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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Flappy Paddle Head's Christmas List

But it's not even Thanksgiving, you say! Well, that's exactly the point. The only thing more American than consumerism is consumerism now. Chin started off with a number of presents suitable for children-- intending to infect the little ones with the love of cars at as early an age as possible.

However, when shopping for a car enthusiast that is already so hopelessly obsessed with automobiles that it's as essential as the air he/she breathes, I've made another Christmas guide to make your holiday shopping easy.

1.) We begin with a timely winter theme: Team O'Neill Driving School
Located in Dalton, New Hampshire, the Team O'Neill Driving School is unique. If you know a friend that's crazy about Gymkhana (you probably do) and wishes to someday know how to drift around exploding barrels just like Ken Block, look no further. Team O'Neill Driving School will not only teach students the necessary fundamentals, but one of Team O'Neill's past students was actually Mr. Block himself!

The Team O'Neill Driving School provides classes for multiple levels of driving depending on whatever a student intends to get out of the experience. In a special episode done by Fast Lane Daily, J.F. Musial discusses the merits of O'Neill's winter driving education program, which teaches and assists normal drivers of all age groups the techniques of safe driving on snow and ice by revealing and acclimating the students to the dynamics of their personal daily driver. Team O'Neill goes so far as to say that their course should be a requirement for any driver living in the northeast. Winter Safety School: $395/person.

2.) Is your car enthusiast a cinephile? SENNA
Spanning his years as a Formula One racing driver from 1984 to his untimely death a decade later, Senna explores the life and work of the triple world champion, his physical and spiritual achievements on the track, his quest for perfection and the mythical status he has since attained.
This film is arguably the sports documentary of the year. The only reason why I can't be sure is because I never bothered to catch any of the others for a proper comparison. Critic Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal simply said SENNA was, "A celebration of a singular spirit in an impure sport." You can find it on but be sure to select the NTSC format if your dvd-player is regional to North America. $24.99

3.) Does your car enthusiast enjoy watches? Autodromo Brescia (front and center)

The man behind the blog Automobiliac, Bradley Price, had undertaken a 2-year project that combined his love for vintage watches and classic cars with his professional skills as a designer and branding consultant.

We are excited to share with you his result, a line of elegant wrist watches that possess design cues heavily influenced by the gauges one would find in a classic European sports car. According to the Autodromo website, the name Brescia was inspired by a historic town located in Northern Italy, where the infamous Mille Miglia was first held approximately 50 years ago.

The website continues, "Brescia watch speaks to time-honored elegance and simplicity. Its clean, understated look is the perfect complement to a tailored Italian suit." Visit Bradley's blog, Automobiliac, or go to the Autodromo homepage for product inquiries. $425

4.) Is your car enthusiast a thrill seeker? GoPro HD HERO2 Motorsports Edition

Used by everyone from automotive journalists to race teams, this tool is probably the best and the most involving way for a person to share their excitement and irrational passion for cars. While compact, the GoPro HD HERO2 Motorsports Edition is extremely capable, capturing 170 degree wide-angle 1080p video as well as 11mp photos at a rate of 10 photos a second. Coming with joints, pivot arms, flat and curved adhesive mounts, suction cups, buckles and assorted mounting hardware, the camera could be installed on practically any surface of your car and record awesome video footage of a relaxing afternoon drive or an electric weekend track day. Did I mention it was also waterproof up to 60 meters? Well, it is.

What's more, if you add the Wi-Fi BacPac peripheral (mobile hotspot not included), you could even live-stream your footage! Check it out at GoPro. Starting at $299.99, here is a clip featuring footage taken from GoPro's line of HERO2 cameras:

5.) Is your car enthusiast a connoisseur? Ralph Lauren Home model car collection

The Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic is probably the most famous car in Ralph Lauren's private collection. Only 680 Type 57's were ever produced, just over 40 were the 57S/SC, and only three of which were the rare Atlantics. Now, 40 lucky individuals can find one of these automotive treasures in their living room this Christmas-- the 1:8 replica masterpieces from the Ralph Lauren Home collection, at least.

How much are we talking for each model sculpture? $9,500. Yes, that is extremely expensive. If one went to Costco and bought a die-cast from Maisto, he/she would probably only pay 1/1,000 the cost. However, keep in mind that each model took 3,000 man-hours to create. Every model was individually detailed from hand assembled wire wheels, using individual spokes, to automotive paint that has been buffed and glossed before mounted on the display case. 

Surprise your connoisseur. Visit for more details and find out more about the rest of Ralph Lauren's car collection at L'Art De L'Automobile.

6.) Does your car enthusiast enjoy reading?
The Art Of Racing In The Rain, A novel by Garth Stein

Having just read the book, I can recommend it to anyone. Narrated by a dog named Enzo, the story reveals life with his master, Denny Swift-- a father, a husband, a race car driver. Enzo has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of Denny. Through these mediums, Enzo gains insight on what it means to be human.

Using Enzo as a vessel, Author Garth Stein makes sure to shed a lot of life lessons. One of the repeating ideas in the novel is, "That which you manifest is before you." Stein explains, "We are in charge of our lives. We create our own destiny. We have to take responsibility... it's a big job!"

A story about love and loyalty, The Art of Racing in the Rain is available at for $10.19.

I hope everyone enjoyed the list. Happy hump day!!

1 comment:

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