If you aren’t into cars, it can be hard to know what the gearhead in your life wants for Christmas.
Luckily you have us, who are hopelessly obsessed with cars and also spend a considerable amount of time window shopping online. We’ve used our knowledge of car-related toys and games (which would otherwise be entirely useless) to curate a gift guide for the car enthusiast in your life this holiday season. If people are looking for the best personalized anniversary gifts, they can check it out here! Whether they are into motorsports, video games or collectibles, we promise there will be something to suit their tastes. This also may or may not be our personal Christmas wish list disguised as a helpful gift buying guide (hint hint, Mom).
Pretty much all car enthusiasts appreciate a good diecast model, and the wide range of them means you’ll probably be able to find that special someone’s favorite car. Our personal favorite diecast maker brand is Minichamps, which offers high-quality, extremely detailed models of vintage cars, supercars, racecars and much, much more. The Hot Wheels range is surprisingly large and suited to both adults and kids. Amalgam also makes pinpoint accurate scale models of everything from supercars and racecars to F1 steering wheels and engines, but be warned, a good Amalgam product doesn’t come cheap.
Lego has ramped up its car-related offerings in recent years and now has automotive-themed toy sets as part of both its Lego Technic range and Speed Champions range. The Lego Technic Porsche 911 GT3 looks great and would be a fun project for any gearhead, but it’s a bit on the pricey side at $349. The Speed Champions range is a bit more affordable and is perfect for the motorsports fan, comprising a Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 set, a Scuderia Ferrari F1 set, an AMG GT3 set and more. Oh, don’t forget the Volkswagen T1 Camper Van either, which is part of the Lego Creator range.
Slot cars aren’t just for kids. In fact, it seems the most diehard slot car enthusiasts are fully grown adults (just check out the 24 Hours of Slot Car Le Mans). It’s no surprise, then, that there’s a number of companies offering awesome replica slot cars and slot tracks. Two of the most well-known are Scalextric and Carrera, and both offer racecar and road car-style slot cars and tracks. We’re partial to the Scalextric Bentley GT3, but the Carrera Ford GT GTE is pretty darn cool as well.
If the person you’re shopping for isn’t into slot cars or racing, you could always get them an RC car. RC car racing can get expensive pretty quickly, but there’s a number of fast, fun and cool-looking RC cars on the market that won’t break the bank. The Tamiya Ferrari 458 Challenge RC gets good reviews and is well-priced from $199, while Traxxas offers a number of good, middle-of-the-range RC cars (our favorite being the $309 Ford GT). If you have an RC car-crazy person in your life, there’s also the Traxxas X-01, which is the fastest electric car in the world and will do 0-60 mph in 2.3 seconds. Be warned, though – it’s nearly $1,000.
Video Games/Pedal and Wheel Set
Video games seem like a no-brainer, but there’s a large number of good racing games on the market, so we’ll steer you in the right direction. Gran Turismo Sport hit shelves in December to significant fanfare and is best enjoyed with a good force feedback steering wheel. If cost isn’t much of a worry, we’d opt for a Fanatec CSL Elite wheel and pedals, but this writer owns a cheaper Logitech G29 and enjoys it very much. You could also splurge on an appropriate wheel/pedal mount and chair from a company like Playseat. Other games you could consider for the gearhead gamer in your life include Forza Motorsport 7, Forza Horizon 3, F1 2017, Project Cars 2 and Need for Speed Payback.
Razr Crazy Kart
The Razr Crazy Kart is the epitome of fun for (almost) all ages. This electrically-powered kart will do up to 12 mph and even comes with a handbrake for ripping some sweet sideways drifts Ken Block style. Just punch Razr Crazy Kart into the YouTube search bar – you’ll quickly see that these are a crazy amount of fun. If you’re shopping for a kid, it’ll also get them off the couch and outside. They are also relatively affordable on Amazon, so there’s really no downside here.
If you know a motorsports enthusiast, there’s nothing you can get them (short of a real racecar) that they’d like more than a go-kart. Most professional karts, which you could enter in local karting races, include a rolling chassis only, meaning you’ll have to go out and get an engine. It’s not that hard of a task, thankfully, and Briggs or Honda four-stroke engines can be had for pretty cheap (especially if you go for the off-brand four-stroke motors). Some of the more well-known go-kart chassis manufacturers include Birel, Tony Kart, CRG, Cosmic and Energy. Chances are the best place to get a go-kart will be a local store or track with a shop.