The Post and Courier

Try this for a holiday shopping excuse. “Sure, it’s three days before Christmas, but the world was supposed to end so I guessed there was no reason to buy things.” Great reason to stall.

Whatever the case, for shoppers at the end of their, er, driveway, with nothing for family or friends who are avid car buffs, here’s a short list of last-minute items. They come from online auto information site’s 10 best car-themed gifts of 2012.

(Actually, these tips came out in early December, but who’s counting?)

“For many of us, the biggest challenge of the holidays concerns coming up with gift ideas for those on our shopping lists,” notes. “If you’re shopping for gifts for a car lover or anyone who owns a car — then your job just got a little bit easier.”

The gifts are in order of price, lowest to highest. And if it’s too late for this year, there’s always birthdays, anniversaries and future holidays. Valentine’s Day, anyone?

• Whistle Key Finder for $5.95. Available on, the finder attaches to a keychain. All the driver needs to do is whistle, and the gadget chirps to alert the motorist to the key’s location. It also has a built-in flashlight.

• Gone in 60 Seconds on Blu-Ray and DVD for $12.96. As it turns out, this movie was first made in 1974, long before the Angelina Jolie and Nicholas Cage version a dozen years ago. The movie features a 40-minute chase scene that USA Today calls one of the best in film history, according to The classic also includes behind-the-scenes footage and interviews. This can be purchased where DVDs are sold.

• Fifty Cars That Changed the World, for $13.73. This is a coffee table book put together by London’s Design Museum, which is self-proclaimed as top museum for contemporary design. The book covers everything from the Ford Model T to the Volkswagen Beetle and Jaguar E-Type. Available at book stores.

• Petrolcide T-shirt for $17.50. Available at, the shopper probably should check the person’s political persuasions first. But the gift would be the right fit for someone who’s a big-time electric-car backer. According to, “It pulls no punches in making a graphic case against gas consumption.”

• Heated Ice Scraper for $19.95. While not that practical a choice in South Carolina, the device also consists of a flashlight, 15-foot DC cord that plugs into a car’s lighter and a mini-squeegee that’s built in. Go to

• Brugo Mug for $19.95. Tried of spilling your coffee on the ride into work, or does it get cold fast? Then the Brugo Mug could be a good fix, thanks to a spill-proof lid and temperature-controlled chamber. Check online at

• Lunchbox Stove for $59.95. Listed on, the stove is best for road trips. It has two cooking surfaces and gets as hot at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. According to, the stove is smaller than it looks in photos and is more for heating up leftovers than cooking a whole meal. Just plug the stove into the lighter to operate it.

• Bentley Collection Brake Cufflinks for $103.23. As points out, this isn’t quite the same as owning a Bentley sedan. Still, the cufflinks are shaped like a brake pedal on the vintage car. They include T-bar fastenings and a black gift box. Visit

• Summit Pro Racing Dragway for $119.95. Available at, the dragway “offers the thrills of drag racing in highly detailed 1:64 scale,” according to The gift has a 13 foot slot-car track, two mini-Camaro racecars, power pack, two controllers and “a Sportsman/Pro LED Christmas tree with functioning red foul lights.” Shoppers can buy additional cars and track.

• Rustic Warriors Auto Part Chess Set for $277.95. Clearly, this is a gift for someone who plays chess as well as is a car aficionado. Armando Ramirez, an artist, sculpted the pieces from automobile parts. Among the parts are NGK and AC Delco spark plugs for the heads of the bishops. Check out

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or