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22 Father's Day gift ideas

Gift ideas for the car guy: From books to CDs to vaccum cleaners, we have you covered

Help Dad make a clean sweep
If Dad has a little cleaning to do in his car this summer, a 500-Watt Metro Hand Vac may be the solution. The hand-held vacuum features a powerful 4.5-amp, 500-watt motor and is made in the United States. Additionally, the vacuums share the same rugged, all-steel body design that has made Metro products famous since 1939 for that vintage look fitting an old car. The similarity to previous-generation hand vacs, however, ends when Dad presses the on/off switch. The power of the 500-watt motor is immediately apparent as it torques to life with a smooth, turbine-like whine that is more reminiscent of muffled jet engine than the anemic “whirr” you might expect from units this compact. For more information, call 800-822-1602 or go to

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Help Dad shine!
Meguiar’s continues to shine in the field of car care to help every dad make his own favorite car “show car perfect.” Now, Meguiar’s offers a complete vinyl, rubber and plastic protectant family that offers two different levels of shine. For those who love intense shine, Supreme Shine Protectant is the fastest and easiest way to create a glistening finish fast. People that want a deep, rich “like new” luster can choose Meguiar’s newly redesigned Natural Shine Protectant. Both products offer the same outstanding protection from the elements and easy spray-and-wipe application. Shop at Meguiar’s new e-store at, or call 888-888-3143.

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Deck the walls with AFAS artwork
Automotive Fine Arts Society members are offering a select group of paintings and sculptures in time for Father’s Day on June 21. The artwork includes original pieces and limited-edition prints that are available exclusively through the artists. The AFAS is comprised of automotive artists from across the globe who create subjects in a variety of mediums, including watercolors, acrylics, oils, wood and various metals. Father’s Day prints available from AFAS president Ken Eberts include “Wow! What a Car!,” an 8x10-inch, limited-edition giclee featuring an elegant 1957 Chrysler 300-C for $100. AFAS artist Tom Fritz is offering a collection of award-winning paintings in small, medium and large ($250, $600 and $800) giclee on canvas prints. Highlighting the group is “A Little Ahead of Schedule,” which depicts a 1932 Ford hot rod at speed challenging a 4-8-4 Baldwin locomotive as it powers eastward along the tracks. Additional hot rod prints available from Fritz include “Hot Stuff, Sho’ Nuff” and “The Race Poster.” Bill Neale, a founding member of AFAS and part of the original Terlingua Racing Team with Carroll Shelby, is offering “Titus/Terlingua Mustang” in a 22x26-inch print for $85. The painting features Jerry Titus behind the wheel of a 1967 Terlingua Mustang with the west Texas mountains and glowing sunset in the background. Information about this and more AFAS artwork is available at, or by calling Luke DeRouen at 214-520-3430 ext. 301.

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Wire welding made simple
With the Miller Millermatic 140 with Auto-Set, Miller Electric Mfg. Co. has created what is likely the simplest wire welder in the industry. With an all-in-one MIG welder, the user simply has to set the wire diameter and material thickness. The patent pending Auto-Set technology automatically sets wire feed speed and voltage to achieve optimal welding results. “Auto-Set technology allows the user to weld with confidence knowing that the machine is properly set up,” says Ken Stanzel, Product Manager, Miller Electric. The Millermatic 140, available with and without Auto-Set, also provides smooth, spatter-free starts through Miller’s Smooth-Start technology to improve weld quality and decrease the need for spatter clean up. Millermatics are available at welding supply distributors. To find the nearest distributor or for more information on the equipment, visit or telephone 800-4-A-Miller.

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Shift it up a notch with a Flameball
If there’s a hot rodder in Dad, then the perfect gift this Father’s Day might just be a Flameball shift knob. Flameball offers multi-color flame, three-color flame, skull, pewter, abstract, 8-ball, plain, pearl, and bullet shift knobs. Most of these shift knobs light up at night with the use of a light system. Additionally, the company offers automatic button knobs and knob light systems, as well as installation instructions from start to finish. Order online at or call 814-378-6157.

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A place for everything, and everything in its place!
If you go into any store looking for any toolbox, craft box, tackle box or whatever box, you will notice one thing in common: They have some type of exterior latch or catch that is used to keep them secure. This is where the Lift-n-Lock goes beyond the norm, and sets a new paradigm. It features zero external latches or catches. PDY Systems’ Lift-n-Lok is a tool box that features locking drawers that eliminate spilled parts. There’s also ample space for large equipment. The need for external latches is eliminated with the Lift-n-Lok’s handle that, when in the forward or upright position with the drawers closed, locks all the compartments in position. With the handle in the backward position, all the compartments are unlocked. Lift-n-Lok toolboxes are made in the United States and are available by calling 877-812-0272, or at

