It’s almost here. The day when millions of couples have their high hopes dashed by supermarket flowers and drug store chocolates. While we’re pretty strong proponents of expectations management, we have to say, when it comes to gift-giving, why settle for sub-par? There are plenty of creative and affordable options out there ripe for the picking. And when it comes to buying for a gearhead? Really, the world is your oyster. While auto enthusiasts can be a particular bunch, there are a few areas in which you can’t go wrong—namely, quality aftermarket accessories and good ol’ nostalgia gear that celebrates an undying love for that prized ride in the driveway.
So, ditch the roses and commit to something a little extra special this year. Check out these dozen Valentine’s Day gifts for car lovers that are sure kick your special enthusiast into high gear.
Take A Romantic Getaway
Go big or go home, right? Since February 14th lands on a Thursday this year, we say give the gift of a long weekend. A long weekend… IN SUNNY FLORIDA, THAT IS! (Cue Price is Right music.)
“That’s right Bob, did you know this Valentine’s weekend also happens to be the 61st running of the Daytona 500? This NASCAR package from RaceAway Hospitality features TWO luxurious nights at the Embassy Suites by Hilton in beautiful Orrrlanndooo! Just 45 minutes from the famed Daytona International Speedway, guests will enjoy private round-trip motor coach transportation with a guided tour of the pit road and infield Fan Zone, plus tickets to the main event with access to a catered suite! Come on dowwwnnnn!” Double Occupancy, $1174.00
Spend Some QT With Your Cutie
Working on a tighter budget but still want to get out of town? Consider a couples-themed performance driving experience from Cloud 9 Living. From exotic car thrill rides around the Homestead-Miami Speedway to a Ferrari-racing track day at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, nothing says “I love you” like high horsepower and a little friendly competition.
Prices range from under $100 to well over $1,000, so you’ll have plenty to choose from to suit your budget.
Clean Things Up
Alright, we get it. Maybe you and your bae haven’t reached the level of a romantic getaway yet. Maybe you’re in that awkward phase where you’re still deciding if this person is your destined soulmate, or just a well-dressed bag of crazy. Well, one way to narrow it down without spending too much money is with this starter car care kit from Meguiars, Surf City, Adams, Turtle Wax, or Aero.
Featuring a car wash, wheel cleaner, glass cleaner, quick detail spray, clay bar, wet wax, and sprayable dressing, a package from Chemical Guys is everything your car lover needs for a shiny and sweet-smelling ride. The real test is whether or not they scream when you touch the finish. $59.99
Make It Official
Things pretty serious? Are you and your Valentine prepping to tie the knot sometime soon? Take a cue from the growing number of thrifty Millennials, and opt for a non-traditional wedding band. This ultralight, yet super durable, carbon fiber ring is handmade and features a handsome minimalist design.
A great option for the welder in your life (it’s non heat-conducting), or the gearhead who wants their bling to match their sweet ride’s custom full body kit. Starting at $28.85.
Take A Trip Down Memory Lane
Whether it’s old-school muscle or traditional off-road that gets your loved one’s wheels in motion, everyone appreciates vintage car magazines. Peruse online—many copies can be had for as little as $5-$10 and arrive in surprisingly great condition.
Fine tune it to the project car currently hogging the garage, the vehicle they’ve always wanted, or the one that got away. Think of it like an Ancestry DNA kit for a car, only with hilariously dated advertisements of babies drinking Coca-Cola and Santa smoking cigarettes. Ahhh, the good ol’ days!
Rekindle The Fire
If you find yourself this Valentine’s Day searching for a new way to liven things up, consider slipping some sweet-scented candles into this dramatic piston candelabra from celebrated custom art shop, Frost Auto Décor.
Handmade from real engine components, this unique piece is sure to set a mood befitting any gearhead. “Alexa, play Boyz II Men, please.” $199.00
Check Something Off The Ol’ Bucket List
Has your loved one been hinting that their current car club is leaving them… unfulfilled? Consider kicking things up a notch with a SCCA membership. With access to professional driving lessons, loaner equipment, discounts at a variety of quality retailers, special pricing on track days, and access to a diverse group of fellow car lovers, your gearhead will get a truly all-inclusive enthusiast experience.
At $70, it’s practically a steal, so consider wrapping up the subscription with a pair of these vintage-inspired, fine-grained leather driving gloves from Pratt and Hart. $30
Just To See Them Smile
If you’re not the type to make a big hoopla out of a holiday but still want to make your partner smile, you can never go wrong with a funny t-shirt. There’s plenty to choose from on the web, ranging anywhere from $5 to $50, but here are a few of our favorites.
Put On Somethin’ Slinky
Who doesn’t like a little lingerie on Valentine’s Day? This LeBra Custom Front-End Cover offered by Covercraft offers custom-fit vehicle protection from unsightly dings, dents, and scratches on that fresh paint job. With a great fit and stylish look, this car bra gives all the extra support and visual lift you need. $105
Indulge Your Partner’s Passions
We get it. If your gearhead also happens to be a gamer, it can sometimes feel like the biggest threat to your relationship is a Play Station. But Valentine’s Day is about celebrating love and trying new things with your partner, right?
Show up to your honey’s house with this Logitech G29 Driving Force Racing Wheel, a six pack of Mountain Dew, several bags of Cheetos, and get ready for the night of your life. $200+
Recreate the Good Old Days
“It was that leather jacket your father had on…” has been the start to more than a few “origin stories” for kids ’round the world. Why not recreate the memory of the day you were swept off your feet with this stunning handmade moto jacket from Taylor Stitch?
Crafted from whiskey-brown soft leather, this thing will wear in like a classic baseball mitt, packing just as many sweet memories. It’s a big investment, but so is love, #amirite? $1,075
Keep It Practical
For those of you whose young love has lost its luster, we get it. There comes a time in every relationship when practicality simply overrules the schmaltz. (Yes, it’s called marriage.) But that doesn’t mean you still can’t knock it out of the park with a thoughtful gift. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Give the gift of preserved knuckles with the Channellock WideAzz Adjustable Wrench. This compact 8” wrench has a minimal head width for better access in tight spaces, while extra wide jaws give the grip of a 12” model. Pair it with a tub of O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream and a Post-It that says, “Love you. Now quit yer whining.” $20 and up.
The Gift That Says, “Expect More of These.”
What good are new tools if you don’t have a handy, well-constructed box to store them in? This large-volume organizer from Dewalt fits all your toys and then some, with fixed dividers to organize drills and bits. It features a simple and sturdy design and sports durable side latches that allow it to be stacked in a variety of combinations with other TSTAK units. (Collect the set and you’ve got gift-giving ideas for at least 8 more holidays.) #NailedIt $34.99
The Gift That Says, “I’m Tired of Cleaning Up After You.”
For those realists in your life who think Valentine’s Day is but another corporate ploy to steal your hard-earned money, yet still expect to see a gift come February 14th, consider some seasonally appropriate, ultra-practical vehicle protection. Yep, because who doesn’t get all hot and bothered by rubber floor mats, right? WeatherTech won’t steer you wrong, nor will Husky Liners. For the loved one who recently upgraded to a snazzy Jeep JL, check out these new all-terrain floor liners from Rugged Ridge. $29.95 and up.
Check out some of these gearhead-themed sentiments and remember—no gift is complete without a card, so don’t skimp.