The season is well upon us, and the days are rapidly approaching when we must be ready to express our love and appreciation for those dear to us through reckless spending and consumerism! For some, depending on what you celebrate, those days may already be here. But thankfully, it isn’t too late to snag some last-minute gearhead cheer! Merry winter and happy holidays from the Acceleramota crew as we bring to you this collaborative gift guide for all things car-related, from services and subscriptions to toys, apparel, and more.
Thinking of snagging a gift for yourself? Or how about your gearhead friends? Or perhaps your spouse or partner could use something as simple as some car care products to stay busy on the weekends. We got you covered here. But remember, this is a mere sampling of what we’ve offered recently, so don’t forget to check out more cool products from our prior guides linked below!
Nathan: Detailing & car care
Black cars are brilliant on the showroom floor. That matte black Cybertruck looks great until a few trips to the car wash, after which you’re left with a swirly mess. This black car care kit is designed to restore that glossy paint finish. Use the high gloss car wash soap to pull abrasive dirt from the paint surface and more abrasive soap to clean the undercarriage and wheels.
What makes this kit unique is the black light and butter-wet wax. These creams give your black that extra shine, ensuring that it looks just as smooth as the day you bought it.
Ever wanted to buy a used car with leather seats? The seat bolsters are always cracked! The most underrated car care item is a leather conditioner. This formula from the leather experts, Leather Honey, will ensure that your oversized pickup truck’s leather seats are smooth for years to come.
We could go on about how it’s made in America, restores all types of leather or that the company has been around since 1968, but that’s rather boring. The real kicker is that if you’re not 100%, you can just return the bottle for a full refund!
If you want an all-you-can-clean kit, Griot’s Garage has you covered. From applicators, pads, and brushes to leather spray, wheel cleaner, and wax, you can get down to business with this kit. We picked this one based on the sheer number of products you get for $299.
The “Pure Freakin’ Magic” or PFM® microfiber is one of the reasons you never go cheap when buying car care products. These looped-weave microfiber cloths are truly the best out there.
This kit has every other kit beat on pure value. For $129 (probably less with ongoing deals), you get everything you need to keep your car in tip-top shape. This kit contains your usual car cleaning products and comes with a convenient dirt trap and bucket to prevent cross-contamination. You also get a foam blaster, which can help prevent those nasty swirls and scratches when applying car wash soap.
Still, there is always somebody doing a better job with more expensive products. But this kit will get you the clean and shine you need. With that, you also get helpful instruction videos. So it’s a no-brainer to go with this kit if you’re on a budget.
Jeric: Enthusiast apparel
Huzzah! For my first pick, I present a brand near and dear to my closet, one whose shirts have stood the test of time in my possession for years. Heel & Toe Apparel joins the collective of car enthusiast-centric apparel, creating subtle yet tasteful designs for any and all niches. While primarily Euro-centric, they have neutral designs that’d work with just about any ride, with nearly all designs themed after manual gearboxes. Surprise, surprise, given the name.
I’ve personally had one of their apex t-shirts in my collection, where the material has never shrunk, faded, or torn over the years. The black remains a deep black while the white remains vivid, and I promise you it’s not because I take good care of my laundry. Complaints? Just a little pricey, with simple t-shirts currently ringing in at $32, but I can’t fault the universal appeal of their prints and the quality of their materials. And if you want more, they also have hoodies, hats, and stocks. Real stocking stuffers.
A peculiar pick from our recent car enthusiast-centric merch guide, Simply Carbon Fiber is a niche, relatively inexpensive lifestyle brand pitching carbon fiber jewelry and accessories in a variety of shapes and sizes. From sunglasses to money clips, wallets, and even watches, they got it! And I get it. Swathes of carbon can be tacky to some. But there are a few understated designs that should better appeal to those who simply like a more modern look, such as their Astro Series watches with the chopped carbon dial or the Alpha Series with the carbon weave dial and leather strap.
Customer reviews across the internet seem to be quite pleased with the company, citing genuinely good quality and some noting themselves as returning customers. However, a few hiccups regarding the fitment of some of their phone cases have been made known, but they’re few and far between.