A Long-Lasting Gift: Prewar Auto Notes magazine
If Dad loves to read about cars and trucks built only before World War II, present him with a subscription to Prewar Auto Notes magazine. For just $40, Dad will receive 12 monthly issues chock-full of feature articles spotlighting familiar and forgotten makes and models, coverage of prewar-vehicle events, news, questions and answers, book reviews, reader-submitted photographs of their prewar cars, technical articles and much more. Since the magazine’s introduction in May 2008, there have been fascinating stories about Stutz Bearcats; Ford Model T’s and Model A’s; Packards; highwheelers; brass-era Hupmobiles and Oldsmobiles; 1930s Plymouths, Chevrolets, Chryslers, Buicks and Pontiacs; and pickup trucks. In addition, the magazine has profiled the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival, AACA National Meet in Hershey, Iola Old Car Show, Model T Ford centennial, Chickasha Pre-War Swap Meet and the prewar-vehicle market, as well as various automotive museums. To order a subscription, visit; call 715-445-5387; or send a check or money order to: Prewar Auto Notes, E2315 County Road B, Scandinavia, WI 54977.

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Blair tools take headache out of hole making
Blair Equipment Co., Inc. (Flint, MI), producers of precision sheet metal hole-making tools used in automotive body repairs, fabrication and aftermarket equipment installations, now makes hole-making in sheet metal and plate stock more convenient with the Rotabroach Annular Cutter Kit. It comes packaged in a sturdy case that stores seven of the most widely used tool diameters, including 5/16-, 3/8-, 7/16- 1/2-, 9/16-, 5/8- and 3/4-inch for materials up to 1/4-inch thick. The annular cutters are ideal for use in general fabrications, maintenance and electrical applications; spot weld removal; plugging holes for welding; and automotive aftermarket installations. Each kit also includes an arbor assembly, extra pilot, center punch, washers and instructions on use. They can be used in hand-held electric drills with 3/8-inch chucks, and in drills presses. To order, call 800-426-7818, or go online at

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Unique gift ideas from The Dog House Garage
The Dog House Garage, formerly the Auto-Motives Gift Shop in the Antique Auto Museum of Hershey, Pa., is introducing several cool new products that goes beyond the former “gift shop” cliché! Gas Pump Reliefs — A new line of pumps that make great use of empty wall space. The reliefs are lightweight and come with or without the half globes. Starting at $474.99, you can restyle that space without spending a fortune. Have one shipped in time for Father’s Day. Antique Auto Museum Digital Photo Suite — Have you and your dad always wanted to visit the museum, but couldn’t get there? Visited but didn’t have a camera? The Dog House Garage is offering a software program that displays the museum’s collection on a computer. Plus, users can add to the collection with their own pictures or add-on volumes as they become available at the Dog House Garage. For $24.95, you or your dad can create your own virtual museum collection. Antique Auto Museum Model Kit — Exclusively at the Dog House Garage, while supplies last, Highway Pioneers Model Kits. At $5.99 each, Dad can collect all 12 kits. For more information on any of these products, contact the Dog House Garage directly at 717-566-7100, ext. 103, or visit

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Time travel at the speed of a 1935 Speedster?
In the 1930s, industrial designers from the auto industry translated the principles of aerodynamics and streamlining into everyday objects, such as like radios and toasters. In lieu of hands to tell time, one such watch complication, called a jumping mechanism, utilized numerals on a disc viewed through a window. With its striking resemblance to the dashboard gauges and radio dials of the decade, the jump hour watch was indeed “in tune” with the times! The Stauer 1930s Dashtronic deftly blends the modern functionality of a 21-jewel automatic movement and 3-ATM water resistance with the distinctive, retro look of a jumping display (not an actual jumping complication). The stainless steel case is complemented with a black alligator-embossed leather band. The band will fit a 7–8 1/2-inch diameter wrist. Price is just $99 plus S&H. A payment plan of three credit card payments of $33 plus S&H is also available. Get a full refund if Dad’s not satisfied within 30 days of purchase. Because it’s a limited edition, buyers are advised to act quickly. To order, call 800-859-1602 and mention Promotional Code DRW262-02, or visit

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Light up his workspace
First of all, these are not your grandfather’s flashlights that flicker and burn out. Pelican Products, a leader in lighting systems and tool cases, offers professional-grade LED lights that truly light up a workspace. The Pelican 2365 Flex-Head LED lists for $49.95 and features a nearly 15-inch, flexible cable neck so it can be bent to shine light anywhere it’s needed. Powered by two AA batteries, the 2365’s next-generation LED provides clean, brilliant light for nearly 12 hours with a peak output of 45 lumens. Weighing in at 9.3 ounces with batteries, the light comes with a magnetic bracket clip to keep it in place when working around metal surfaces. State-of-the-art, Lithium Ion, rechargeable battery technology allows it to blast 130 lumens of blinding light for a full 90 minutes on a single charge. Additionally, the light’s high-impact polymer construction is nearly indestructible and can withstand extreme temperatures as low as -10º F and as high as 210º F. For more information on this and other Father’s Day ideas, visit

