2010 Swedespeed Holiday Gift Guide
Nov 30, 2010 - 2:37:11 PM
So Thanksgiving is over and you're back at the office, but not quite eager to jump back into all that work on your desk. Do what everyone else is doing, and catch up on your holiday shopping instead. Honestly, your boss expects you to be surfing the web for holiday bargains.
In honor of a long tradition, the staff at Swedespeed is proud to share with you our holiday gift picks for the season. We know how hard it can be to pick out gifts for car enthusiasts, so we've done our homework and come up with some of our favorite things from the past year, trying to avoid making the list too packed with Volvo-branded stuff--not everything you wear or use can have the Iron Mark on it. Have fun bargain hunting, but make sure you share this list with everyone who's shopping for you; at least you'll get something worth opening on the big day.
Okay, so while our list isn't totally Volvo-centric, we can't resist showing some love to the company's Volvo Collection of toys, apparel, and other various gear for drivers and simply fans of the brand alike. There's a lot of good stuff in there including 1:43 scale models of many of your favorite Volvo vehicles and a ton of shirts and hats, but the thing we're asking for this year is the store's feature item, a book titled "Volvo in Motorsports." It's over 100 pages, all full color, and covers the entire history of the brand's motorsports efforts, from 1927-2010. At $29.95, it's a great thing to lay out on the coffee table.
Volvo Collection Online Store
Luminox Field Chronograph 1885
We won't hide that our staff here likes nice timepieces. We recently discovered the Atacama 1885 from Luminox, and it’s the perfect watch for the driver who spends more time off the road than on it. Its large 47-mm case, antireflective sapphire crystal and split-grain leather strap lend it a rugged, military-spec look. Luminox watches are known for their self-powered illumination, making them ideal for nighttime operations.
Don't you think it'd feel right at home inside any of Volvo's numerous XC models? And at $650 list (although most online vendors are in the $520 range), it’s also as affordable as it is good looking.
Piloti Veloce Collection Bags
No one needs a $570 helmet bag, but once you’ve picked up one of Piloti’s new Veloce leather bags, you’ll certainly lust for one. Made of full-grain Italian cowhide that’s finished to a luxuriously buttery hand, the Veloce collection is hand-made in Italy, and the quality of materials and workmanship justify the price. Just imagine this beautiful thing resting on display under the back glass of an 1800ES race car.
The line includes a holdall and a messenger bag as well as the helmet bag. Three finishes are offered: all-black, black with Piloti Orange detailing, and our favorite, Vintage Brown. Yes, they’re a bit indulgent, but these are the kinds of pieces that look great now and will only get better-looking with the patina of a life well lived.
GoPro HD Hero 960
The cost of shooting HD video keeps coming down. GoPro now offers a 960p version of its Hero cam at an impressive $179.99. The kit is kind of a stripped down version of the Motorsport Hero that we use here, lacking only the waterproof case cover, a few extra adhesive mounts, and of course, the ability to shoot 1080p. A flat adhesive mount, a helmet mount, a chest mounting strap, and a headlight-style mount are all included, and extra mounts are always available. Still, for the typical weekend motorsport enthusiast who wants to share his amazing hot laps, or the off-roader who needs to prove he actually tackled that big descent, it’s a very affordable way to shoot high-quality, hi-def video.
First Gear: Exotic Cars Book
If you’re a bit rusty on your exotic car facts, there’s a book for that. Motorbooks has been publishing a series of primer books called First Gear, which focus on bringing readers up to speed on certain genres of the automotive market. The Exotic Cars edition is written by Road & Tracks’s John Lamm, who’s spent more than a quarter-century up close and personal with the subject matter within the pages. All of the photography is full-color, and the book itself is a nice, compact size that’s perfect for throwing in a briefcase or a carry-on bag.
For about $20, it’s a fun gift that you’ll likely pick up time and again. We’re looking forward to future editions, but something tells us we'll be waiting a while until there's an edition dedicated just to Volvo. But while you're browsing for this recommendation, check out the bookstore's offering of Volvo books, too.
Okay, so they aren't exactly like Swedish road signs, but they're closer than anything you might steal from your local Interstate, and they look cool regardless. Display your passion for driving fast (legally) with these metal Autobahn signs. Griot’s Garage, the crackhouse for car junkies like us, sells these two signs that look like they were just pulled of their posts near the Nurburgring. The square blue sign indicates the Autobahn itself, while the round white one gives the all-clear for unlimited speed. At 24 inches across, they’ll fill a substantial section of your garage, office or man-cave. Prices range from $105 to $145, so have all you loved ones chip in and get the pair.
Stirling Moss Driving Shoes by Nicholas Hunziker
Figuratively speaking, it’s no simple feat to walk in Stirling Moss’s shoes. But now even if you can’t heel-and-toe worth a damn, you can still wear the shoes. Los Angeles automotive artist Nicholas Hunziker produces the officially licensed Stirling Moss collection, including the blue Number 7 driving shoes pictured here. Don't they seem perfect for heel-and-toeing an old 142 GT?
Crafted in real suede and lined with glove-soft leather, the driving shoe features a rolled heel for fancy footwork, as well as a tire-tread inspired rubber sole. One of the cooler features that makes the Hunziker collection so much fun is that each pair of shoes comes with two sets of insoles decorated with the artists’ signature work — one for wearing and one for looking at. Extra laces and a travel bag are also included, and even the box they come in is worth putting on display. Not bad for about $150.
Sony Gran Turismo 5
We could fill an entire gift guide with all the racing games that have been released since Gran Turismo 5 was supposed to go on sale, but seeing as how The Game is finally here, we don’t really expect you to run out and buy anything else. So what does the latest in the royal lineage of race simulators have to offer?
Well for starters, over 1000 different cars. We’re told that of those vehicles, 800 are carryovers from past games while the 200 new ones feature slightly better graphics. And now that the internet is such a big part of gaming, we wouldn’t rule out added cars at an added cost. For now, there are unfortunately just two Volvos, a C30 R-Design and a 240 Wagon. Regardless of what machine you’re piloting, 70 tracks will be available and if that isn’t enough, a make-your-own “course maker” has also been added, as has realistic vehicle damage. Vehicle dynamics should continue on a path to perfection, and we should also mention that the game has go carts. Seriously. Go buy it now. It may be the best five bills you ever invest in driving.