Long touted online as a premium driving shoe that can do more than just live in the footwell of your car, Piloti driving shoes exude loads of style and pizzazz. No longer do you have to feel like a tool rocking those oddly shaped and peculiar driving shoes that look like you stole them from an IMSA paddock (unless that’s your style, then be my guest). Piloti shoes come in a wide array of styles, including slip-on loafers, high-top sneakers, and skate shoe-esque sneakers. No matter your choice, each shoe is styled to match a certain lifestyle or aesthetic to ensure you look like the distinguished driving enthusiast you are on or off the track.
Expectedly for a company that’s been playing this game since 1999, reviews are almost universally positive. Consumers laud the appreciable blend of comfort and usability while still allowing for that enhanced pedal feel that driving shoes should be capable of. Minimal fatigue, plenty of cushion, but still good pedal feedback when behind the wheel. Friend and colleague, Peter Nelson, even commended the Piloti Shift for its construction beneath its otherwise understated appearance.
This wouldn’t be a Sheilah entry if I didn’t include Lewis Hamilton. This remote-controlled version of his #44 Mercedes-AMG F1 car is an excellent pick for any lover of Hammertime. I love that the controller mimics that of an actual F1 car, albeit much less complicated. The sponsor stickers come separately for you to place them wherever you like. If you’re particularly crafty, you could make your own too. Just remember to add AA batteries (seven, to be exact) to your order, you’ll need seven total for both the car and controller. This is a solid big boy also, at 19 inches long and weighing almost three pounds.
I’m deep in a rewatch of Initial D at the moment, so this felt right. If you’ve ever wanted to build a model car but are intimidated, Aoshima’s sets are for you. They couldn’t be easier, as seen in this unboxing video. They take all the stress and time-consuming nature of model building away. These kits are strangely relaxing, and I’ve got a few of them. Aoshima has a ton of models to pick from, so if you find you love one you can create a whole series to show off. The instructions are in Japanese, but much like Ikea, they are idiot-proof with pictures. I’ve never run into an issue getting a car put together, so I don’t think you will either. I recommend getting a basic tool set like this one linked here to help assemble such tiny parts.
Gabe: Services & gift cards:
Let’s face it, most people will never have the chance to own and drive an exotic supercar, let alone on a track. Fortunately, Virgin (the phone carrier slash airline, not the average Redditor) also has a website for booking supercar driving experiences on real circuits, many of which include in-depth performance driving lessons from professional instructors. It’s among the handful of car-related adventures Virgin will help travelers experience, among race car ride-alongs at oval tracks across the country, if that’s your thing.
If you know someone who’s been dreaming of driving a Ferrari 488, a Lamborghini Huracan, or a Porsche 911, you can’t go wrong with an unforgettable driving experience from Virgin Experience Gifts. Believe me, my dad and I did something like this at Lime Rock Park in a brand new McLaren GT, and it was one of the highlights of my 2023.
Sure, maybe it’s a stretch to recommend buying someone a car for Christmas. But what if you subscribed to one? That’s the idea behind FINN, a German car subscription service offering a new kind of business model for acquiring and maintaining a car. While even the best lease deals and financing offers come with hidden costs and long-term maintenance expenses, subscription services like FINN are all-inclusive.
Along with the car itself, routine maintenance and insurance are covered by the monthly cost, so you don’t have to deal with the headache of all the administrative work that typically comes with buying or leasing a car. Besides, for most people, the days of gifting someone a car for Christmas are numbered. In 2023, the average price of a new car exceeded $48K, according to Kelley Blue Book. That’s absurd, considering most cars depreciate by a whopping 20% in their first year. At least with a FINN subscription, you can upgrade your car once or twice a year just like you would an iPhone – no down payment required.
Apart from the initial sticker shock, one major downside to FINN is the limited selection of vehicles. Every time I check the site, fewer and fewer cars are available. Not only that, but it seems the makes and models are in constant rotation. The first time I perused its inventory, I recall FINN had a handful of BMW SUVs and a Tesla Model 3 – now it doesn’t offer any fully electric vehicles, and all but two models are unavailable at the time of this writing. Still, if you can get your hands on something your loved one will enjoy, you can always spend a fraction of the price of a new car on a 6-month subscription.