RK Nation: Your Best Automotive Gifts, Given and Received

Earlier this week, we asked Roadkill Nation what your favorite automotive gifts have been. That could have been anything received or given and really for any occasion. We figure this might help serve as a holiday gift-giving guide for RK Nation members and their family members, right? We got a pretty great swath of answers, so read on!


We’re a Bit Jealous

“The restoration of Dad’s ’66 (foreground) was an accumulation of Christmas, birthday and father’s day gifts of parts and tools from his wife and three sons. Now that it’s done, we really have no idea what to get him.” – Jeremy J Cady (Top photo)

A Two-Step? Your Mom Rules!

“My mom got me a 2-step for my Trailblazer SS 3 years ago and door panels for my Falcon last year. I do have to basically pick it out and order it, but she pays for it and is happy that I am happy. She has got me tons of VW knick-knacks over the years which has been great.” – PJ Nadeau [Author’s Note: Go read PJ’s writing on HotRod.com]

Timing Chain! Get It?

“Made my father in law a clock from a timing chain set, must have liked it since its hanging in his shop.” – Dave Kolarik


When Your Spouse is the Best Gift

“30th birthday present from my awesome wife. She’s pretty good at car stuff for birthday and Christmas. It took a few years for her to get on board, but she bought my old toolbox as well and once she realized that was the most used and appreciated present she had ever bought me, then life has never been better since. Most of my big item tools have been presents from my wife and a great deal of the smaller things have been filler gifts. She has even been known to buy me panels and parts.” – Alex Kee (above)

Stand-Up Gift

A stubby Bob shirt!!” – Alex Watson

The Gift of Horsepower

“High school, about 14/15 years old. All I wanted was an engine from the junkyard. Well, Christmas morning, a note in a box said there was something in the backyard and a $100 to spend it on. I freaked and ran back to the lawnmower junk and found a crusty 302 Ford laying there out of a Maverick or Granada. Couldn’t have been happier!!!! Thanks Dad!” – Jeff Diehl


Consistency is Key

“Its a standing joke with my mam at Christmas time. What do i want this year, car parts again? Most of my Beetle is Christmas gifts from my mam, wife, and daughters.” – Jimbob King (above)

That One’s a Keeper

“A rebuild kit for a Small Block from my at-the-time-new girlfriend. Great gift. The Chevy motor is gone, but there is no way I was going to let that now-wife get away.” – Joshua Campeau

Awesome Son Moment

“Gave my mom a brand new pickup for my 18th birthday. Yes you read that right.” – Art Eastridge

That Pair of Cars? Whoa, Dude.

“Probably the Stage 2 suspension package from Firm Feel for my ‘78 Aspen Super Coupe. Hoping to get StopTech pads/rotors/stainless lines for my M3 this year!” – Ross Hudspeth


The Little Things…

“I know this is small/insignificant but this was a Meguiar’s detail kit from Christmas 1996, the year I turned 16. It was from my body shop-employed cousin who knew I was going to be washing my car a lot as a teenager. Little did he know that I would log hundreds of hours sitting on this stool working on my numerous cars/motorcycles over the next 20+ years of traveling with the active-duty military. It is a simple and cherished tool. It has been literally carried with me to combat on my aircraft and used in my hooches as well as my own garage. Thank you Barry Meguiar and Cousin John!” – Dan Spencer (above)

Good Tunes

“My Alpine Deck that has now been in 3 cars. Does everything including navigation and with the Amp setup and speakers I bought to go with, it sounds amazing. No need even for a sub if the EQ is set properly.” – Alex Cameron

Those Are Neat!

“A USB chargeable jump box for my car that’s the size of my phone. It’s freaking awesome; it will jump a dead battery 4 times before needing a recharge and fits in the glove box. Every time I pull it out to help someone, they look at me like ‘Yeah right, that’ll never work.’ I love it!” – Justin Harper


All the Belts

“Buddy of mine gave me a belt like this as a birthday present. It actually unfastens like a seat belt! Next up is probably my dirty old ‘Mopar Xpress Lube’ ball cap. It was more like free swag. I got it my first day working as a summer intern for Chrysler. Dad’s probably getting a serpentine belt for Christmas (and knowing my luck, he’ll want me to travel 700 miles or so and change it for him too lol.)” – Ian DeGraff

Chick Vaccine?

