Father’s Day Gifts for the Car-Obsessed

It’s not easy being a dad, and this is why we have our own special day: Father’s Day. I know, I know—we fathers did not carry the child inside our bodies for nine plus months or give birth after 19 hours of labor, but I stand by my statement that fatherhood is difficult. After all, we were there and watched the birth while offering support and breathing reminders. Let’s also not forget that we, too, have experienced many sleepless nights with inconsolable screamers.funny picture of jack and dad

All kidding aside though, when Father’s Day rolls around, it’s a day I love but never know what to expect. I love the attention, but what really scares me are some of the gift ideas that my five children have come up with over the years; I fathered an eccentric bunch, to say the least.

Now, this is not a criticism of the wonderful handmade ‘art’ projects that were made with tiny hands out of love—I have truly treasured those over the years. However, there comes a time when your kids will stop giving you macaroni necklaces and start scrambling through stores. If you happen to be looking for the perfect gift, allow me to humbly guide you through some Father’s Day mishaps and add some not-so-subtle hints for the perfect gift for the car-obsessed dad.

Examples of ‘It was the thought that counts’ Father’s Day Gifts

  • Bag of melted candy – I’m not kidding – this happened. Love the idea, but next time don’t store it in the garage in the middle of a scorching hot summer.
  • “World’s Best Dad” T-Shirt two sizes too small – Peeking at the size label of a shirt already hanging in my closet didn’t occur to you, kids?
  • Broken seashells from that beach trip – Because whole seashells are overrated.
  • Visor – I’m not sure about this younger generation, but back in the day we wore caps. Not visors. Never visors.
  • Stuffed animal – Another great idea, but I had to laugh as I’d seen this “hiding” under the bed weeks before Father’s Day.

Sure, I could have come up with a list of the things that may have been better suited toward my interests, but at least I’ve had years of laughter—and my kids have definitely made improvements. This year, if you’re in the market for the perfect Father’s Day gift—especially a car-obsessed dad like me—check out the following list:

Car Wash & WaxClose up of subaru wax hoodscoop

Considering how often my kids have smeared or scratched cars when they were little, a wash and a wax would be a wonderful contribution. Don’t forget the inside of the vehicle, too, since that’s where kids do their best work with juice boxes, Cheerios, the occasional vomit and muddy shoes.

Although it’s been a while since juice boxes were a hazard to my own cars, I’m still somewhat traumatized by those days. Those things do not enhance the interior of a classic Nissan 280ZX. A car wash and wax is the equivalent to breakfast in bed. Believe me—your dad will love it.

Magazine Subscriptions


Because their mother cringes every time I want to buy a $9 car magazine, this would be an awesome gift – maybe even consider a year’s subscription to Car and Driver if you want to be dad’s favorite kid for a year.

HID Headlight Kit

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 3.28.11 PM

My family is likely sick of hearing about the a classic Mustang I’m restoring. A new high intensity headlight kit would really set it off. I love HIDExtra’s intense white bulbs, and if you order it (hint hint), make sure that you get the make and model correct. Aside from making my car look a little more modern, it would be a fun project for my boys and I to do together—added Father’s Day bonus.

Remote Control Car or Truck

ford remote control truck off roadMost men are still kids at heart, and a remote-controlled toy car will keep us happily entertained for hours. By the way, I love me some of them nitro-gas powered cars.

GPS Nav System

nav system explorer

My kids have been on enough road trips with me to know how I am about getting lost and asking for directions. Apparently it’s a basic flaw in the male DNA. Just ask my wife. A GPS would come in handy and will work much better than having me pull over and reluctantly ask for directions.

Digital Tire Pressure Gauge


Since teaching my kids how to drive, I’ve always lectured them on the importance of regularly checking their tire pressure; so much so, they’ve taken my tire pressure gauges and put them in the glove boxes of their own vehicles. While I’m glad they took my advice to heart, I could use a replacement and the digital ones are both easy to read and easy to use. That’s a pretty subtle hint, right?

Personal Driver


As simple as it sounds, giving me “coupons” for a free drive around town would be ideal. Not only can you show off your driving skills, but you’re also giving me the opportunity to sit back and pretend to relax. All parents know how difficult it is to sit back and try not to be a backseat driver, but hey, at least I don’t have to steer and you don’t have to wear a funny driving hat.

Overall, dads are pretty low-key about Father’s Day. Wishlists exist in our heads, but without any real expectations. We won’t complain about a slightly dog-chewed stuffed animal, but you will go down in history as the best child ever if you can feed my car addiction.

Written by Ben Rise
Photo credits: , LogoNoid, Everythin RC Cars, FastTech, iD