Holiday Gift List: Our Favorite Automotive Buys

by By William Sprecher
We are in the midst of the 2009 holiday season, which means we’ve done the full round of LA Auto Show coverage, are somehow surviving through the shortage of Eggo Waffles and escaped Black Friday with our lives and a $10 off coupon for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Throughout all this excitement we have made it our mission to search the vast expanse of Internet for the DriverSide Holiday Wish List. Until the office chimney is installed you can leave these by the front door. 

Leatherman 830850 Skeletool CX Multitool

Lets face it, as much as we love cars we can’t always afford to own the newest and most reliable one. Whether you have to pry the glove box open or cut yourself from your seatbelt, this nifty little tool will never leave you feeling alone next time you sputter to a stop by the side of the road. If nothing else you can marvel at its sleek, lightweight design and spend the time looking for things to do with it. The combination of universal bit driver with both flat and Phillips-head screwdrivers, pliers, wire cutter and knife make it a good gift for anyone with an appetite for tools. ($59)

Yakima Roof Rack

Being speed junkies, we like to get our fix any way we can, on a bike, board or pair of skis. Yakima’s website provides an elegantly simple way to choose the best roof rack for whatever weekend ruckus you get behind. We decided to dress our rack to the nines with locking mounts for both bike and board. (Prices vary)

Closed-Hood Car Jump Starter

We all know how annoying it is to come out on a cold morning only to have a dead car battery. What’s worse is popping the hood and getting grease on your coat, only to realize you don’t even know where to attach the jumper cables. Sound familiar? For $25 you can jump-start your car and your dignity. Plug it directly into the cigarette lighters of each car, wait ten minutes and you’re done. Jump start achieved.

Wagan EL2307 Personal Mini Coffee Maker

Save some time in the morning by brewing your cup of joe on the go. Eight minutes and your car’s cigarette lighter is all you need to make one mug of coffee. Some soft corning will help you keep it in the cup. Now if it only toasted Pop Tarts as well… ($18)

Warn Industries 26502 M8000 8000-lb Winch

Tired of always having to use your neighbor’s John Deere Utility Tractor after getting your truck stuck in the mud? So are we. This winch is capable of pulling up to 8,000 lbs and will haul you out of any sticky situation. ($550)

Zero Motorcycles Zero S

As one of the first all electric motorcycles, the Zero S is capable of quietly reaching 60 in less than four seconds and has a top speed of 65 mph. With a lightweight aluminum body and lithium-ion battery power, this is the motorcycle of the future. Provided you don’t stray far from a power outlet, the Zero S will offer miles—45 to be exact—of guilt-free and utterly silent motoring.

BlueAnt Supertooth Light Bluetooth Speakerphone

Since it’s a fairly recent addition to the standard feature list, not all cars are equipped with Bluetooth hands-free calling. And with more and more studies being released that highlight the dangers of driving and talking on your cell phone – as well as a number of state laws banning the practice – we think this is a good solution. Less obvious than an ear piece, the BlueAnt can be clipped to your sun visor. It supports voice dialing and is capable of up to 15 hours of talk time, or 800 hours in stand-by. If that doesn’t suit your fancy, maybe this will. ($40)

Lumax Drainmaster

This is a must have for anyone who changes their own oil. We cannot tell you how often we have had an Exxon-Valdez reenactment in our driveway. The large opening in the Drainmaster is key to keeping oil changes simple and a small drain plug makes it easy to recycle spent oil ensuring the EPA does not come knocking on your door. ($18)

Yard Machines 4-Cycle Gas Powered Self Propelled Two-Stage Snow Thrower

For those with serious qualms against shoveling snow or anyone who needs to scare off rowdy neighborhood children, this 179cc, self-propelled snow thrower will make quick work of all your snow throwing needs. Be warned however, this thing is illegal in California and might be difficult to gift wrap. But that's really up to your level of dexterity. ($650)

Viper SmartStart iPhone Remote Start

This is a must-have app for the iPhone. Sure, it’s a tad bit expensive, and having to pay $29.99 monthly service fee on top of that isn’t fun, but being able to start your car on a cold morning from inside your cozy home could not get much easier than this. Not only does it act as a remote start, but the SmartStart iPhone app also replaces your entire key fob with features like lock and unlock, trunk release and even comes with a panic button. Just don’t lose your phone.

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