Is there a great gift for a car geek?
December 4, 2008 4:25 PM   Subscribe

Another "help me find a great gift" question. My dad is 59, well-off financially and difficult to buy things for. He is currently restoring a 1929 Ford Roadster. A couple of years ago my brother got him a jumpsuit with his name embroidered on it, for working on the car. I am looking for a similarly awesome gift that is related to his hobby. He has all of the books, magazine subscriptions, etc. Does anyone have a fantastic idea? I'm in NH, if it matters. Thanks!
posted by sisflit to Shopping (21 answers total)
Space heater
Custom-made toolbox
Super-lux creeper with his name on it
posted by box at 4:38 PM on December 4, 2008

Um, I mean a garage creeper, not a brothel creeper.
posted by box at 4:41 PM on December 4, 2008

You could get him a creeper and have it monogrammed to match his jumpsuit.
posted by carsonb at 4:42 PM on December 4, 2008

GMTA, box! (oops.)
posted by carsonb at 4:43 PM on December 4, 2008

Laser-etch his likeness on a torque wrench.
posted by Wet Spot at 5:07 PM on December 4, 2008

You could take him to the Grand National Roadster Show in California. Alternately, give him framed prints of his car or hire a photographer to come do nice portraits of Dad and the car in a pretty setting. (Or is that too cheesy?)
posted by cucumberfresh at 5:27 PM on December 4, 2008

I think that he might appreciate a nice diecast model of the car he is restoring.

A google search of 1929 "Ford Roadster" diecast turned up a few models, you might be able to find something close to what it will look like. If you tweak the year up and down, you should get more choices of colors and they will look pretty similar.
posted by jefeweiss at 5:33 PM on December 4, 2008

If he welds, maybe an awesomised (custom/monogrammed/whatever) welding mask?
posted by The Monkey at 5:38 PM on December 4, 2008

There's a company called Griots Garage that specializes in high-quality car care products as well as car-aficionado items that you might want to check out. I have purchased things from them in the past and have been very pleased with everything. They have excellent customer service and have, so far as I have heard, a good reputation in the industry. Good luck!
posted by karizma at 5:38 PM on December 4, 2008

Assuming he has a garage, why net get a few framed vintage pin up girls.
posted by munchingzombie at 6:01 PM on December 4, 2008

Does he have the Ford Parts Locating Guide? It's basically a phone book of parts dealers sorted by category and has tons of shops and junkyards, including those that are in the middle of nowhere and don't have websites (or email... or even computers) I've talked to people who used them to help find parts to restore old cars and they say the books pretty much pay for themselves immediately.
posted by stefanie at 7:08 PM on December 4, 2008

If I was a car fanatic then a cool driving school would be at the top of my list. A bit of googling shows some (seemingly) cool choices.
posted by TomSophieIvy at 7:40 PM on December 4, 2008

Race car driving lessons on a closed track?
posted by kaudio at 7:47 PM on December 4, 2008

Car enthusiasts like to keep the dust off their beauties.
A custom car cover.
posted by artdrectr at 8:19 PM on December 4, 2008

Best answer: Antique license plates from the year the car was made. Not only does it complete the restoration, but they usually look pretty nifty too.

Here's some info on how to register them. Your Dad will likely need to do this.

Car shows and ebay may be your best bet to buy them. I have seen fully restored ones from this era, you just have to look (although restoring an old license plate isn't hard if you're handy).
posted by pokeedog at 9:42 PM on December 4, 2008

Woah, pokeedog... pardon my French, but that's a really fucking great idea.

If you don't mind spending a lot of money, you could get him the mechanic's most lustful object of desire: a lift.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:19 PM on December 4, 2008

A Flying Quail radiator cap.
posted by Floydd at 7:00 AM on December 5, 2008

It partly depends on if he's the guy doing all the work himself or if he's sending things out to be fixed... But, when I'm working on my old car, things I'd like to have are specialty tools specific for the type of old car. The shop manual will call out use of Ford tool #--- and we end up making do with something else that doesn't quite do the job. Even if the tool is used only a half-dozen times, it would make the job so very much easier.

Also, some blankets to throw over the fender to protect it from scratches when you're working on the engine will be appreciated for a long long time, even after the car is restored.
posted by mightshould at 8:08 AM on December 5, 2008

A few ideas:
- mechanic's gloves
- gear wrenches
- electric impact wrench
- air tools (grinders, sanders, etc.) + air compressor
posted by LordSludge at 11:03 AM on December 5, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks everyone - he's mostly having it rebuilt (probably should've added that information earlier, sorry). I'll check out the links and see what I can find.

Although I love the license plate idea...and the car cover...and the driving lessons...and the parts book...gotta check out Griot's Garage.

Thanks everyone!
posted by sisflit at 6:42 AM on December 6, 2008

Response by poster: OK I am a loser - the car is a 1932 Ford Roadster and I found a 1932 Massachsetts license plate on ebay - now I have to refinish it before Christmas (once it arrives).

Thanks everyone!
posted by sisflit at 6:22 PM on December 15, 2008

« Older How to make a paint-by-number in Photoshop?   |   Where to start learning about anthropology? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.