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Holiday Gift Ideas for The Car Lover in Your Life

Friday, December 05, 2014


2015 Cadillac ATS Sedan would look VERY nice with a big red bow on it in the driveway Christmas morning.

If you are looking for the perfect gift for your car fanatic in the family and you don’t think, like Cousin Eddie in Christmas Vacation, that the Jelly of the Month Club will quite cut it, here are some suggestions that will be gifts that keep on giving the whole year. 

1. Car Accessories Upgrade. It used to be the “car guy/girl” would get a cute little stereo for Christmas that was more like a Walkman that a true sound system. Today, you can now turn your car in to a traveling wifi center with a built in Ipad, 4g streaming and sound that would make most concert venues jealous.   

No one in Portland does it better than the true car freaks over at Mobile West . They can handle a vast array of car solutions that range from simple replacement installations to stealth installations to over the top works of art. Sit inside one of the test cars with owner, Peter Clover, and he will enthusiastically let the sound system transport you to a concert venue of your choice. The sound doesn’t just come out of the speakers, it envelops the occupants so much so that you will take the long way home. 

Besides the sound systems, Mobile West can add in entertainment systems for the kids (or more accurately, the parents), Ipad interfaces, back up cameras, navigation systems and pretty much anything you can dream for the car lover in on your gift list. They have also added an upholstery shop so if you need to upgrade your classic car or transform you existing driver, they can take care of that as well. Check out some of the pictures over the top transformations on their Facebook page. Some of their handy work will also be on display at this year’s Portland Auto Show in February with the Test Miles Radio Show Project Discovery. 

2. Speaking of the Portland Auto Show, your car lover was likely shut out of the best auto show Portland has ever had last year. With city wide warnings of snow and ice and texts that went out city wide to stay home, last year’s show was hit hard. It is coming back this year with even more excitement. The Portland Show is on the heels of the Detroit and LA shows where the new car manufacturers launch their newest offerings. With some impressive year-long face time, the Auto Dealers Association has convinced most these manufacturers to have Portland be the first regional showcase for these new cars and trucks. This year’s show is February 5-8, 2015 at the Convention Center. The Dealers Association is offering a great stocking stuffer of passes to the show for just $10 each which is a savings of $2.00 each. Go to www.Portlandautoshow.com to purchase the tickets. 

3. The new car with the bow on it never gets old and having spent a little seat time in the new Cadillac ATS sedan, this would look VERY nice with a big red bow on it in the driveway Christmas morning. The sharp styling that Cadillac introduced a few years ago separates the exterior of the ATS from most of its more European competitors like the BMW 3 series or Mercedes C Class. New for 2015, this luxury sport sedan gets a much needed boost in performance with an upgrade to 295 lb/ft of torque from its 2.0 Liter turbo engine. It is a great car to get out and drive hard with the best attribute being the great ride and handling. Also new for this year is the new Cadillac crest, losing the wreaths for the previous design in an attempt to enhance the brand's younger, more athletic vehicles.  The old design dates back to 1999 and has been redone 6 times in the company’s 112 year history. The ATS is built in Michigan and generates a respectable 21 city/ 31 highway mpg and ranges in price from $33,215 to $51,435. The price for the vehicle tested was just a touch over $46,000. The fit and finish and quality inside are everything you would expect from a luxury sedan. The biggest complaint is the limited back seat and trunk space compared to some of the other vehicles in this very competitive class. 

4. If the Cadillac isn’t your style and you have an eye on a “green holiday” our favorite, fun to drive electric car is still the Fiat 500e. With a range of about 85 miles and some very favorable incentives, the Fiat would make the perfect gift for the city dweller or someone with a regular commute to work. Edmund.com is in agreement with glowing reviews for the Fiat as well. 

“The all-electric version of Fiat's 500 hatchback is well suited to city dwellers and presents a charismatic, high-style alternative to many of today's electric car It recharges quickly at 240-volt outlets; quicker acceleration than the base gasoline-powered 500; fun to drive for an electric car.”

5. If a new car isn’t in the budget for your car fan, why not make the old one shine and look like new? If you have ever gotten a car ready to sell and gotten the old one fully detailed, you know that there is a certain part of you that wants to go ahead and keep it now that it looks so good. You can make that happen with a full detail at a number of great shops. One that is highly recommended is Autobella on NE Grand and Davis. Tom and his crew are experts at turning cars that you would normally park in the back parking lot to ones you can be proud to drive. A couple mobile detailing companies that can be counted on to do great work at a fair price are A Perfect Detail and On The Spot Mobile Detailing.   

