Home Car Culture Our Father’s Day gift guide

Our Father’s Day gift guide


Or your Father’s Day gift could be an experience closer to home, such as museum membership or a Model T driving class | Gilmore Car Museum photo

Do you suffer from the Dad’s Day dilemma? You know, it’s just two weeks until Father’s Day and you’re still not sure what to get the old guy. 

Fret not, friends. We have Father’s Day gift guide suggestions for you to consider, and with items priced at less than $30 to, well, potentially as much as $3,000.

Of course, if you want to spend $30,000 or even $300,000, we can help there as well. Well, not necessarily those of us here at the ClassicCars.com Journal, but our friends across the hall at ClassicCars.com have plenty of vehicles that are sure to please your Pop.

But back to our gift-giving suggestions. While most of what we recommend is for the hands-on car guy, we also have some ideas for the Dear Old Dad who has a car but may not have the skills, or even the interest, in picking up a can of wax, let alone a torque wrench. 

With those fathers in mind, we’ll start with some suggestions for the non-car guy dad: 

•  A gift certificate to have his car professionally detailed.

•  A stylish set of floor mats, such as those from GGBailey, a 55-year-old company which offers a variety of designs. 

GCBailey offers a variety of designs for automotive floor mats

•  A set of tires — and one of Slime’s new Elite Digital Gauges so he can start checking the pressures in those tires. Though it retails for only less than $20, this gauge is designed so it checks tire pressures — displayed in a digital read out — without the tire losing any air in the process. Typical tire gauges can leave a tire with 1-2 psi less air in the process of checking pressures. 

The new Slime Elite Digital (tire pressure) Gauge

If you’re not quite sure what tires best suit your father’s car, call Tire Rack or visit its website and its staff will help you decide based on the vehicle, Dad’s driving style, even the weather in the area where your father lives. 

•  A one-day driving school experience, which will make your Dad a better and safer driver. There are several good schools from which to choose, for example, Bondurant, Barber and Russell, among others, but if you live where winter brings snow and icy roads, consider Bridgestone’s winter driving school in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Even car guys would like those suggestions for Father’s Day gifts, though if you’re going to give Dad a set of tires for his classic vehicle, you should check with Coker Tire, which specializes in producing new tires (even radials) that look like those that came on Dad’s car or truck when it was brand new.

So what else might you get for your car-guy father? Here are suggestions from our own team of car guys:

•  A Stanley Proto J6169F 1/4-inch Drive Dial torque wrench. Figure to spend around $200, but to please Dad with a tool he’ll use with dual (English and Metric) scales with clockwise and counterclockwise function.

Stanley Proto J6169F 1/4-inch Drive Dial torque wrench helps Dad tighten bolts with proper force

•  A USAG Revolving Grip ratchet, available in two sizes (1/4- and 1/2-inch), from Griot’s Garage. This rachet wrench can be used with the usual lever action, but in tight spaces you can twist the handle to secure or to remove a nut or screw. MSRP is $60 for the 1/4-inch and $100 for the 1/2-inch version.

Stanley ratchet available in two sizes, and both feature revolving grip manipulation

•  Dad doesn’t need a Ferrari to appreciate the 129-piece Facom/Ferrari master tool set in its own rolling tool chest. Yes, it costs $3,500 and weighs 250 pounds, but we’re talking about your father, here.

It’s the Ferrari of tool sets

•  Regardless of which tools your father uses, using them will be easier when a Mychanic Fastback shop stool, a $55 rolling stool with built-in slots for slots to hold a set of sockets and even a built-in beverage holder. The seat, just the right height for cleaning wheels and bumpers, is rated up to 350 pounds. 

Mechanic Fastback stool has places to stow sockets and a beverage

•  Also from Mychanic comes the brand new and upgraded and updated 3T Low Profile Floor Jack (less than $200), an all-steel unit with a 6,000-pound load capacity.

Updated Mechanic floor jack can lift 6,000 pounds

•  Hand-powered tools are great, but if Dad’s a real car guy, he needs power tools and an air compressor to empower them. Griot’s Garage has a 3-gallon portable compressor ($335) that will run tools, inflate tires, and operates at only 70 dBA, and weighs only 68 pounds.

3-gallon portable air compressor weighs 68 pounds and operates at 70 decibels

You may have noticed that we have not suggested any car care/cleaning products because if Dad’s a car guy, he likely already has his favorite brand. However, he might be delighted if you gave him a new orbital buffer to make using his favorite brand easier.

Books are another great gift idea for your car guy father.  If Dad’s into auto racing, he’ll be thrilled with The Yanks at Le Mans: Twice Around the Clock, Tim Considine’s 3-volume, $350 set detailing all the Americans who have competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, and including interviews with most of them.

Americans at Le Man in detail

Also check out Porter Press, the British publisher with all sorts of specialist titles, including Matthew Field’s new The Self Preservation Society — 50 Years of The Italian Job, a $45 book (at Amazon) published 50 years after the movie was released and written after more than 50 interviews with the cast and crew.

Untold stories of the making fo the original Italian Job movie

One more book to consider is the recently published second edition of the Roadster Guide to America’s Classic Car Museums & Attractions by Michael Milne. The $25 book provides details on more than 300 car-centric places for Dad to visit as he travels around the country.

A field guide for exploring America’s car museums

Maybe Dad has all the tools and books he needs for the moment. Don’t worry, our gift list continues with some very special presents he’s sure to appreciate. 

These are experiences he’ll remember for the rest of his life, and they range from membership in the closest car museum to providing him with a bidder’s pass to a collector car auction to picking up the tab (well, at least as much of it as you can afford) to events such as the Bonneville Nationals in August, the Muscle Car & Corvette Nationals in November, the 25th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance next March in Florida, or Retromobile 2020 in Paris, followed by a tour of European car museums.

Bob Golfen, Andy Reid and Jim McCraw contributed to this report.

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. Thank you for including my book, the Roadster Guide to America’s Classic Car Museums. Now, about that $300,000 car . . .


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