Winding Road’s Guide To Beating Black Friday

By Winding Road Staff

November 25, 2011


GoPro HD Hero 2 - - One of our favorite little cameras has been improved. It films in 1080p, is capable of a 170-degree camera angle, and can shoot 10-photo, 1-second bursts in 11 megapixels. The camera is very small and light, which makes it really easy to bring with you. Plus, for the $299.99 asking price of the Motorsports Edition, you get the camera, a waterproof housing, and various mounts and mounting hardware, including a suction cup mount.


Race Tracks Of The World - - This is another great gift for the racing enthusiast with an eye for art. These are reproductions of various grand prix tracks from throughout the world made out of wood and Formica. The laminated pieces of wood are cut into the shapes of the famous tracks, and are ready to hang on the wall. Prices range from $199 to $275, and there are dozens of tracks available.


Automotive Photo Art - -Global Motor Styles offers beautiful photographic art of many classics, exotics, and racecars. If the person on your gift list is a fan of, say, the Ferrari 250 GTO, you can get them a stunning photo up to eight feet wide (with smaller sizes available). GMS also offers clothing featuring its art, as well as books full of automotive photography that would go great on a coffee table or in the garage.


Racechairs - - Instead of your regular, boring spinning chair, Racechairs are made from actual seats from various exotic cars. When Porsche converts a street car into a racecar, a Lamborghini gets totaled, or Bentley orders the wrong color stitching, the seats, rather than get thrown away, end up as the perfect place for a car fan to relax when parked behind a desk. Like the cars they come from, these seats don’t come cheap, starting at $400, with some costing as much as $25,000.


Senna - - Now out on DVD and Blu-ray, Senna is a documentary that chronicles the life and career of Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna. The Brazilian driver won the hearts of fans all over the world, and ended up becoming a three-time world champion, before his tragic death at the 1994 San Marin Grand Prix. If the person on your gift list is a racing fan, they’ll surely enjoy this incredible story of one of the world’s best.


BMW Lapeer Hat - - To say that the audience for a fur-lined, silver-finished, long-eared winter cap is limited, is to state the obvious. The Silver Edition Lapeer Hat from the BMW store is not for everyone. But, we think this is a perfect solution for keeping our ears warm and our style fresh while we’re winter convertible driving, sledding with the kids, or otherwise enjoying the best of the long cold months.


Ferragamo "Parigi" Driving Moccasins - - Don’t misunderstand us; we love our Pilotis, and other “serious”-seeming driving boots. But there’s nothing that says you can’t heel-toe in shoes that are a tad more graceful to behold out of the car, right? Highly esteemed shoemakers Ferragamo say “right” to that, emphatically, with these rather elegant Parigi driving mocs. The fashion backward driver may blanche at the $495 sticker price, but we believe that your special-occasion cars might as well have special-occasion footwear to make the experience even better.


Detroit Bicycle Company Bikes - - You may not think of Southeast Michigan as being a hub of cycling fervor, but the achingly hip Detroit Bicycle Company would beg to differ. Frames for DBC bikes are hand-built in-house. Complete, ready-to-ride fixed-gears are built with the very best vintage components. Finished models all carry the name of a significant street in Detroit, giving a little Motown authenticity to the evident artistry.


Triumph Steve McQueen SE - - Triumph’s stellar new Steve McQueen SE is a limited-edition version of the company’s iconic Bonneville T100. Matte Khaki Green paint and blacked-out components and wheels give the Triumph a fresh military look that is certain to appeal to motorcycle riders in general, and McQueen enthusiasts in particular. No pricing info has been released as yet, but with only 1100 examples set to be produced, we’d expect that a confirmed order receipt would make our Christmas complete.


Tickets: United States Grand Prix West In Austin, Texas - - Hey, we love a trip to the most laidback city in the Lone Star State, anyway. Throw in an honest-to-gosh Formula 1 race, back on US soil for the first time in years, at an all-new Circuit Of The Americas track that promises to be state-of-the-art and compelling of layout, and we’ll only need to know where we sign up. Having race tickets in the mail makes one tasty stocking stuffer in our book.


Forza Motorsport 4 - - if you want a console-based racing game, then look no further than Forza Motorsport 4. Few racing games deliver as much feedback without the addition of a full-on steering and pedal set. Thanks to a partnership with Pirelli, the folks at Turn 10 Studios (the producers of the Forza series) have managed to develop a racing game that uses realistic tire physics to deliver a truly engaging experience for a gamer.


GamePod GT2 - - If the person you are buying for is a virtual racing fan, there is no greater gift than making their virtual world feel a bit more real. We recommend the GamePod line of video game rigs. These British-built systems allow the fitment of a pedal box, steering wheel, monitor, and in the case of the GT2 we are featuring, can be had with a full-on, FIA-approved racing seat.


