Ford’s Top Ten Gift Ideas for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is coming up fast, have you thought of a nice gift for dad already? Sure helping him fix his car would be nice, but how about giving him something new?

If your dad is a Ford fan, he’ll love what Ford has in store for him for his special day. Of course it will be you who’ll actually go out of your way to get him one of these items, but Father’s Day comes just once a year so why not make it special? Your dad certainly deserves the treat.

Below are ten dad-friendly suggestions from The Ford Collection (www.fordcollection.com):

Keep Him Safe: Show dad you care by buying him a Ford Emergency Roadside Bag. The $75 Ford-branded carrying case holds a flashlight, jumper cables, mini air compressor, emergency tire inflator, two bungee cords, pliers, screwdrivers, shop towels, gloves, a rain poncho and a 38-piece first aid kit. There’s even a roll of duct tape. (And dad knows full well duct tape is the solution to any problem, automotive or otherwise.)

Let Him Rock: He sent you to school, so help him enter the school of rock with a new Ford guitar. This Fender® Sonoran acoustic model delivers classic unplugged sound with a stylish blue-burst finish and Ford script. The six string costs $350 and features a solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides, Venetian cutaway, and Stratocaster headstock. Rock on, dad.

Decorate His Den: A treasure trove of poster-ready images chronicling Ford’s history can be found online at Ford ArteHouse through The Ford Collection. From racing heroes to concept cars, Mustangs to Thunderbirds, it’s all there. Prices start at $17.99 and framing is available. Photos of the new Ford Shelby GT500KR are hard to ignore. The car goes on sale next year, but posters are available today.

Empower Him: What dad really needs to get his engine running this Father’s Day is a new engine. Specifically, a 514 cubic-inch, 625-horsepower Ford Racing Performance crate engine. For $8,100, this V-8 monster will show up on his doorstep. Some assembly and installation is required, so make sure you visit http://www.fordracingparts.com before you buy.

Help Him Be On Time: A wristwatch is a safe bet for gifting. The new, Cobra Leather Strap Watch is a favorite among the many distinctive watches available through The Ford Collection. Priced at $85, the stylishmen’s timepiece features a genuine leather strap and Cobra logo. It is delivered in a stainless steel case and includes luminous hands, date function, and is water resistance up to 100 feet.

Make Him Feel Like a Kid Again: Truthfully, he won’t fit. But even so, dad can appreciate the timeless appeal of a great pedal car. This year, consider a classic ’32 Ford. With prices starting at $249, there are six pedal-car models, including a flame-painted hot rod. The official 75th Anniversary ’32 Ford Roadster is a great choice and benefits a good cause. For each anniversary model sold, pedal-car maker Warehouse 36 will donate $10 to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund.

Make Him Feel Like a Kid Again, Version 2.0: Dozens of die-cast models are available through The Ford Collection, spanning the entire history of Ford Motor Company. Models include a 1913 Ford Model T, a classic Ford F1 pickup, and even a 2006 Ford Fusion. Limited edition is the way to go when your inheritance is on the line, so consider Franklin Mint’s Ford Shelby GT500 die-cast. Only 5,000 will be produced, making it even more rare than the real thing. And prices start at $120, well below the production version.

Fix His Drive: New to The Ford Collection this year is a custom Nike-brand driver with the Ford Blue Oval logo on the grip, an ideal gift for dads that duff. The large head driver delivers high resistance to twisting and the thin-titanium face provides great forgiveness. It slides neatly into any golf bag for just $239.

Beat Him in Pool: Dad loves his rec room and will love it even more with a new pool table handcrafted by Olhausen®, America’s premier manufacturer of professional-quality pool tables. The made-to-order tables are crafted in traditional wood styling of matte mahogany or distressed matte cherry. Each table features unique brass Ford Ovals embedded in the side rails and Ford Script custom carved into the table frame. Mustang-themed tables are offered as well. Prices start at $3,700.

Keep Him Warm: The Ford Collection offers a coat closet full of jackets and fleeces, but your dad is probably Built Ford Tough and should dress the part. Priced at $95, the Built Ford Tough Cheyenne Dri Duck® Jacket is a classic quarry-washed canvas work coat that provides maximum warmth and durability. The hooded jacket will stand up to what dad dishes out, thanks to triple knit stitching, a heavy duty metal zipper, and rib knit cuffs.

The Ford Collection was launched in 1997 and now includes more than 750 unique Ford, Lincoln and Mercury branded items. In all, Ford Motor Company manages one of the largest licensing operations in the world, with more than 300 unique licensees.

Jeep – The Name That Evokes Memories

Although Jeep is one of America’s biggest automotive brand names and home to its largest market there can be few people around the rest of world who don’t know the name which is associated with off-roading. In fact I could go as far as saying that Jeep is as synonymous as Hoover is to vacuuming or Xerox to photocopying if I may be so bold.

