November 17, 2011 | by Joe Phillips
Automotive gifts

Last month, car sales skyrocketed to pre-recession levels. That’s good news for the economy and for all the gay and lesbian motorheads in your life. To help celebrate, below are some novel car-centric holiday gifts.

BMW motorcycle jacket

Motorrad, BMW’s motorcycle brand, just released its latest catalog of Tron-like helmets, boots and gloves. But what really stands out is the flashy Boulder Neon jacket. Sure, it sounds a bit tacky but it’s not. Think Euro-style with NASCAR swagger. The jacket’s cutting-edge fabric is practically tear-proof, as well as wind- and water-resistant. Another plus: Leave in those removable protectors (for the elbows, shoulder and back) to get a burly, bulked-up physique.

MINI bike

For greenies on your shopping list, there’s the eco-chic MINI folding bicycle, with lightweight aluminum frame, black matte finish and bright yellow chain and bell. For green daredevils, MINI also has the Snow Rocker, a compact sled with a downhill speed of more than 60 mph.

Audi travel chair

Audi may not have a folding bike but it does have some nifty folding furniture. Made of non-rip nylon, this travel chair has a deep seat and carrying case with adjustable shoulder strap. For anyone worried about gaining too much weight during the holidays, the chair holds up to 1,050 pounds.

Awesome e-story

Auto aficionados with a need for speed will appreciate “Forty Years of Motorsport Photography” from the iTunes bookstore. The e-book features stunning images from legendary motorsport photographer Jesse Alexander, including never-before published photos of Steve McQueen and Henri Cartier Bresson.

The ultimate car book

Despite e-books and iPads, there’s still a place for old-school hardbounds — especially “The Impossible Collection of Cars” (Assouline, $650). Pricey, yes. But just like a Bentley, this large-format book is hand-made and showcases the best in automotive design — from the mass-produced 1914 Ford Model T Runabout to uber luxomobiles, such as the gull-winged 1955 Mercedes 300SL and a 1936 Bugatii Type 57SC (only two remain in the world).

Mercedes chocolate truffles

Mixing Mercedes and chocolate could be a recipe for holiday success. The world’s oldest automaker is churning out candy truffles made from decadent French chocolate. No, the Benz logo isn’t stamped on each bite-sized piece. But the chocolates come in a silver-colored box wrapped with a big black bow sporting the Mercedes logo.

Ralph Lauren driving shoe

Ralph Lauren, fashionista and car-collector extraordinaire, just came out with the F1 (as in, Formula One) driving shoe. Part of Lauren’s RLX line of extreme sports apparel, the F1 should satisfy anyone with a foot fetish thanks to breathable mesh fabric, padded ankle lining and custom heel. For a few bucks more, there’s even a high-top version.

Porsche driving gloves

Can’t afford a six-figure exotic car? Try Porsche driving gloves as a more affordable stocking stuffer with hand-sewn brown suede, wide stitching and carbon-fiber-styled buttons.

An iPhone case for auto-philes

There’s finally an iPhone protector for gearheads: the Gasket iPhone 4 case. Made of brushed aluminum — with protective film covers for the face and backplate — the case looks like a head gasket and is available in all colors of the rainbow.

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