Homemade tire tread wallet - $0
The folks at Make Magazine are like all journalists who love their dads. Broke. So they offer this guide from Instructables on how to make your dad his very own wallet from a bike tire, though you could probably substitute any tire with some ingenuity. Now how cool is that? They even show you how to install a "drop alarm" on the wallet in case it falls out of your dad's pocket. Or if, we're guessing, he throws it away and you want to fish it out of the trash. Just like that tie rack you made him in seventh grade. If he's not a car guy (what?!), there are also instructions for wallets made of duct tape, or a computer keyboard or an Altoids tin.
However, if you have a few dollars to spend, check the jump for some great Father's Day gift ideas before it's too late.
Sure you can run out to your local big-box wholesaler and buy the same multi-tool you got Dad last year. But why not get something special this year, even if it means waiting a few more days for shipping?
Griot's Garage gift certificate
Luckily, this one won't take long to ship, and shouldn't take long to spend, either. Griot's Garage is full of some of the coolest stuff for the automotive lover. They're known for their high-end car-care products, but also carry some unusual gift items. Like Ferrari candles and the Auto Reference book, which is filled with everything Dad's forgotten about cars.
Challenger T-shirt - $18
Baby-boomer dads nationwide are impatiently waiting for the new Dodge Challenger to hit the streets. Make the wait a little more bearable with this official Dodge Challenger retro-designed T-shirt. Orange, of course.
Adam West signed Batmobile photos - $20 each
TVs original Batman has found a large fan following on the Internet, and he's cashing in. We can't blame him. Among other autographed items for sale on his Web site, are several publicity shots of the Batmobile from the 1960s TV show signed by Adam "Batman" West himself. Quick! To the Batpicture-framer!
6-speed shoehorn - $44
It's hard to remember seeing a shoehorn actually being used, but a 6-speed, carbon-fiber tipped one might at least get some comments if not use.
Chevy garden bench - $89.95
Wednesday we brought you Ford's Father's Day gift-buying guide. Now here's something for the Chevy man. It's made of hardwoods and cast iron and weighs 67 pounds. Possibly even better is that it comes totally unassembled, meaning Dad will stay busy for hours using all those tools you gave him last year.
Maxxeon shop light - $145
No father should ever be without a shop light. They're handy in more than just the garage, virtually anywhere you can find an electrical plug. But Maxxeon's rechargeable, cordless shop light literally works everywhere and with its rare-earth magnets, will stick to ferrous metals. Check out their Web site for video from Speed's Two Guys Garage episode that featured this super-bright light.
Race Cooler - $319
Seeing those used tires at NASCAR races always tempted me. On one hand, yeah, they're kinda cool. But not super cool because, heck, whatdya do with it? Who wants a stinky, dirty used tire sitting in their living room? But fill it with cold beer, and, oh yeah, it's cool. And so very Dad, ya know? This company takes one of those cool but useless NASCAR tires and turns them into coolers. Nice.
Mancation - $4,800
We hope one day after our children have won the lottery, they'll remember dear old Dad and give him a gift like this. For three days and three nights, you and your father get a vacation at The Lodge at Sonoma in northern California. At night you'll enjoy wine tastings, fine dining, spa treatments and luxurious accomodations. During the day, you'll get some learning at the Jim Russel Racing School. Can we trade the spa treatment for a few more laps? Seriously, I can just exfoliate right there on turn two.
Ferrari bike - $7,500
Your dad has always wanted to be able to honestly say, "I rode my Ferrari in to work today." No, really, he has, we asked him. So make it come true with this hand-built, carbon fiber and aluminum bike with hydraulic disc brakes and carbon fiber handlebars. It's almost as much a piece of art as the company's high-horsepower products. This bike will be your dad's love. His passion. Just don't let him put it in the garage where it gets rubbed occasionally with a diaper.