Wireless Speed Wheel For Xbox 360 - - This game controller isn't bad. First of all, it’s wireless, so you don’t have all those cords getting in the way. It’s less expensive, costing around $60. It’s much easier to store, barely taking up more room than a standard controller. Finally, you don’t have to mount it to anything, which means you don’t have to buy a separate piece of furniture of just the right height and thickness to hold the device in place. Directional pad and buttons are within easy reach of the thumbs, and the wheel even offers feedback in the form of vibration.


Bell Racing Helmet - - The only thing better than console-based racing would be real racing, and for that, you’ll need proper safety equipment. At most tracks and autocrosses, you’ll at least need a helmet approved for auto racing. We recommend the lineup from Bell. The least expensive brain bucket will run $279.99. That’ll get you a Snell-approved full-face helmet, with visor, which should be all the protection you need for your amateur racing exploits.


Subscription To Winding Road - - why not give the gift of awesome auto reviews, features, comparisons, and news? For just $7.99, you can get 12 issues of Winding Road in a handy ad-free PDF format that you can take with you everywhere. Every month, the latest issue of Winding Road will magic itself into your inbox, where you can view it right then and there, or save it for later. And if you can’t wait for the new stuff, back issues are available for only $1.99 apiece, and they come in the same convenient PDF form.


Matchbox 10-Pack Assortment - - For a fun stocking stuffer, you really can’t go wrong with a set of Matchbox cars. These 1:64 die-cast replicas are not just for kids, making great decorations on the work desk (just ask anyone in the Winding Road office, we have a huge assortment). The best part is, this is a dirt cheap way of making your auto enthusiast really happy, with this ten-pack set costing a mere $9.99.


iRacing - - If your race fan is ready to move beyond the worlds of Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport, then they’ll need to try out iRacing. This PC-based racing sim is probably the closest you can get to the top-flight sims used by the pros. To get started with iRacing, you’ll need a Windows PC (sorry Mac fans), a steering wheel, and an internet connection. From there, you’ll need a subscription plan, and then you can begin racing.


Skip Barber High Performance Driving School - - If you want to be a better driver in just about any situation, than it all starts with education. What better place to get trained up than the Skip Barber Racing School? There are a ton of programs ranging from one to several days, and you have the option to use the cars from the school’s fleet, or bring your own. It’s not a cheap option, but it’s one that’s sure to make your enthusiast happy on Christmas morning.


Hubcap Clock - - 8 Mile Creek Designs offers wall clocks made out of vintage hubcaps. They’re got hubcaps from a bunch of different car, so you can be loyal to your favorite brand or get a clock to go along with that old classic you’ve got in the garage.


Car-Shaped Dog Bed - - Are you getting gifts for your pets? Perhaps Fido would enjoy a dog bed shaped like a car, so when he takes a nap, it looks like he’s driving. It also comes in navy blue.


Winning: The Racing Life Of Paul Newman - - Sharing a title with Newman’s 1969 movie, Winning is a book about his passion for cars and the thrill of racing. It chronicles the late-starting but long-lasting racing career of the man who was known more for his on-screen performances than his skill behind the wheel.


Lewis And Jenson Slot Car Race Set - - McLaren offers this slot car set featuring the Formula 1 team’s MP4-25 racecar, complete with livery. It comes with all the pieces you need, along with two cars to race side-by-side. The track’s total length is 22.2 feet.


Porsche Design P’8478 Sunglasses - - Porsche’s quintessential aviators, originally brought to market in 1978, have been relaunched for your stylish driving pleasure. You’ll respect the titanium frame, interchangeable polycarbonate lenses (brown, light blue, and silver mirrored are available), and, certainly, the $530 price point.


Rex Oxx Air Boss - - That “air” in its name does connote that this do-it-all duffle has been optimized for efficient sky travel, but don’t mistake it’s ability as a competent piece of luggage for your grand touring weekender, too. Super tough construction and a lifetime warranty make this a great gift for the travelers in your life, at a reasonable $225.


Ferrari Magazine App - - While you’ve popped into the Apple App marketplace to subscribe to Winding Road, you might as well pick up Ferrari’s Official magazine app, too. $3.99 will give you access to four, supercar-laden issues, including the extra beefy, 280-page December issue. A perfect stocking stuffer, that’s now available for Android users, too.

GoPro Race Automotive Racechairs Senna BMW Ferragamo Detroit Triumph Tickets: Forza GamePod Wireless Bell Subscription Matchbox iRacing Skip Hubcap Car-Shaped Winning: Lewis Porsche Rex Ferrari

Listen, we’re an online magazine, so you’ll forgive us if we’re a little bit biased, but our opinion about Black Friday shopping goes something like this: “Screw Black Friday shopping!” Crowds, frenzy, waking up early; none of it speaks to us, nor do many of the seriously discounted items speak to what we really want to find under the tree this year.

So in the spirit of staying home and buying great stuff for the driver in your life (or you), we present our list of Black Friday-Beating goodies that should, if naught else, get you out of the ties/tools/gift cards rut. Click through our list, and be sure to let us know, in comments, which great gift ideas we may have forgotten.