A British taxi with snow globe is available at Home Goods for only $14.99. © 2018 Photograph by Skip Peterson

A holiday guide for the car lovers in your life

It’s time to think about holiday gifts for the gearhead in the family. Tools for the garage are always nice, marque-specific items usually bring a smile to the driver’s face and a new wall calendar or magazine subscription is a gift that keeps on giving. But Wheels wanted to go a little outside the box and look for other GHGs (Gearhead Gifts).

Up until a couple of years ago, one of the best-kept secrets of the Miami Valley was the fact that Phoneton (in Miami County’s Bethel Twp.) native Gale Halderman drew the sketch that would become the Ford Mustang. Ten million Mustangs later, Mustang by Design, penned by former Wheels editor Jimmy Dinsmore and automotive expert and Sinclair College Professor Emeritus James Halderman, tells the whole story.

“This isn’t just another car book or just another Mustang book. This is a biographical look at a historic moment in automotive history by people who were eyewitnesses to the creation of an American icon,” Dinsmore explained. “This book represents my passion in not just telling Gale’s story, but in also correcting a lot of the mythology out there about the Mustang.

“Everyone has a Mustang story, and that’s special. But not everyone tells the Mustang history the way it actually happened,” he said. “That’s what Mustang by Design does, while showing amazing photos and passing along stories about icons like Lee Iacocca, Carroll Shelby and the Ford family.”

From a Dayton historical standpoint, there’s a lot of Miami Valley pride when it comes to Gale.

“He was known as the farm boy from Ohio, coming to Dearborn, wet behind the ears from the Dayton Art Institute, having never worked on cars or designed cars and within a very short time, he became affiliated with automotive history,” Dinsmore continued. “Gale Halderman is a treasure in the Miami Valley, and there are some great photos of his youth in the book on his family’s farm in Phoneton.”

The book is available nationally on Amazon, CarTechBooks.com and many major bookstores.

Watches are always a great gift, and chronographs are especially popular. WorldofWatches.com has a huge selection. One that caught our eye is the Seiko SSB325P1 black dial stainless steel chronograph with the black silicone wristband. The watch features a stainless steel 44mm case, chronograph sub-dials displaying 60-second, 60-minute and 12-hour functions and a scratch-resistant crystal. It is water resistant up to 330 feet/100 meters, suitable for recreational surfing, swimming, snorkeling, sailing and water sports. With an MSRP of $375, at World of Watches, it’s just $138.98.

A quick trip to the gift shop at Carillon Historical Park in Dayton will land you any number of auto books, reprints of vintage Grand Prix posters or a cool tie covered with vintage cars. Posters start at $8.50 and the tie is $24.99.

Home Goods has a large selection of auto-based snow globes. Prices range from $14.99 to $29.99

Craving some espresso on that morning commute? Handpresso has just the thing. The automotive version of the espresso maker sits in the cupholder of your car and plugs into your 12-volt outlet. It’s not cheap at $150, and each serving pod is $3. You wouldn’t, however, have to sit in line at the drive-thru.

Always dreaming of going to the Grand Prix of Monaco, LeMans, the Goodwood Festival of Speed or the Indy 500? Centerville-based Motosports Travel can hook you up.

“We offer about 50 events each year, and offer three different price points on each of them,” said Nathan Griffiths, owner of the 5-year-old business.

“We are one of only three U.S. companies that offer motorsports travel packages. As a racing fan and former luxury travel consultant, I saw the need for this and we’re doing very well. With the internet, we have clients worldwide.”

Packages include lodging, event tickets, transportation to and from the venue and other perks.

“We have the basic plan, and then we can tailor the package to suit the traveler. Some want to go with a group; others want to make the trip unique. We can do whatever you need. It’s total concierge service,” Griffiths said.

The most popular trips in recent years have been the Isle of Man TT and the U.S. Grand Prix but Griffiths noted he had a big group at the 24 Hours of LeMans last year.

“Surprisingly, Indy Car street races have really spiked, too,” he said.

See all Motosports Travel offerings at www.motosportstravel.com.