After they have made your car pretty, take a tip from Cousin Eddie and give the gift that does keep on giving all year and add a ToughGuard® treatment. ToughGuard® is a sealant that is applied after the car is detailed and keeps the new shine intact for five years. All you have to do after the treatment is to wash the car normally and the new car shines comes back. ToughGuard’s® unique resin/polymer formulation bonds with surfaces, providing a perfectly clear, Nano-thin barrier coat protecting against destructive environmental elements and man-made contaminants for years. ToughGuard sets industry standards for performance and durability. Even the “high-end” Carnauba waxes and other sealants and polymer products on the market only last for months due to melting off or washing off. ToughGuard’s® high temperature thermal threshold is 450ºf making it virtually impossible to melt off like the “competitive” products.

Much more than a wax or other sealants and polymers, ToughGuard® bonds to painted and metal surfaces creating a Nano-thin barrier preventing penetration by destructive environmental elements and man-made contaminants. ToughGuard® is free of Teflon® and silicon, contains anti-static properties and is the only product of its kind that employs nanoscience technology to create a perfectly smooth surface that reduces drag and literally repels dust and debris. To order Toughgurard or get more information, click here.

6. Every car “guy”, especially, thinks he is the best driver on the road. If you want to get a gift that can be great fun for both of you, check out Pro Drive at Portland International Raceway (PIR). There, you can get everything from race lessons on the track to Skid Car training to show that car guy, maybe he isn’t quite as good as he thinks. 

Pro Drive Inc. is the official driving school of PIR. It was founded in 1987 to provide advanced driver training using modern teaching methods and technology. For 25 years, Pro Drive has offered a variety of driving programs dedicated to building driver confidence and skill whether on the street or the racetrack.

For 25 years, Pro Drive has offered a variety of driving programs dedicated to building a drivers confidence and skill whether it is on the street or the racetrack.

In 1989, Pro Drive acquired state-of-the-art SkidCar technology to advance drivers knowledge and skill of car control and vehicle dynamics. Throughout the years, the SkidCars have remained the centerpiece of all of Pro Drive’s programs. One drive in a SkidCar and drivers of every level of experience and understand the benefits this amazing vehicle has to offer. Pro Drive has conducted various high performance and competition driving schools for many years. In 1997 Todd Harris purchased Pro Drive. By combining a full fledged racing school with high performance driving courses, SkidCar courses and corporate events, Pro Drive has become the premier driver training destination in the Pacific Northwest.

7. With the freezing temperatures now around for a few months, a fun gift comes from a classic automotive supplier, Sharper Image. They have the greatest invention since the turbocharger. Sensing a real need, they now offer a heated ice scrapper. Simply plug the <a data-cke-saved-href="http://www.sharperimage.com/si/view/product/Heated-Ice-Scraper/200875#" href="http://www.sharperimage.com/si/view/product/Heated-Ice-Scraper/200875#" "="">Heated Ice Scrapper into your car’s 12 volt outlet and in just a few minutes it will melt away all your frozen car troubles.  The price for this beauty is $40. For something just a little less high tech but solving the same problem, on Amazon, they have a gloved ice scrapper that is under $9.00. 

Finally, if your car lover is the type that likes to be driven around, a great recommendation for the full royal treatment is with a limo from Lucky Limousine where you can go on anything from a wine tour, distillery tour or even a trek through Portland’s great dive bars.  Maybe even make a spa day out of it or a night out at one of Portland’s great restaurants. Lucky Limo has everything from Towncars; SUV’s and Vans to stretch limos, busses and a Mercedes luxury Sprinter van to make that day or night out special. They are the largest provider of luxury transportation in the city. If your needs call for transportation before New Years, Lucky Limo is offering a deal with rent 4 hours get the 5th for free on all vehicles. Mention the Go Local promo which is good through December 30th, 2014. 

Brad Boyer is owner of Carcierge, a car concierge company providing expert assistance on anything car-related. He also co-hosts Test Miles on 101.1 FM KXL on Sundays, and is a founding member of the Northwest Auto Press Association. You can email him your car-related questions at [email protected] 


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