Doane Yawger: Gift ideas for sports enthusiasts

December 10, 2011 

Doane Yawger, Sun-Star reporter

MERCED SUN-STAR

Finding just the right Christmas gift for the auto enthusiast on your shopping list can be very difficult. But each year we try to give some helpful suggestions, and this year is no different.

It's not that our certain person doesn't want stuff for Christmas. The problem is the things he or she wants aren't that easy to find locally and the gift recipient may be fussy or particular.

Rather than default by giving our devotee just a shirt or a pair of socks, here are some tips that might help in the yuletide automotive quest:

Car calendars generally are welcome; everybody needs a calendar. Along with regular retail outlets and bookstores, sometimes local auto parts stores have calendars. Generally, the subject matter is muscle cars but sometimes you can find calendars of street rods, exotic sports cars or 1950s classics.

Perhaps our old car devotee would like a car shirt or sweater. The Hawaiian shirts with the cool cars on them often cost as much as a trip to the islands, but the resourceful shopper may be able to find a bargain. Sometimes a shirt or sweater with an old car or familiar automotive product logo would fill the bill if you can't find one with a picture of a 1964 Chevy Impala on it.

Car guys and gals generally like auto or truck magazines; a subscription to a particular magazine might be welcome. Bookstores also might yield either periodicals or books about your auto person's favorite car or truck. Maybe some music for their motoring pleasure would work.

If your car guy or gal is the hands-on type, tools can be found in a number of places, ranging from an inexpensive wrench to other "trinkets" costing thousands.

Or you might consider auto grooming supplies, such as car wash or wax supplies, tire cleaner and air fresheners.

I'm a bit doubtful local auto dismantlers offer gift certificates, but some "green fun coupons" could help our auto devotee find a replacement bumper, air cleaner, hubcap or fender for his car. Or the gift money can be saved for the next big auto swap meet.

There are a number of local, regional and national auto associations that have annual memberships. These could work as Christmas gifts.

A whole realm of possibility exists as far as shopping for an auto enthusiast online.

Remember, it's the thought that counts. Hopefully, the extra effort by the gift-giver to find something auto-related will be appreciated.

I'd love for Santa to give me a brand-new bright red Camaro convertible for Christmasm but I realize this is an ambitious request. Miniature models of Camaros and Mustangs may be more within Santa's reach, and that's the next best thing.

Reporter Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or dyawger@mercedsunstar.com.

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