Jim’s Blog — Holiday Gifts for the Car Person on your List

Do car people like sweaters and socks as gifts for the holidays? Sure. Is that what they really want? Nope.

If you’re hunting for that perfect car-related item for the motorhead on your list, ACC is here to help. Here’s a list of five cool and useful items to consider:

A good flashlight:
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: a good flashlight is a must-have item for any car person. Most of them only have a cheapie $10 version from their local parts house. The difference between that, and say, the Inova T5, is night and day. Rechargable, super bright, and heavy-duty. Hard to go wrong here, even at around $100. It’s worth it.

A headlight relay kit:
Headlight relays weren’t standard equipment in the muscle car era, but they are today, and wiring one into an older car means brighter lights and less of a load on the original headlight circuit wiring. This is a safety feature every old car should have, and now you can get everything needed for the conversion in one kit from United Pacific for $36 from Summit Racing. I just did this to my truck, and the results have been great.

An OBDII scanner:
Car guys drive new cars too, and we all hate having to go to the mechanic when something simple has set off the check engine light. That’s why having an OBDII scanner on hand is great, and these days, they’re not expensive. This basic one from Actron will get the job done for $63.

A reproduction car decal kit:
Correct engine compartment decals, glovebox booklets, and jacking instruction stickers are often missing from classic car restorations, and reproduction kits are not expensive to buy. You can find them at all the major restoration parts houses. Jim Osborn Reproductions makes quite a few decals for American cars from the ’50s through the ’70s, and while they aren’t NOS, they have the right look and cost about $25. You can order these direct (individually) here.

Work gloves:
Car guys are always getting into situations that require good gloves. For $30, the Mechanix Material4X gloves are a really good choice. They’re both durable and comfortable — perfect to use when hooking up a trailer to a truck, loading a car on a trailer, or changing a flat tire. Get them here.

Finally, if you love ACC, why not pass it on? $24.95 sends six issues of ACC, as well as two price guides. It’s a great way to keep track of the constantly changing market. Check it out here.