Great Gifts for Every Car Enthusiast

While celebrated in Europe since the Middle Ages, what we in the U.S. recognize as Father's Day has been actively promoted for just over a century. And despite repeated calls — locally, regionally and nationally — for recognition of dads commensurate with that given to moms, the initiative didn't pick up any national momentum until Lyndon Johnson issued a proclamation in 1966 and, six years later, Richard Nixon signed the national holiday into law. So, our official celebration of Father's Day immediately preceded both the OPEC crisis and Ford's launch of the Mustang II. Thankfully, Father's Day has enjoyed more popularity than either.

As an Autoblog reader, there's a reasonable chance you are a dad or have one. If you are an adult with a dad, you should know he probably has everything he needs — or will buy it if he doesn't. Better, we think, to buy this dad something for yourself, gift it to him and as you do, ask him to take good care of it; you, of course, will want it later. Here, then, are a few ideas for him... that we suggest you buy for you:

Farrah Fawcett Poster

Who's the fairest of them all? If your answer is based on poster sales, it's the iconic Farrah Fawcett. There are few things that will transport you back (or if you weren't there, simply transport you) to 1976 more quickly than this image. In the aftermath of Watergate, Nixon's impeachment and subsequent pardon, Farrah's relative innocence was almost transcendent.

The Flight — Charles Lindbergh’s Daring And Immortal Transatlantic Crossing

There is ninety years separating us from Lindbergh's solo flight across the Atlantic, and for those with an interest in flying, adventure or what was perhaps the ultimate claim to independence, Charles Lindbergh and his Ryan-built Spirit of St. Louis will resonate. While Lindbergh covered the flight in his memoir We, and gave it both attention and perspective in his later autobiography, a fresh look is easy to justify, especially for a relatively new audience. The flight took some 33 hours; ask your dad to give Dan Hampton's book a day.

JEEP T-shirt

The 'T' is ubiquitous, the Jeep image is ubiquitous - and dads, on at least one day a year, seem ubiquitous. Throw those elements together and you have a classic t-shirt any dad, at most ages, will be proud of. We like the elemental graphic and the many available sizes and colors, and while Jeep is on the cusp of redesigning its Wrangler, Jeep swag never needs a redesign. For around $20, it's a can't-miss- gift for dad, even if it arrives late.

Allied Cycle Works

If dad still rides a bike (and not a trike), Allied Cycle Works Alfa road frame is a great way to up his game. Designed with a simplicity often missing in contemporary carbon fiber, and eschewing graphic schemes more appropriate to anime than bicycles, the Little Rock-built bicycle company should be on any two-wheeled radar. Frames begin at $2,700, and while that's a lot of money, Allied would seem to offer both performance and — given its Little Rock headquarters — promise.

Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

It was 50 years ago today that Sergeant Pepper taught the world to play. And if your dad was even tangentially connected to the Beatles at some point in his life, you have to enjoy golden anniversaries — of anyone or anything. New vinyl is nice, the download is fine... and Sergeant Pepper's jacket would be absolutely awesome.

Genuine Nardi Steering Wheel

Your car has two main points of contact for the driver — the seat upon which he or she sits, and the steering wheel. And since the advent of airbag-equipped steering wheels, the latter have fallen woefully short in both appearance and tactility. The fix — should your dad need or want one — is as simple as ordering this classic mahogany wood and polished spoke steering wheel from famed producer Nardi. You'll need $339 for the wheel (plus a hub adapter), but once those are in-house the swap process should prove simple. Suddenly, 'apex' will be a regular part of dad's vocabulary.

The 24 Hour War

Father's Day and the Le Mans 24 Hours share a weekend, and what better way to celebrate one than to commemorate the other? The 24 Hour War, directed by Nate Adams and Adam Carolla, takes an intense look at the rivalry brewing in the mid-'60s between Ford Motor Company and Ferrari. The contrasts could not have been more different. One was a global automaker with a fragmented history of motorsport involvement, while the other's entire business model was founded on competition. The anniversary of Ford's first win at Le Mans in 1966 didn't draw the attention last year that Sergeant Pepper will generate this year, but that doesn't make it any less pivotal for the auto enthusiast. The DVD is available from Autobook-Aerobooks in Burbank.

MINI Coffee Mug

The caffeinated version of the Mini Cooper may wear a John Cooper Works logo, but we like this mug's essential simplicity, in combination with a price point that leaves change for the cup of coffee.

Men’s Black Classic Lace-up Boot

If your dad rides, perhaps you should consider this understated pair of boots from Fox. Not only do they look great, you can rest easy knowing he'll benefit from the ankle, heel, and toe protection, all in a low-top boot that's suitable for on- or light off-road riding. At $170 the pair costs real money, but how many dads do you have? Or want?

Kawasaki Versys-x 300

The Long Way Round, if written by your dad, may have become The Short Ride to Coffee. And that shorter ride may be atop a smaller bike, such as Kawasaki's all-new Versys-X 300. The Versys is a small-displacement twin for the smaller scale adventure. Despite its more rational footprint and lower price point, the rider doesn't give up much, on road or off. And while its $6,000 price point will bust most Father's Day budgets, you can always give him a Kawasaki gift card ($25), which will buy the hat. Tell him he should buy the bike.

Enzo Ferrari Portrait

Is there a better way to remember dad than with the father of exotic performance? Of course, there was exotic performance before Ferrari's interpretation hit the streets and road courses following World War II, but few cars were so visceral, or their builders more tempestuous, than Ferrari and his automobiles. In a path not too dissimilar to what Carroll Shelby would navigate years later, Ferrari was neither an engineer nor designer; instead, he was an assembler of talent, a manager of personalities. This portrait, available from the l'art et l'automobile gallery, speaks well to Ferrari's autocratic independence. And what dad wouldn't want to be occasionally autocratic and sporadically independent?

Lane Motor Museum Driving Experience

Dad has enough socks and ties - either that or he has no socks and ties, and no desire to have them. For that dad, what is possibly the nation's most eclectic combination of cars and nostalgia is offering its first ever, never-before-done Driving Experience. Sign up for one of two dates (June 23rd or July 7th), pay your $247 and enjoy a morning or afternoon accessing some of the museum's most interesting automobiles. (Of note - if the car of your choosing is equipped with a manual, you're expected to know beforehand how to drive it.) We were taken by a Citroen 2CV, NSU 1200TT and Peugeot 205, but then, our tastes are as quirky as the Lane's. And if you can't make Nashville on one of those two dates, know the Lane is good tire kicking regardless of your particular schedule.