Wheels of the Month: A socially distant gearhead holiday buying season

Students at the Mid-Ohio School on track at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Photo courtesy of Mid-Ohio School.
Students at the Mid-Ohio School on track at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Photo courtesy of Mid-Ohio School.

Wheels wants all gearheads and their families to have a great holiday. It will certainly be different from any we’ve ever had, so our shopping is going to take on a new approach -- a socially distanced, let-your-fingers-do-the-walking on the keyboard kind of shopping, and if you play it right, you might get free shipping.

Calendars.com can provide a huge variety of car calendars. If you’re looking for cool books, Wheels found three that caught our eye, all available online or at Amazon.

  • Cars, The Definitive Visual History of the Automobile from DK, is packed with stunning photography of more than 2,000 cars, from the first through today’s F1 machines, about $30 from Amazon.
  • The Complete Book of Porsche 911 from author and photographer Randy Leffingwell, delivers a year-by-year overview of the German automaker’s most famous car. Starting from the original 901 prototype and continuing through to today’s GT2 and GT3 track-ready street cars, it also covers racing, prototypes and limited production model. We found this book online with prices ranging from well over $100 to as low as $30 on Amazon. Shop around; it’s a cool book.
  • The Art of the Automobile, The 100 Greatest Cars by Dennis Adler is a must-have for any automobile enthusiast. Adler is an award-winning historian, author and photographer, and in this book he’ll take you on a journey as he details 100 of the greatest cars ever built, from the 1886 Benz Patent Motorwage to the Hispano-Suiza and Hudson. We found it on eBay for $39.95, but at all other sites including Amazon, it is $45.

If you haven’t seen an ad for WeatherTech floor liners on TV, you’re the only one. While their advertising budget is huge, their collection of Made in the USA products is growing nearly daily. They offer a wide variety of floor liners in various price ranges, all very high quality. Their protection line has grown to include seat protectors, cargo area liners, truck bed liners, under-seat storage items and the latest hot ticket -- the CupFone, a phone holder that will fit literally any cup holder. Floor mats start at $29, floor liners run from $59.99 to $299.99 and the CupFone runs from $34.99 to $82.90. Buy direct at www.weathertech.com.

Gotta keep that ride clean, and Griot’s Garage has everything you need, from just washing the car to detailing it for a Concours. Let’s just get the cleaning under control and be sure to ask for a catalog with your order, so you can see everything they have. The Ultimate Wash, Wheel and Tire Kit with bucket is $145, and includes: 16 oz. of Car Wash, Microfiber Wash Pad, 35 oz. of Spray-On Wax, Terry Weave Drying Towel, Ultimate Wash Bucket w/ casters, 36 oz. of Wheel Cleaner, Long Handle Wheel Scrubber Brush, Ergo Wave Foam Scrubber, 35 oz. of Rubber Cleaner, 15 oz. of Black Shine Tire & Trim Coating and a Blue Detail Sponge.

The outside is done; let’s tackle the interior with the Ultimate Interior Kit for only $64. It includes 22 oz. of Interior Cleaner, 35 oz. of Window Cleaner, 22 oz. of Vinyl & Rubber Dressing, 22 oz. of Leather 3-in-1 Spray, Blue Detail Sponge, Dual Weave Glass Towels and 2 Dual Weave Interior Towels. Order at www.griotsgarage.com.

Want to have more fun behind the wheel? The Mid Ohio School in Lexington, Ohio, offers a variety of on-track programs, from defensive driving to high-performance driving sessions and an intensive three-day program as the ultimate training ground. Using the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course, they also offer programs of on-track motorcycle performance riding. You can use your own car for various sessions, but they also have Honda and Acura cars available. They have 19 different instructors on staff with backgrounds in sports car, Formula car, open wheel and sedan racing. Pricing ranges from $375 for the teen defensive driving class and $800 for the Stage 1 Performance course to $2,350 for the three-day high-performance class. Contact them at www.midohio.com or call 419-884-4000.

Looking for garage or wall decorations, maybe some neon? Neon Signs USA has a huge variety. In various sizes, these are all brand-new signs, and they start at about $150 and go from there. Buy direct at www.neonsignsusainc.com

If you are still having trouble, just go to Amazon and search “gearhead gifts” and you’ll find more than 600 items. Now get clicking.

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