You want to buy a gift for your favorite gearhead, but you have a problem. Your giftee is a person of taste, of class, of a certain joie de vivre, a true bon vivant. Looked through all of your empty McDonald's bags, and still out of ideas about what to get them? Realized that just because something's expensive, doesn't mean it's tasteful? Let us help you out.
Drawing inspiration from the dashboard instruments adorning the gorgeous Italian coupes of the 1950s and 1960s, the Autodromo Stradale features a domed sapphire crystal, and a custom leather watchband reminiscent of the seating on a 1962 Ferrari 250. ($875)
It's a bit tough to find these days, but if you can snag one of these Citroen 2CV-reminiscent bags from Kate Spade, you'll be the talk of any summer occasion. Even if Christmas is in winter. ($642.50)
Want some automotive wall art that isn't tack as all hell? Something like that might as well be a unicorn, with how often such pieces come around. Try a woodcut sculpture, then, from Linear Edge, tracing the outline of your favorite race track. Up top is the Circuit Spa-Francorchamps, the true European circuit of taste, as it's in Belgium where everything is very nice but also very understated. Though if you do still like a large dollop of tackiness, they of course have a sculpture of the Monaco Grand Prix as well. (Starting at $160)
Want your wall hangings to have a bit more of a nautical theme? Get a laser-cut barythmic chart from Below the Boat. They've got everything from Lake Winnipesaukee to Baja California, and pretty much all the locations in between. Sometimes pretending that you do things on boats looks a lot better than actually boating. (From $158)
Technically these handcut raceway shields are sold by Restoration Hardware under the "kids" section, but that sure as hell ain't stopping me. Mount these right above your Aston Martin DBR1, and you'll be set. ($99)
Very rarely is any branded item tasteful at all, let alone a brand so abused by poseurs as Porsche. But when it's Porsche Motorsports, and it's for a kid, there's nothing better. You're not only bringing comfort to a child, with a stuffed bear, you're also bringing education about and passion for one of the greatest teams in all of racing history. And that's great. Though on the other hand, because it's got the word "Porsche" on it, it's expensive as all hell. Consider that more education for the young'uns. ($90)
There is nothing better in this world than open-top motoring in a vintage race car. The smell, the sound, the speed, the look. Well, not the look if you're dressed up like Big Bird. No, if you want to do things properly, you need to dress the part. So get a scarf modeled after the one Sir Henry Ralph Stanley Birkin, 3rd Baronet, AKA original Bentley Boy Tim Birkin, liked to wear when he was doing some open-top motoring through the small French town of Le Mans. You'll look properly dashing, chap. ($62.48)
Speaking of fine vintage motoring, there's no finer car show in the world than the Pebble Beach Concours D'Elegance. Where else can you see Hispano-Suizas, Bugattis, and yes, even Bentley racers lined up next to each other on a golf course in Pebble Beach? Nowhere, obviously. ($300)
Photo credit: Rex Gray
Tickets to Pebble can be crazy steep at $300, so spend a whole lot less, and get to actually see vintage racers on track, at the Brickyard Racing Vintage Invitational. You'll see Can-Am stars mix it up with Indy 500 heroes, all actually driving around. And great value is always tasteful. ($30)
The Ultimate Slot Car Track
Alright, so it'll cost you $300,000. But what's worth more, a slot car track or a perfectly acceptable house? Think about this carefully, and very, very tastefully.
Got anymore tasteful gift suggestions? Drop them in the comments below!
Topshot credit: Alden Jewell