November 25, 2012

News & Features

Car shopping: Holiday gifts for the auto fans on your list

Special to NWautos

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Clockwise from top left: McQueen-O-Rama Cars Diecast Set, AutoExec File Tote, "Bullitt" movie poster, Accutire Digital Tire Gauge, "Corvette" and "Corvette Sixty Years"

Treat the car lovers or power commuters in your life to a holiday gift that caters to their passion, whether it's classic cars, planning the ultimate road trip or finding ways to make the journey a little easier.

For the driver with a passion: Two new books celebrate the legendary line that is Corvette. "Corvette," by David Newhardt, includes more than 300 photos of 50 autos. In "Corvette Sixty Years," author Randy Leffingwell looks at the evolution of the brand over its first six decades, digging into GM's archives for unpublished photos and design materials. $20 and $50, respectively, at booksellers.

For the one with fun in tow: The Swift Hitch Portable Backup Camera makes one-person trailer hookup easy, and doubles as a backup camera for your vehicle or trailer. Attach the camera to your tailgate with magnets and watch the action from the driver's seat on the handheld 2.5-inch color screen— even at night. $199 at etrailer.com

For the detailer: Get those leather car seats supple and gleaming with Leather Honey Leather Conditioner, a non-toxic, water-repellent formula that softens, moisturizes and rejuvenates all types of leather. In addition to auto and motorcycle seats, it can be used on purses, baseball gloves and more. $16-$80 at leatherhoney.com

For the driver who's always prepared: The Accutire Digital Tire Gauge with LCD Display offers peace of mind with an easy-to-read screen. It reveals the psi at a glance, making it easy to maintain the right tire pressure, lengthen tire life and improve safety. $15 at Sears

For the working nomad: Make it easier for those on the go to haul their laptop, books, documents and other valuables safely in and out of the car with the AutoExec File Tote. The tote is crafted from rugged luggage material, with removable dividers that offer more than 34 storage configurations. The whole thing secures to a car seat with seat-belt loops and includes a lid. $35 at costco.com

For fans of Steve McQueen: Put a bow on a movie poster, giclee print or canvas print of "Bullitt," the 1968 film featuring that iconic, heart-pounding car chase through the streets of San Francisco. Choose from the American, Polish, Italian, German, French or Spanish versions. Starting at $35 at art.com

For fans of Lightning McQueen: Add the McQueen-O-Rama Cars Diecast Set to their "Cars" collection. The set of shiny roadsters features Lightning McQueen in five different paint finishes, including the exclusive Chrome McQueen. $29.50 at disneystore.com

For those who love to get their hands dirty: Stuff a tub or tube of Goop Multi-Purpose Hand Cleaner into their stocking. This non-toxic and biodegradable hand cleaner removes stains from hands and washable clothing, including grease, grime, paint, tar and most industrial soils. About $5 at auto-supply and hardware stores

For the historian: Surprise those who just can't get enough of LeMay — America's Car Museum in Tacoma with an annual membership. The pass grants unlimited chances to ogle the classic cars, as well as a subscription to the museum's publication OpenRoad, discounts on museum merchandise, and invitations to parties, tours and events. $50 individual, $80 family at lemaymuseum.org

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