If you have a dyed-in-the-wool car-nut, motorhead or tech-geek, here’s our suggestions for seven presents that’ll please them all!
- Hagerty Garage + Social
Okay, let’s start at the top with a sumptuous offering that’ll be sure to thrill the most discerning auto enthusiast. A membership in the Hagerty Garage + Social! Now, we’re not going to pretend this isn’t a pricey present, but there’s not a more prestigious gift a motoring fan could receive.
The Hagerty Garage + Social facilities are like a first-class country club but instead of being about something as mundane as golf, they’re for motoring-minded folks! Inside members can enjoy sumptuous meals expertly prepared by a full-time on-site chef, the finest of wines, spirits and cigars and wonderful entertainment with events like F1 watching and private screenings of motoring events and documentaries. And you can enjoy it all in the company of other like-minded individuals.
There are also Track Days, Driving Tours and many other activities and programs available to members, all organized and orchestrated by the knowledgeable people at Hagerty Garage + Social. All you have to do is enjoy the drive!
These upscale clubs also feature fully equipped meeting rooms and galleries with audio-visual aids that are ideal locations for your social events, car club get-togethers, awards banquets or business meetings. Also within the very posh walls are secure facilities for storing your exotic cars, bikes or racing machines and as a member, you are welcome at any of our several locations in North America.
Social Memberships start at $125.00 per month. Contact Hagerty Garage + Social for more information and details: https://www.garageandsocial.com/membership/
- Go Fly a Kite
Go for a flight in a vintage airplane? Well, there’s a nifty thought! We can speak from personal experience in that several of our friends and cohorts have done this and they all say it’s uplifting to say the least! The smells of old aero engines, the noise, the vibrations the feel. It’s an incredible and thrilling experience.
Now, depending on your budget, there’s several choices and types of aircraft that can be had. You can check with your local flying club or air museum and see what they have on offer.
Up here in our neck of the woods the obvious choice is the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, Ontario Canada. They have quite a selection of old aircraft you can take flights in. Pretend you’re going through a rigorous WWII training syllabus and start out in the back of a Tiger Moth or Boeing/Stearman biplane and feel the thrill of an open cockpit! Go on through the Cornell and Harvard higher-performance trainers and on to the multi-engine transports, anti-submarine flying boat and combat bombers!
There are other museums and venues all over the continent with a wide variety of aircraft to experience. From aerobatic biplanes to fighter jets it’s your choice! Check them out and see what’s on offer! Prices start at a couple of hundred dollars and go up into the thousands for flights in the more exotic machines.
There’s a wide variety of aircraft you can book flights in. From trainers to transports to bombers and fighters, both piston-engines and jets, there’s operators and air museums all over that are only too pleased to offer flights for the aviation enthusiast.
The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, Ontario operates quite a fleet of aircraft you can book rides in. The pride of their operation is the rare and mighty 4-engined British Lancaster bomber—one of only two presently airworthy in the world. However, if you want to tag along in that beauty, a flight will set you back a few thousand dollars! There are lots of other more affordable options, though. To find out more about the CWHM and to book a flight check out their website at: https://www.warplane.com/
- Read a Book
Get your favourite gear-head their own copy of their favourite book. Our suggestion for a good read is this recently released biography of race car designer, builder and inventor Bill Sadler by John Wright.
There’s nothing quite like a good book. I know a lot of motoring enthusiasts who love to relax in a favourite chair and read a good book.
Our suggestion here is from Moto/ology contributor John Wright who spent quite a lot of time in the company of the legendary Bill Sadler. John knew the man quite well and as such, there’s probably no writer better qualified to tell his story. Here’s John’s excerpt/teaser:
“The story of Bill Sadler reads like an iceberg where nine tenths of him is beneath the surface of the sea. He not only created some of the fastest sports racing cars until the creation of the CanAm series, he also created Formula Juniors which gave racers an entrée into the world of club racing. Here is an excerpt of a letter he sent to VARAC’s Pit Signals editor Jeremy Sale on his restoration of one of his Formula Juniors:”
Thanks for the picture of the recently restored Sadler Formula Junior. I would love to hear more about it and some of its background and restoration details.
I was able to buy my current Sadler Formula Junior at the June 2012 Vintage race at Portland International Raceway. It turns out that it was a slightly unique model that I had originally built that had internal rear axle radius rods (all the rest of the 12 cars had external radius rods). I was able to trace This car to the one originally purchased from me in 1959 by Brock Yates and raced by him and Chuck Kroeger in the Eastern USA and Canada in the 1960s.
