric fan(s), it is best to be able to activate them at a specific temperature. Dakota Digital offers an advanced Fan Controller, the PAC-2750 which allows you to set the exact temperatures to activate and deactivate the fans. The programmable controller will work with your existing water temp gauge, will handle up to 70 amps and also works with dual-speed or twin single speed fans.

Dakota Digital / www.dakotadigital.com


Wired with Style

Plug wires are a vital component of the ignition system and actually need to be treated as a maintenance item. Whether upgrading or starting with a new engine, iditit’s Vintage Wires make a great gift. These unique wires have the look of a classic woven sleeve, but it’s actually a silicone material that will withstand heat and abrasion. The sleeve is actually a cotton braid material that is covered in a protective lacquer finish. The conductor is spiral wound so the wire will handle the spark chores of modern day EFI controls and electronics. Available in custom and universal kits.

Vintage Wires by ididit / www.vintagewires.com


Buff and Run

Once your car is parked for a show, especially an indoor affair, the lights can show different spots that you may have missed while detailing it in your garage. To help with any on the road detailing, Griot’s Garage offers a rugged, wireless 5-Inch Orbital Buffer. This compact machine is powered by long lasting lithium-ion battery with a high-efficient motor that delivers 3,500 orbits per minute for smooth, even delivery of their polishes, waxes, and sealants. As for battery life, Griots explained that there was enough run time to wax and entire Chevy Tahoe! Whether you’re on the road or in the shop, this 5-Inch Random Orbital will make getting your car shined up easy!

Griots Garage / www.griotsgarage.com


Cool Clock

Time goes fast when you’re in the garage whether working on a project or simply piddling about. To keep you on time it’s probably a good idea to hang a clock in the shop and it might as well be a cool clock. Vintage Air is here to help with this cool 14” double neon clock. The clock face is bestowed with their logo complemented with a roadster while two rings of neon blue and white surround the assembly. Not only will they keep your car cool, but this clock will add a touch of coolness to your garage as well.

Vintage Air / www.vintageair.com


Busted Knuckle Garage

It’s always nice to pull up a stool for someone stopping by the garage so having a seat available is always a good idea. The Busted Knuckle Garage offers a heavy duty USA-made Shop Stool that you can top with a number of different faced cushions (matching pub style tables are also available). Each stool stands 30” tall, with a 14” cushion that swivels a full 360°. The chrome plated legs and heavy duty construction will last a lifetime and are built to carry over 1,500 pounds! The stools are built to order so plan about two weeks for ordering.

Busted Knuckle Garage / www.bustedknucklegarage.com


Show Signs

How many times have you had people wander by your car and ask questions about what size engine it is, how many were made or who shot the paint? If you want to provide more details about your pride and joy (which we also like to see at events) you need to contact Don’s Custom Showboards. Don’s will produce a custom board that will attract the spectators, and judges, to learn a little more about your hot rod. They also offer a heavy duty stand to secure the board at shows and for the holidays, a gift certificate is a great idea!

Don’s Showboards / www.donsshowboards.com


Got You Covered

Give the LS engine lover in your life a classic and traditional touch for their engine with Billet Specialties Chevrolet script cast valve covers. Each precision cast valve cover is powder coated black, then machined with the iconic Chevrolet script for a distinctive appearance. The valve covers are sold in pairs and include gaskets, mounting hardware, and an aluminum screw-in oil cap.

Billet Specialties / www.billetspecialties.com


Auto Art

You just can’t go wrong with a fine piece of automotive artwork for the holidays. Car Art offers a comprehensive gallery of hot rods, muscle cars, exotics and more at their website, carart.us. The unique print example shown is a deuce parked in front of Edsel Ford’s estate in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan. Car Art offers this as a 17”x20” limited edition giclée print on watercolor paper and signed by the artist.

Car Art / www.carart.us


Give Oil

Chances are that your special car-guy still changes their own engine oil which guarantees that they will be totally excited to find a case of oil under their tree! And not just any oil, but a case of Driven Racing Oil. Driven’s Hot Rod Oil is formulated with special ingredients to reduce friction, provide anti-wear protection as well as extending oil change intervals. Their unique 10W-40 blend utilizes just the right amount of Zinc (ZDDP) for a healthy valvetrain in addition to U.S. military-spec rust and corrosion additives. This formula provides protection for roller camshafts and counteracts the corrosion and other damage that can be caused during storage periods.

