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June 9, 2013

News & Features

Drive home your love on Father's Day with fun auto-related gifts

NWautos

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Clockwise from top left: Firebird T-Shirt, $38; Silverlit Bluetooth Porsche, $80; Craftsman Socket Organizer Set, $12.50; Griot's Garage Starter Car Care Kit, $65; Authentic European License Plate, $30 (center).

Dads can be hard to shop for, but dads who love cars make it a bit easier. There's always a cool new gadget or way to show brand loyalty. Here are some picks for Father's Day gifts that show Dad how thankful you are for him — and his hobby.

It's not really a T-shirt from his high-school days, but it looks like one. The Original Retro Brand Firebird T-Shirt ($38 at Nordstrom) is a broken-in homage to the great Pontiac muscle car. If Dad is a little more luxury than muscle, give him the driving shoes of his dreams. Puma and Ferrari have teamed up on a line that includes the Speed Cat Super LT ($78 at zappos.com), a lightweight suede shoe that features the logos of both companies.

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Clockwise from top left: Speed Cat Super LT shoes, $78; Brake Disc Clock, $80; M50Y Ceramic Tumbler, $12; Car Emergency Kit, $40; CD/MP3/MD-To-Cassette Adapter, $8.

Ford's Mustang doesn't turn 50 until next year, but licensed products celebrating the milestone are already rolling out. The sleek black M50Y Ceramic Tumbler ($12 at cmgestore.com/FOR1), with a silicone lid and vinyl sleeve, will look great in his 'Stang — or whatever vehicle he drives.

He's seen all six of the movies, so get him in on the action with the latest video game from the mega-series: Fast & Furious Showdown ($40 at major retailers). The game can be played from multiple points of view, and objectives include street races, hijacking vehicles and stealing cargo. Of course, opportunities for Dad to customize his car abound.

Is your dad more low-tech? Maybe that "classic" he drives from the '90s could use a little tech boost. Start him off easy with a Philips USA PH-62050 CD/MP3/MD-To-Cassette Adapter ($8 at Amazon.com). It slides into a tape deck and connects to an MP3 player for road-trip tunes at the ready.

Speaking of classics, keep a special ride show-ready with the Griot's Garage Starter Car Care Kit ($65 at griotsgarage.com). The Tacoma company's best products — including car wash, wheel cleaner and famous paint-cleaning clay — are included in the start-to-finish package.

Men who love cars tend to love BBC's "Top Gear." The franchise's latest book, "Top Gear: The Cool 500: The Coolest Cars Ever Made" ($40 at booksellers), is packed with the best cars from across the globe. Or put a cool car in his control with a Silverlit Bluetooth Porsche ($80 at Apple Store). An iPad or iPhone controls the scaled-down 911 Carrera via gestures and touch control, and feedback lets you feel vibrations as the car moves.

If Dad is into working on the real thing, he probably has a heap of tools in the garage. Help him get organized with the Craftsman Socket Organizer Set ($12.50 at Sears). The six-tray set can hold up to 195 standard and metric sockets, making that junk drawer obsolete (almost).

Everyone appreciates help saving gas. Swap out Dad's heavy winter emergency kit with a scaled-back version that will cut weight and save fuel. The Eddie Bauer Car Emergency Kit ($40 at eddiebauer.com) has the basics, including jumper cables, gloves and a first-aid kit.

Finally, don't forget decorations for the garage or man cave. Authentic European License Plates ($30 each at Autogeek.net) will lend an air of worldliness to the walls of Dad's garage — and perhaps keep him inspired to save for that trip to the Autobahn. And it might not stop time, but the Brake Disc Clock ($80 at everythingcarz.com) is a fun take on a racing brake, complete with brush strokes that look like real braking marks. What more could Dad want?

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