This Junior was a badly rusted-out hulk that had to be completely restored from the chassis up. I decided to rebuild it exactly as it had been originally built to serve as a model for other Sadler Formula rebuilds. For example, most current Sadler Formula Juniors today have not retained the chassis monocoque design the forms the major part of the car’s torsional rigidity. Both lower longitudinal body panels, inside and out, form structural “D” sections. The engine was opened up to the now legal 1100cc size and has been extensively reworked with porting, large carbs and valves and a wild camshaft. The car is great fun to drive, having competed in Portland, Seattle and the Monterey Historics (now the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion). I was able to place third in the front-engined class at the Bonhams Cup race for Formulas Junior Cars at the Monterey Reunion, and very luckily received the Rolex Award of Excellence for the entire Formula Junior Class there.
Feel free to contact me if you need more information. I have enclosed a shot of the car at Monterey.
All the best, Bill Sadler
- Read More
In addition to John Wright’s excellent tome on Bill Sadler, there’s a massive number of wonderful literary works for your favourite motormind to absorb. A great place to start looking is the Armchair Motorist.
Automobiles, aircraft, space, boats, motorcycles, racing, rallying, engineering, design, history, biographies, the Armchair Motorist carries a multitude of motoring books on all these subjects and much more.
They deal in both new and used books and often have some rare and sought-after works and if it’s not in stock, they can usually locate what you’re looking for.
The Armchair Motorist has been a valued advertiser and supporter of Moto/ology Magazine since our beginning and we’ve seen first-hand their extensive stock of publications and had the pleasure of drawing on their expertise on several occasions.
For a memorable gift for your favourite gear-head, be sure to check out all their many offerings at: www.armchairmotorist.com
- Deck Your Walls
Blueplanprints offers an ever-growing selection of blueprint-style art prints that’ll be sure to bring a smile to any techy-type. Available as prints, posters or canvas prints. They come in various sizes with many framing and matting options, there’s even MetaPrints!
Blueplanprints are the creation of Moto/ology magazine’s publisher, Doug Switzer and he personally researches and renders each drawing as a high-tech computer graphic drawing, but not in the normal sense. These illustrations aren’t done with typical, technical CAD programs, they’re hand-drawn with art/illustration programs.
The result is an accurate rendering of the subject in a highly technical fashion, but with a decidedly personal touch and feeling. These are fine art prints presented in a novel way and the resulting pictures framed, mounted and up on a wall are truly stunning. To order: https://douglas-switzer.pixels.com
- Fashion Plate
You’ve finally got the car of your dreams and now you can’t wait to drive it, but there’s just one hitch… where do you mount the damned licence plate on this beautiful exotic without mutilating it?
EezePlate is the answer! This ingenious system allows the enthusiast to mount a licence plate without punching holes or doing damage to the car’s bodywork.
The EezePlate system utilizes a clever bracket device that’s designed to securely mount registration plates without drilling, gluing or messing with the bodywork on your fine auto. EezePlates also hide away when you don’t want them seen and as such, are ideal for Car Shows, Concours d’Elegance Events and security situations. You can also order your EezePlate with an integrated GoPro camera mount to capture those events! There’s an EezePlate to fit any make or model of car and they are super easy to install. To order your EezePlate, please e-mail: colleeen@OSB-INC.ca or visit our website at: www.OSB-INC.ca
- Join The Club
If you know someone who’s always fancied trying their hand at racing, you can buy them a membership in a club that’ll actually show them how to get started!
VARAC is the Vintage Automobile Racing Association of Canada and it’s a friendly organization made up of a wonderful group of people that can help you get started in motorsport. Vintage racing is a discipline that can be one of the most affordable ways to get into the sport, and also, given their “no-touch” philosophy, it may be one of the safest. Don’t think they pussy around though, vintage racing features some of the closest and most fiercely fought contests on the track. VARAC racers run hard and fast but give each other room and respect. It’s skill and bravery that’s required to gain a position, not merely punting someone off the track.
VARAC has been in operation for over 47 years and as a member, they’ll take you through all the steps required to get a genuine, certified racing licence. They’ll also help you find a car, whether you want to own one yourself or take part in a rental/arrive and drive scheme. VARAC members run cars as old as the post WWII era up to the early 2000’s and compete in vehicles as diverse as sports cars, sedans, formula cars and sports-racing machines. From “beginner’s” classes like Formula V and Formula 1200 through the faster wings and slicks cars and all manner of race-prepared street machines, VARAC will have a class for you.
Basic annual Club Membership is only $50 CAN and a racing membership which includes a Vintage Motorsports Council (VMC)racing licence is $75 CAN. You’ll need to attend a racing school or prove experience for the race licence and VARAC can also help you with that part. For more information visit their website: https://varac.ca