PART III – Holiday Gift Guide: 14 MORE Gifts that Car enthusiasts and Track Day people actually want.
Around the holidays, dozens of “Best car guy/gal gifts” articles appear… just in time for requests for wish lists from the significant other and parents. The articles I find are always full of car wax, leather motoring gloves, car themed desk clocks, and other crap that we don’t actually want or need. None of these lists seem to be written by actual car people, more like online marketers who think they know which high margin junk a car person may want. This list is basically part 3 of my own Christmas – Father’s Day – Birthday list, so if you’re trying to fill your own, or maybe you’re shopping for a Racer/HPDE driver… read on.
Items are marked with $ “Least Expensive (a gift in the 1-$10 range), $$ Relatively Cheap (10-$40 range), $$$ Decent Sized Gift ($40-100), and $$$$ Big Budget Gift ($100+).
As an Amazon Associate, No Money Motorsports earns from qualifying purchases. Help keep No Money Motorsports up and running by using some of the links below to purchase your favorite gifts.
14: HANS: $$$$ Big Budget Gift:
While a vehicle’s standard safety system is sufficient for getting started with track days, once you start driving faster and modifying your car you will eventually use a racing Harness, and at that point a HANS (Head And Neck Support device) is necessary.
13: NEO Grease: $$$ Decent Sized Gift:
This stuff is probably the worst kept secret in the Spec Miata paddock. Front hubs are known to be the biggest weak point in the Miata chassis once a car is tracked very hard. If you don’t carry a spare hub or two, you should. One thing you can do to significantly improve the life you get from your hubs is to repack with GOOD grease. Redline is generally frowned upon, NEO is the “Good Good”. Whether you have a Miata or other track car, check out this grease for repacking hubs/bearings.
12: Most stuff on Racing Junk: $$$$$ All of the Money:
I don’t think anyone will actually buy you a race car for your Birthday/Holiday/etc… but it doesn’t hurt to try…. right?
11: Support your friend in the industry: $-$$$$ Any range
The more time you spend at the track, the more great entrepreneurs you will meet. Some people’s careers are based solely in the Motorsports Industry, some have Motorsports related side hustles, and others work for themselves in unrelated fields. Remember these people: Especially after a year that has hit many in the small-business sector especially hard.
Ask around when you’re looking for parts or services, chances are: Your local club has some people that can help you out, whether you’re looking for a Carbon Fiber Wing or a nice scented candle.
10: Cup holder: $ Least Expensive
At the risk of turning this blog into a resource solely for Miata owners: This ultra-cheap and easy upgrade for Miata cup holder solves the age-old problem of “How can I have a drink in the car and reach the shifter at the same time.” These generic cup holders attach easily to the console/dash bolt on the passenger side of the trans tunnel using an existing mounting hole. This location puts it in perfect reach, but also keeps it out of the way when shifting.
9: Racers 360 gift cards: $$$-$$$$ Decent Size-Large Gift
Racers 360 came out with a whole new way of helping drivers improve: They were working on “Remote Instruction” before 2020 made it “Cool”. With their service, you send them your track videos and they’ll give you a detailed coach report on where to improve. Whether you have a full array of cameras and a full on board data system, or are simply zip-tying your phone to the passenger headrest… They’ll work with what you have. The unique business model allows them to give you access to some huge names in the motorsports world, but keeps it at prices that us mere mortals can still afford.
If you’re reading this right around the holidays, they’re running a Special, definitely worth checking out HERE:
8: FIA rain light: $$$ Decent Size Gift
A rain light is an obnoxiously bright light to place on the rear of your car for rain races. If you have seen European style rear “Fog” lights, it is similar… but much brighter. In the crazy fog of rain-race starts, these can go a long way to keeping you visible to other cars. For the racers out there: These are becoming a requirement in more and more race series across the country, so if you do not have one yet, you will likely need one soon.
*One Note: Avoid the “Ultimate rain Light” for sale in a few places. While it’s lower cost is attractive, it is painfully dull (Barely brighter than my stock Miata brake lights). I purchased one last winter and immediately returned it.
7: Electric kettle/Coffee Maker: $$ Relatively Cheap
Are you camping at the track but not happy waking up with Keurig or industrial percolator coffee? Be your own Barista at the track and bring your own kettle/coffee machine.
There are 12v Cigarette lighter options, but they are expensive and take much longer to boil water. You may be better off searching out an outlet (or generator) at the track for an electric kettle. I pair mine with a nice pour-over coffee maker
Want to skip right to the coffee? Why not get a cheap coffee machine that can live in your track box?
6: Grill: $$$ Decent Size Gift
Just Like Coffee: If you are staying at the track and trying to limit your food bill, or just prefer a nice “home” made meal on the road; A nice two burner stove can go a long way with cooking at the track.
5: 360 camera: $$$$ Big Budget Gift
Okay, so a 360 camera may not fit that well into the “No Money Motorsports” mantra of “spending less” but who doesn’t love a big piece of fun new tech. How many time do you have race footage and miss something just out of the frame? A 360 camera can solve that issue by recording video in every direction.
4: Assetto Corsa Racing Simulator/Game: $$ Relatively Cheap Gift
If you read my post about budget racing simulators, you saw that Assetto Corsa is my favorite. It may be a bit more “arcade-y” than iRacing, but you can buy the game for $20 and it has a HUGE following of fan built cars and tracks… So the possibilities are endless. Driving a NA Miata around NJMP Lightning in sim? Yes please!
3: iRacing Gift Card: $-$$$ Whatever amount you like
iRacing is THE premier racing Simulator. From incredibly real physics to popular “league” racing, it is the closest thing to real track days and racing that you can get in the offseason. The problem with iRacing is that it’s expensive. The constant updates and work that gets put into a niche product isn’t cheap. Between a monthly fee, costs for races and car/track purchases… it may not cost as much as track days but it will be much more than you have paid for games.
An iRacing Gift card can cover anything from a car purchase, to a few years of membership… depending on your budget.
2: Motor Trend Subscription: $$ Relatively Cheap:
There used to be a time where we had to set an alarm to catch gearhead related content on TV. Now, with streaming services there are plenty of great options… Motor Trend On Demand has content from Race Coverage, to How-to shows, reality shows, and everything in between.
(Thanks Amanda for the suggestion!)
1: STICKERS!: $ Least expensive Gift:
Everyone loves stickers: Check out some of these for you, a friend… your car or your toolbox.
“Door Donuts” Sticker
Racing Friends share beers. Close Racing friends share donuts… Door Donuts. Hit a friend or two on track and want to smooth the water? Finish the season with a few extra black swirls on your door? A “Door Donuts” Sticker will go a long way towards making both feel better.
“Spec Miata” Sticker
Show your love for Spec Miata, and support No Money Motorsports with these stickers: (4 1/4″x 1″) all weather Indoor/Outdoor die cut stickers. Price includes shipping anywhere in the US.
Don’t forget to visit our other Holiday Gift guides: