In the US, Father’s Day is Sunday, June 16. Make sure you set an alert on your smartphone’s calendar, lest you forget and become a cause for sad-dad syndrome. Symptoms include a long face, an uncomfortably quieter dinner table and passive-aggressive retaliation in the form of bad gift-giving when your birthday rolls around.
Even if you remember Father’s Day this year, no one wants to run the risk of giving dad a lame present, so take a look at our eight gift ideas below. They’re sure to keep your car-guy pappy happy.
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Tire pressure gauge ($11)
Underinflated tires are bad news for fuel economy, safety and tread life, which ultimately lead to a poorer, sadder father. Even if pop is driving a modern vehicle with tire-pressure sensors, unless his car provides exact readouts, his rubber has to be significantly underinflated for a warning light to appear in the dash. According to Edmunds, a pressure “warning light isn’t required to come on until a tire is 25% below the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure.”
Encourage dad to keep on top of his tire pressures with this $11 digital tire gauge from Tekton. The gauge is pleasant to look at, and even features an illuminated readout and nozzle. Even more exciting, batteries are included.
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Blipshift T-shirt ($15)
Maybe your dad isn’t the type of dude who would shout from the mountaintops that he’s a car fanatic. That’s OK, because Blipshift’s apparel can do the yelling for him.
The company’s most interesting items are affordable, limited-edition $15 T-shirts. According to Blipshift’s website, “Each shirt is available for only a few days before it is towed off to the crusher, never to be printed again.” This lessens the risk of your pop being inadvertent twinsies with some random cars and coffee-goer.
Dad not a T-shirt guy? That’s fine, too. Blipshift offers a range of other gift ideas, from auto-themed socks and ties to barbecue aprons, wall art and even “brapping paper.”
See at Blipshift
10mm socket set ($23)
Car Guy Tools
Anyone who’s worked on cars knows the dilemma of losing a 10mm socket. Don’t believe me? Snoop through your old man’s toolbox, and chances are he’s a victim of the rogue 10mm. No, this isn’t a way the extraterrestrials are messing with us ahead of their arrival. As one Reddit user puts it, “You often need [the 10mm], often use it, therefore it’s the most often misplaced and you notice it faster when it’s missing.”
For $23, you can make dad’s life easier with a 10mm socket 10-pack from Car Guy Tools. The pack features five different types of socket, each in a pair for maximum convenience. From personal experience, I can estimate this gift will decrease underhood foul language usage by 20 percent.
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Chamberlain MyQ Smart Garage Hub ($69)
Did you roll your eyes when your father boasted about finally garage-programming his car’s Homelink transceiver? Yeah, I agree: that’s so 1998. For just $69, you can bring big daddy into the 21st century with the Chamberlain MyQ Smart Garage Hub.
If you’re really nice, you can even install the system for dear ol’ dad, but installation is easy as the system requires no wiring to the garage door opener. The only real work you’ll have to do is affix a bracket onto the garage ceiling, but dad’s worth a little manual labor, right?
Once installed, your father will be able to control the garage door from his iPhone, Android smartphone or even via Google Assistant, but Assistant compatibility costs a buck per month… that’s kind of annoying, but unequivocally affordable. Can you imagine how proud pops will be when he can show off his new smart garage superpowers to his golfing pals? Yeah, you’ll probably still roll your eyes at his pride.
See at Amazon
Piloti driving shoes ($149)
For fathers who worship at the altar of speed, a pair of Piloti driving shoes may just buy your dad enough milliseconds on the track for him to remember this gift forever. Driving shoes are narrower than standard shoes, which aids in the heel-toe footwork required while matching revs on the racetrack for smooth downshifts. Driving shoes also look pretty slick when worn with a racing suit.
If your dad is a Chevrolet Corvette or Camaro fan, you’re in luck. Right now, Piloti is selling Corvette- and Camaro-themed racing shoes for $149.
See at Piloti
Rennline tachometer-themed watch ($359)
If pappy is more subtle about his automotive proclivities, this tasteful, tachometer-inspired RL-73 watch from Rennline will likely fit the bill. If the face looks familiar, it should. Rennline’s website says the timepiece “is based on the evocative, multiple endurance-winning, air-cooled car of the [s]eventies.” Read between the lines, and you probably know what machine Rennline is talking about.
Let’s just say that if Rennline were to come out and say what vehicle inspired this watch, you’d likely have to pay way more than its current, sub-$400 asking price.
See at Rennline
ChargePoint “gift” card
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
ChargePoint “gift” cardIf you haven’t heard of ChargePoint, think of it as the Tesla Supercharger network, but for all electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids, from the Nissan Leaf to the Mercedes-Benz GLC350e. If your dad drives anything that can be plugged in, a ChargePoint “gift” card is a thoughtful proposition.
I have the word “gift” in quotes because ChargePoint doesn’t officially sell gift cards. Despite that, you can still use the ChargePoint app to send pop a prepaid card that will get him up and running will all the electricity you wish to gift him.
Sending someone a ChargePoint card is almost as easy as sending someone Lyft credits. Simply tap the upper-left-hand corner menu button in the ChargePoint app, select “Account,” tap “Manage Cards” and then select “Get Cards.” From there, enter dad’s address, and within three to five business days, he’ll receive your gifted card. After that, he’ll be able to juice up at any one of ChargePoint’s 65,000-plus charging spots.
My one criticism is that, unlike Lyft, ChargePoint lacks the ability to send charging credits via email, so unfortunately, this EV gift, with its multi-day lag time, can’t quite cut it for last-minute Father’s Day shoppers.
Performance driving school
If your dad is car-obsessed, chances are he’s hinted that attending a performance driving school would be a dream come true. Well, we’ve got a gift idea that could make Father’s Day 2019 his favorite one ever: The Cadillac V-Performance Academy at Spring Mountain Motor Resort about an hour west of Las Vegas., and she found it incredibly fun and educational. Prices for the two-day program begin at $2,470.
Now, if money is no object and you really want to give dad. Roadshow’s Editor-in-Chief, Tim Stevens calls the training “a two-day program that put every other educational experience in my life to shame.” That makes sense, considering how comprehensive the syllabus is. “Ferrari’s training courses run the gamut, starting with basics like when to shift gears, then going all the way up to the finer points of forcing your racing opponent into a mistake,” Stevens says.
As you can imagine, Corso Pilota is one-percenter expensive, firmly in the territory of, “If you have to ask, then you can’t afford it, pal.” Fully aware that I can’t afford it, I had no problem asking Tim how expensive the course is. Turns out, Ferrari’s program starts at $15,290. Also, dad has to own a Ferrari already to be eligible for admission.