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Floor Bored?
Is your car “floor bored?” Make it smokin’ hot with designer floor mats by Chassis Girl. Chassis Girl floor mats come in three wild designs: Kickin’ Zebra, Safari Rose (shown here) and Talk to the Palm. No shock absorbers needed! Order online at

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"Automotive Wiring and Electrical Systems"

If the wire bundles pictured on the cover of “Automotive Wiring and Electrical Systems” look like spaghetti and leave you discouraged and overwhelmed, then you need this book. Author Tony Candela’s softcover, 142-page book unravels the mystery of wiring by starting with the basics: Understanding electrical principles and simple circuits, the right tools and the fundamentals of automotive wiring. Candela then gets to the specifics as wiring pertains to automobiles and trucks and breaks down ignition switches, wiring harnesses and controllers, power accessories and the charging system and aftermarket wiring. There’s also a chapter on troubleshooting the do-it-yourselfer will find useful. Advanced installations and even building a wiring harness are also covered at the book’s end. To order the book from SA Design’s Workbench Series for $24.95 plus shipping, contact publisher CarTech at 800-551-4754, or go to

‘Kaiser-Frazer: 1947-1955 Photo Archive’
Kaiser-Frazer had a short lifespan in the United States, but the company visually (and diligently) documented its products at shows, on the assembly line and against scenic backdrop for the press. Now, that photographic history has been compiled into the 126-page softcover book “Kaiser-Frazer: 1947-1955 Photo Archive” from Iconografix. Authors Patrick R. Foster, an Old Cars Weekly columnist, and Bill Tilden have done their homework to ensure this book is more than a pretty picture book. Each deep, high-quality image of a Kaiser, Frazer, Darrin, Henry J and Allstate is accompanied by a rich caption that adds to the image by explaining the company’s successes, failures and, of course, the features of the pictured automobile. Among the incredible images captured in the book are Kaisers on the assembly line, a Henry J at an outdoor company display, Frazers in different showrooms and during the body drop phase of production and beauties around the Kaiser-Darrin. To order “Kaiser-Frazer: 1947-1955 Photo Archive” for $32.95 plus shipping, contact the publisher at 800-289-3504, or go to

Duo of Drake hot rod books
Portland’s hot rod historian, Albert Drake, admittedly hopelessly stuck in the 1950s, has produced two new books, one on the beginnings of hot rod life, the other about early car clubs. Although primarily covering Northwest-related material, the articles and photos portray insights and a lifestyle familiar to car hobbyists everywhere.

“The Age of Hot Rods — Essays on Rods, Custom Cars and Their Drivers from the 1950’s to Today” is a collection of Drake’s articles, columns and photos, with new material added. You’ll find a mix of nostalgia, interviews with legendary auto movers and shakers and stories about young car guys whose lives helped create “The Fabulous Fifties.” To order, contact McFarland & Co., Inc. at 800-253-2187. The book is $39.95 plus $4 S&H.

Also by Albert Drake is his book “Jacket & Plaque,” a collection of some 150 car clubs from the Portland area back as far as the late 1930s. More than 350 photos of car club jackets, car plaques, logos and courtesy cards, along with personal memories from club members, fill this 272–page book. Drake spent more than 20 years gathering this material. If you are, or were, a car hobbyist in the ’40s and ’50s and living in the Northwest, or if you just love reading about other car club history, you’ll want to add this book to your library. Order from Albert Drake, Throttlers Press, P.O. Box 66874, Portland, OR 97290-6874. The book is priced at $24.95 plus $2.50 S&H. — By Marian Dinwiddie

Eddie Paul’s Custom Bodywork Handbook’
Teach Dad the latest body work techniques from master customizer Eddie Paul with the more than 200 step-by-step color photos in “Eddie Paul’s Custom Bodywork Handbook.” The education progresses through 20 projects ranging from old school hot rods to modern tuner cars. The reference book covers frenching tail lamps, patching metal, hiding door handles and antennas, chopping tops and adding spoilers and aero kits. Whether Dad is a veteran car restorer, hot rod builder, member of the tuner car crowd or a car buff in general, he’s sure to discover new skills and more reasons to love customizing in this revved up resource. To order the book for $24.99, go to or call 800-258-0929.

‘Old Cars Guide to Auto Restoration’ CD
Old Cars Weekly opened the doors of several successful restoration shops to show you how the professionals bring cars back to show-ready condition. Featuring more than 40 projects, this CD is loaded with tips and techniques that will help make Dad’s restoration fun and trouble-free. He’ll learn how to repair ragtops, install muscle car brakes, color sand like a pro, repair trim parts, and more. To order the CD for $12.99, go to or call 800-258-0929.

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