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by Jim Corbran
Keeping the car in Christmas
Does anybody really buy a car as a Christmas gift? I doubt it. At least, not the kind you could get into and drive away in. But there are still plenty of gift choices out there for the four-wheel enthusiast on your list.
For instance—and not to put a knock on the annual local show—why not send that motorhead off to the Big Apple with a pair of tickets to the 2014 New York International Auto Show? Sure, it’s not until April (18-27), but being in the spotlight usually assures that some exciting concepts and vehicle world debuts will be on display, not to mention the fact that many manufacturers who don’t bother with smaller markets like Buffalo (sorry) do bring their Rolls-Royces, Teslas, and Ferraris to Manhattan every spring. And besides all of that, you’re in New York City! The good news is tickets are only $15 (five bucks for kids). The bad news is transportation to New York City is not included. At the Jacob Javits Center. It’s still a bit early to buy tickets online, so a hand-made voucher will have to do until the ticket link goes live at autoshowny.com.
There are cars that will fit into a Christmas stocking, if your recipient is the type who likes to line up his/her dreams on a shelf. There are many sizes of diecast models out there, in even more price ranges, but if you’re looking for quality and/or the oddball car, look no further than Brooklin Models Ltd., producers of 1/43 scale models made of heavy metal with a ton of detailing. They’re pricey, but then again, they’re not toys. One of the more unusual offerings is the 1958 Chevrolet Yeoman station wagon, pictured above, ($124). It’s included amongst an array of Buicks, Hudsons, and Willys Jeeps, not to mention hearses, ambulances, and the odd British police car. You can view the entire collection online at brooklin-models.co.uk—but be aware that the UK site doesn’t ship to North America. A number of local hobby shops stock some Brooklin models, but you can find a treasure trove of them on eBay, many selling for below the list price (and many for way, way above, so look around before hitting the “Buy It Now” button).
If you’re feeling exceptionally generous this year, Luxury Motors of Rochester offers the rental of a Ferrari F430 F1 coupe. Note that there are restrictions, however; you just knew there would be. Minimum driver’s age is 25; you must have full personal auto coverage; and your credit card must be able to withstand a $5,000 hold as a security deposit which, as Luxury Motors cheerfully notes on their web page, will be removed “…as long as you bring the car back to us the way we delivered it to you.” Pricing? Well, you can book a 90-minute test drive for just $499. You can also book it at the hourly rate of $299 (with a four-hour minimum), or go all-out and take it for 24 hours, which will put a $1,999 dent in your wallet. But hey, it’s Christmas, right? Luxury Motors is in the Rochester suburb of Victor, and their website is luxurymotorsofrochester.com.
Then there’s the other end of the price spectrum, and Patrick Foster’s book Super ’70s—Cars of the Disco Decade. Relive the era of bad clothes and maybe even worse cars in this softcover, large-format, 304-page book by Foster, who has written a number of books on the American automobile, including many on American Motors and other now-defunct independent automakers. Retail price is $35.95, and it’s available at amazon.com; even better, you can order it from your neighborhood independent book seller.
Now get those snow tires on and start shopping!
Read more of Jim Corbran's You Auto Know every other week in Artvoice, and more frequently on Artvoice Daily.
Literature: For Everyone, A Book • Film: A World of Cinema • You Auto Know: Stocking Stuffers
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