Jeep’s history goes back some sixty years which is longer than its only real contender the British Land Rover coming in a close second for longevity. Most people are aware of the fact that the Jeep was born out of the requirement by the American military to produce a “go anywhere” light-weight reconnaissance vehicle. The need to produce something quickly was great as the war in Europe was already under way. The role of the Jeep during the Second World War cannot be overstated and in fact General Dwight D.Eisenhower himself cited the Jeep as being one of the most important tools at the US army’s disposal and was a major contribution to the allied victory.

It is a fact of life that many every day things that we now take for granted were originally developed for military use including such things as satellite navigation without which where would we be? Who knows how to navigate with a map and compass these days!

My parents have recently moved to a smaller house and regrettably have realised that a lot of the junk that was residing in their loft actually belongs to me. Quite cleverly under the guise of a luncheon invitation I was invited around for one of my Mother’s delicious Sunday roast dinners only to be confronted with a large pile of my old belongings to sort through. Most of the stuff I had long since forgotten about and I was beginning to get bored looking at loads of naff 80’s and 90’s items (with the possible exception of a Baywatch calendar, well I was a big fan of the Hoff!) Suddenly though I found a box of toy cars from my childhood days. This was more like it, there was a treasure trove of model cars from the past including a De Tomaso Pantera and a Ferrari 512 BB. Then all of a sudden there it was! My old military Jeep, looking slightly battered with the spare wheel missing, for which I blame my sister in committing an act of retribution for me once beheading one of her Barbie dolls.

It was amazing though sitting there with all those childhood memories coming back to me as I looked at my old Jeep. I hadn’t seen it for nearly thirty years but as I held this old bit of greyish metal in my hand it was as if it was only yesterday I was winning the war in Europe (in the back garden of my parent’s house of course).

Many years later I had an experience with a Jeep that I would rather forget. I was camping with some friends and we were all slightly the worse for wear the next morning after a long night of making merry, when someone thought it would be highly amusing to start up their V8 Jeep right next to the tent where I was sleeping off a hangover. The result was somewhat deafening as the flimsy bit of canvas did little to insulate the roar of this thing which was effectively about an inch away from my head. I must admit I found it far from amusing and after this rude awakening emerged from my tent uttering a few choice words. It succeeded in making everyone else laugh and to this day “The Jeep Story” evokes thoughts of happy days.

Midwest Auto Museums

The Midwest is replete with terrific automobile museums. Whether you get excited viewing vintage racecars or your tastes run more towards a restored Ram diesel truck tricked out with universal aftermarket air suspension parts and kits, there is something for everybody. Here is a short list of the best Midwest auto museums:

· Auto World Car Museum & Kingdom Expo (Fulton, MO) – Bill and Marge Backer collected and restored 70 cars over 40 years ago. Go here to see them.

· Doc’s Museum (Jamesport, MO) – a collection of old tractors and classic cars.

· Memoryville U.S.A. Autos of Yesteryear (Rolla, MO) – a museum that contains a restoration shop and antique cars.

· Highbanks Hall of Fame National Midget Auto Racing Museum (Belleville, KS) – if you are into midget car racing, then this is your shrine of choice.

· Walter P. Chrysler Boyhood Home and Museum (Ellis, KS) – from modest beginnings rose this titan of the automotive industry. Mr. Chrysler lived in the one-story home from 1878 to 1900.

· Ellingson Car Museum (Rogers, MN) – Over 100 trucks, motorcycles and cars dating back to the 1920s. Includes “muscle cars” from midcentury.

· National Sprint Car Hall of Fame (Knoxville, IA) – see over 30 restored vehicles, including sprint and midget cars.

· Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum (Auburn, IN) – an Art Deco factory housing over 100 vehicles.

· National Automotive and Truck Museum of the U.S. (Auburn, IN) – mostly post World War II vehicles but some older antiques as well.

· The Recreational Vehicle and Motor Home Hall of Fame (Elkhart, IN) – A place to honor heroes of the recreational vehicle and motor home industries.

· Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum (Indianapolis, IN) – located at the racetrack, the museum is home to a treasure trove of antique and famous race cars.

· Elwood Haynes Museum (Kokomo, IN) – a tribute to the first builder of a commercial automobile.

· City of Firsts Automotive Heritage Museum (Kokomo, IN) – 100 classic and antique vehicles show off the city’s rich automotive history.

· Studebaker National Museum (South Bend, IN) – a wonderful collection of cars sporting the late and much-missed badge.

· Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago, IL) – the rise of transportation, including over 30 vintage cars.

· Hartung’s Automotive Museum (Glenview, IL) – over 100 trucks, cars, motorcycles and tractors, many in original condition.

· Wheel O’Time Museum (Peoria, IL) – a place to see all kinds of antiques, including cars.

· Volo Antique Auto Museum (Volo, IL) – a very large collection (over 300 vehicle) including a Batmobile and a car from the Ghostbusters movie.