Driven Racing Oil / www.drivenracingoil.com


Full Coverage

Your hot rod fan has a lot of time and money wrapped up in the paint and engine bay. To help protect it when they’re working or cleaning under the hood, check out the mother of all fender covers from Bob’s Original Fender Covers. These covers envelop the entire engine bay and protect the body with a thick soft fabric. Since they’re custom made for each application, Bob’s covers will never fall off.

Bob’s Original Fender Covers / www.bobsoriginalfendercovers.com


Holidays are Covered

You cannot go wrong in giving your Goodguy a car cover, especially when it’s a Dustop Custom Cover from California Car Cover. Dustop fabric is made with a proprietary technology that combines the softness of polyethylene with the strength and durability of polypropylene. This means you get a cover that is soft as flannel, ideal for dust protection, strong, and breathable. Dustop Covers are made of four layers with the middle designed to hold out the finest dust particles. The Dustop is recommended for indoor use only, comes in gray or taupe and the USA made cover has a four year warranty.

California Car Cover / www.calcarcover.com


Gear Up

Give the gift of garage gear with this all-in-one Garage Essentials Tool Kit from Speedway Motors. This kit features a variety of tools necessary for any automotive project, including a padded six-wheel creeper, round shop roller seat, LED rechargeable cordless work light, a Titan Tools mirror and magnet tool set, rectangular magnetic parts tray, magnetic finger glove tool, and clear safety goggles. It’s a great way to get a lot of gear with one part number (916-02031).

Speedway Motors / www.speedwaymotors.com


Brighten Up

It’s not often that safety upgrades enhance the looks of your car. Take the early air-bag steering wheels or bumper mandates of the early ‘70s as examples. However, adding a set of LED taillights not only improves the brightness of the brake lights to alert those around you, but also brings a touch of modern flare (not to mention drawing less current). DIGI-TAILS focuses on creating direct-fit LED taillight assemblies to update muscle cars and trucks. As an added feature, the lights can be switched from standard operation to a fully sequential feature. Designed and built in the USA, DIGI-TAILS LED updates meet or exceed DOT and SAE requirements.

DIGI-TAILS / www.digi-tails.com


Looking Back

Daily drivers have so many creature comforts and safety features that we’ve started to add these features to our street rods and customs. Juliano’s offers a very useful RearSight backup camera system which is perfect for chopped tops, deliveries and other vehicles with multiple blind spots to make backing into the garage or show spot convenient and safe. The RearSight is supplied with everything you need for an easy installation including the LCD monitor, waterproof compact camera, wiring and detailed installation instructions.

Juliano’s Interior Products / www.julianos.com


Travel Tools

Car guys can never have enough tools and the Pittsburgh 301 Piece Tool Set from Harbor Freight provides a serious set of useful pieces. The kit, item #63457, includes adjustable wrenches, pliers and sockets in SAE and metric measurements to handle most mechanical applications. The 301 Piece Set is supplied in a durable custom storage case to keep tools organized which also makes it ideal to carry along on road trips to handle any roadside repairs.

Harbor Freight / www.harborfreight.com


Start ‘em Young

This ’63 Corvette is the perfect cul-de-sac cruiser! This battery-powered ride-on has the iconic styling of the original Stingray convertible, even with a realistic horn, ignition, and engine rumble when your lucky kiddo steps on the gas. A powerful 12 volt motor pushes the car to a top speed of 3.8 MPH (2.5 MPH in reverse) and will carry up to 66 pounds. A long lasting battery pack and charger are included.

Summit Racing Equipment / www.summitracing.com

Todd Ryden is first and foremost a car guy and admits to how lucky he is to have been able to build a career out of a hobby that he enjoys so much. He’s owned muscle cars and classics, raced a bit and has cruised across the country. With over 25 years in the industry from the manufacturing and marketing side to writing books and articles, he just gets it.

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