“The Xmas before my 16th birthday, my dad gave me the family second car, a 1959 Rambler Cross Country wagon, with the proviso that I would be responsible for all maintenance and repairs. He had no idea what he had just set in motion. It was slow and pure chick vaccine, but I sure do miss it now.” – Ian Shiels

Not-So-Subtle Hint

“John Jordan once bought me wheels for our vintage Mercedes as a Mother’s Day gift. And he got me a classy older BMW (a 740i Sport) for our 20th anniversary. But I’ve never gotten an automotive-related Christmas gift! Hmmm. Time to make a list…” – Jenny Jordan


We See the Sticker!

“Christmas gift from the parents back when I was in high school around 15 years ago. The old box served me well for at least 14 years. It held tools and parts for multiple engine swaps, trans swaps, 25 or so cars, around 10 different motorcycles, its been punched on occasion, had tools thrown at it…the list goes on. Now since I bought a bigger Matco 4s box, the trusty old Craftsman box serves as storage for music instrument accessories. Bonus internet points if you can find the Roadkill sticker! Oh and that’s a two-way tie, girlfriend got me a Rotsun shirt last year, so yeah, damn good gifts!” – Cody Umpleby (above)

Lasting Gift

“My first real tool set when I was 7 years old. It was a craftsman 50-piece ¼- and ⅜-drive set. Now I’m a professional technician and most of the sockets in that set are still in use today.” – Kelsey Watters

It’s a Proven Tactic

“My friend’s wife got him a parts washer for his birthday, a really nice one. But honestly, I think she was just tired of him cleaning parts in the kitchen sink.” – Chris Liebe

That’s Some Giving Spirit

“Four brand new tires. When I went home on leave, I hit a debris spill from a contractor’s truck and blew my tires. Instead of dealing with insurance, they just opted to replace them.” – Jolani McCanless


Nice Poncho!

“My dad bought me a Bridgestone emergency kit a couple years ago that’s saved my bacon a few times between jumper cables and a portable air compressor… And my brother just bought me some BMR sway bars for my Pontiac… Unfortunately, it’s in the body shop right now and I haven’t been able to install them.” – Zachary Moore (above)

‘Merry Christmas, Stop Driving Our Car Now.’

“My parents once got me an AutoZone clutch kit for my ‘89 Civic so I’d quit using their cars after I blew the original. This would’ve been 2006ish.” – Indiana Jabrones [Editor’s note: Great Facebook name!]

(Saloon = Sedan in English-English)

“My first car, I loved that Civic. It was an Euro 5-door saloon hatch long enough to camp in, could haul so much crap, and took abuse like nothing else.” – Mark Baillie


But You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out!

“I think this [go-kart] qualifies. It and my Red Ryder BB gun, the greatest Christmas present I ever got. My wife got me springs and swaybars for my car for my birthday. That’s a close second.” – Matthew H. Terry (above)

Bumped Up

“My father went out to Victoria and Vancouver BC to visit his father and went to a junkyard and found me some decent bumpers for my ‘72 Cutlass and shipped them back. That was a nice surprise.” – Carl Darlington

Snake Is Awesome Like That

“My old man got me a couple of car magazines from the ‘70s. One had an article about Don Prudhomme in it. He had an afro and was standing next to his U.S. Army car.” – Andrew Campbell


Oh, We Like That!

“Literally 1 of the 2 best muscle cars to come out of 1970: my Skylark Custom with a 455 bored out to a 461 with a Muncie M21.” – Alexander L Rodriguez (above)

A Good Beginning

“My 16th birthday, my mom bought me a Craftsman automotive tool set. I have since bought 2 more and I work in a machine shop 10 years later.” – Erik Pryor


“Exhaust pipe and muffler for my car. Got it from my Dad for my 18th Birthday that year because the old one had a hole it.” – Michael Peters


Can He Be Our Brother, Too?

