VWvortex 2005 Holiday Gift Guide

It’s a yearly dilema. How do you shop for that hard-to-buy-for car enthusiast? VWvortex editors have a few items we’ve discovered in our vast travels. There’s a little something for every budget, and no matter what you choose, you can’t go wrong putting any of these gifts under the tree.

NINCO GTI Cup Slotcar Set- You can forget all about the Tyco slot cars you grew up with. NINCO’s 1:32 scale slot cars have far more detail and offer way more interesting track configurations. The GTI Cup set is the company’s starter setup. It includes 2 Mk IV GTI racers and 12 feet of track. The standard oval track can be expanded with additional track sections. And not just straights and curves; NINCO offers chicanes that bring the two slots closer together and changeover curves to keep the racing real. If that’s not enough excitement, throw in a couple of ultra-slick snow curves.

Other accessories for the NINCO slot car sets include bridges, crash barriers, safety walls, electronic lapcounter and multi-program controllers. NINCO’s line of cars is extensive, with everything from open-wheel formula cars, vintage racers, and touring cars to rally cars and off-road trucks. The track is also compatible with Scalectrix racers.

The GTI Cup Set sells for $139.98. For more information visit www.modelrectifier.com

Piloti Shoes- The term automotive lifestyle is practically worn out these days. But if you’re looking for a subtle way to clue folks in to the fact that your automotive passion runs deep, one of the coolest “lifetyle” accessories is a pair of driving shoes from Piloti.

Since 1999 Piloti has produced the coolest line of driving shoes that can also be worn daily. The lineup now includes several collections, but their low-top models make the perfect shoes for a long road trip, a weekend autocross, or justa day in the office. One of the newest models is the G16. Like all Piloti shoes, the G16 features the patented Roll Control heel to make heel-and-toe footwork a snap.

The Piloti G16 is available in a handful of color combinations for $80 per pair. For more information visit www.piloti.com

Seasonal Tire Totes- Are you tired of storing your off-season wheels and tires in garbage bags? Or worse yet, messing up your interior hauling dirty wheels home from the tire shop?

The folks at Kurgo understand, that’s why they created the Seasonal Tire Tote. Made of heavy-weight polyester, these totes not only protect your interior, they make moving your wheels and tires much easier too, thanks to their built in nylon straps. To prevent damage to precious alloys, Kurgo also makes Wheel Felts to cover the wheels while in storage. One size fits all passenger car tire sizes, and they are machine washable.

Whether you swap wheels out seasonally or simply carry your competition tires with you to the track, enthusiasts will find the Seasonal Tire Tote the ideal solution to this annoying problem. Kurgo also produces the Tire Garage, an eclosed “tent” for your wheels and tires designed to withstand the rigors of outdoor storage.

Seasonal Tire Totes sell for $22.00 for a pair of storage bags. Wheel Felts sell for $18.00 per pair. For more information visit www.kurgo.com

XtremeX3 Data & Video Acquisition System- Looking to take your track-day experience to the next level? Just imagine if you were able to record your laps and analyze them. XTREMEX3 allows you to just that, recording video and vehicle data simultaneously for later playback on TV or PC.

The XTREMEX3 system is a light-weight, easy to use, on-vehicle multimedia data acquisition system that records, stores and plays back synchronized four-camera digital broadcast quality video, two-channel digital audio, and vehicle and on-board sensor data, including MPH, RPM, lateral Gs, brake, throttle, steering and track-position mapping.

For more information visit www.extremex3.com

Scosche Bluetooth Streaming Kits- The two hottest buzzwords in the electronics industry are “iPod” and “Bluetooth”. Many BMW enthusiasts own iPods and are constantly seeking out the best way to network Apple’s musical wonderbox with their car. Thanks to Scosche Industries you can now stream content from your iPod or other MP3 device to most car stereos via Bluetooth.

The company has several fitment kits packaged for a range of OEM car applications with harnesses that work with the factory head unit. They also have a generic kit that can probably be retrofitted to work with most factory and aftermarket stereos set up with an auxiliary input, such as one for a CD changer.

The kit’s receiver is installed to a factory head unit much like a CD changer might be. Once installed an iPod connected to Scosche’s Bluetooth transmission attachment can stream audio to the car from up to 30 feet away.

Kit prices vary by application. For more information visit www.scosche.com

Sparco Racing Cockpit Pro- As driving games become more advanced, so do the game controllers and products housing them. The Cockpit Pro combines a genuine Sparco® Racing Seat with the Steering Pod, which houses the Logitech Driving Force Pro steering wheel and gas/brake pedals (sold separately), for the most realistic experience possible while playing Gran Turismo on Playstation.

The steering wheel mounting table is positioned at a 10-degree slant enabling the Logitech Driving Force Pro steering wheel to be mounted and secured at an optimal incline of 75 degrees for a realistic, race vehicle stance. The steering wheel mounting table can also be adjusted to create 3 additional positions (forward and backwards).

The Cockpit Pro can be ordered with either the Sparco Racing Sprint seat, or the Sparco Racing Siena seat for larger bodies. The frame can also be ordered without a seat if you wish to fit your own.

Prices start at $329.00 for the frame only, or $549 with the Sprint seat. For more information visit www.gtcockpit.com

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