“In 1978 on my 22nd birthday, my older brother gave me a ‘68 Firebird 400 convertible along with a warmed over 455 cid TH400.” – Roger Hershberger (above)

That Sounds Like a Good Story…

“1973 Beetle and a gallon of bondo. It died a horrible death a few months later.” – Jody Asher

Spruce Up the Garage

“My dad found me a bunch of old stock car and road race trophies from about 1958-1965. Those look awesome in my garage.” – Neil Adam Stringfellow


OG Mopar Muscle Truck

“My ‘51 dodge from my dad! Flathead six, 3 on the tree.” – Mike Reed (above)

FiTech? Your Wife Is Awesome.

“FITech 2×4 for my tunnel rammed 383 and a TCI trans package. I love my wife.” – Jeffrey Montclair

No, We Keep Those For Your Entertainment

“Well I am hoping #roadkill sends me a blower 144 or 6-71 for my ‘76 Nova.” – David John

Well, At Least You Had a Car

“My first car was a birthday gift. 1986 Plymouth Caravelle.” – Nathan Paul


Classy Gift!

“Got tickets to Pebble [Beach] one year, what a trip! Mother knows me well, she enjoyed it just as much as me!” – Ben Mossing (above)

Jeep Things We Understand

“Christmas 2000, got a 2.5” skyjacker lift kit to replace the stock springs with shackles lift I had on my CJ-7.” – Tripp Watts

At least You Still Have One of Them?

“I got an engine stand from an ex-girlfriend once. Was absolutely the perfect gift at the perfect time. Still got the stand.” – Zach Coldwill


[Sheds Tear] It’s Beautiful!

“A ’70 Nova on my 18th Birthday.” – Brandon Reed (above)

But What Have You Kept For Yourself?

“I gave a perfectly running Honda Prelude and also gave a perfectly running 1993 Lincoln Mark VIII.” – Zack Tilley

Four-Letter Gift

“I gave a friend’s son a ‘64 C10 [short-bed, step-side] that kept pissing me off. Not sure if it was the best gift for him or for me to stop cussing it.” – Matt Conger

Good and Good. Checks Out.

“Received: a set of new Cragar S/S wheels. Given: 1958 Chevy Biscayne project.” – Ted Boland


Delightfully Terrible, Indeed

“Wife got my current rust bucket / project for me last Christmas: a delightfully terrible 1966 GMC.” – Ian Barfield (above)


“My ‘70 Chevelle for my 28th Birthday. Then parts for the next few years (13) to put it together. Then the first drive this year.” – Michael Bartley

More Power Gifts

“Bought to get a set of aluminum heads for my Nova for Christmas. That’s about the only automotive gift I’ve ever gotten so.” – Vince Shinaver


That’s a Good Dream

“Had the chance to give my dad one of his dream cars: an all-original ‘65 Ford Galaxie.” – Ryan Williams (above)

JY Special: Best Aftermarket Edition Ever

“My 1970 junkyard special Mustang and a spot in the garage to build it.” – Joshua Gudenkauf

That’s Our Favorite, Too.

“Best gift I got: having my dad show me how to rebuild engines. Best given: showing and helping my son with his.” – Jay Tripp


Mom Likes Burnouts, We Hope

“I got a 1987 Pontiac Trans Am GTA from my mom.” – Trust Peters (above)

The Gift That Keeps On Giving (Until You Lose All of Them Again)

“10mm sockets.” – Ed Fuller

Great Book!

“Tom Cotter’s ‘Hemi in the Barn’ book.” -Phil Williams

A Classic

“Gas money.” – James D Youngs


We Agree!

“Best Christmas Day ever.” – Neale Clark (above)


That pretty much wraps it up for RK Nation, but feel free to add some more suggestions to this post. We’ll have a new RK Asks question for you next week, so get holiday shopping and check back in a few days for another a new inquiry.

Roadkill Fall 2016 Cover