BBC Autos

The Roundabout Blog

Gift inspiration for petrolheads

  • Dream Car Test Drive, by Gotham Dream Cars

    US-based Gotham Dream Cars gives enthusiasts a chance to sample – via a spirited 10-mile test drive – an exotic ride from the company’s considerable stable of supercars, including the delicious Ferrari 458 Spider pictured here. The $199 test drive is available at Gotham locations in New York, Los Angeles and Miami. For the more committed, the company offers the $895 Dream Car Tour, a half-day fix of six extraordinary rides. (Photo: Gotham Dream Cars)

  • Solo, a 007 novel by William Boyd

    If its swinging sixties setting and strong critical reception are not sufficient to prompt a read of the latest James Bond adventure, 007’s surprising choice of car – the rakish and rare Jensen FF – should be. (Photo: Harper Collins)

  • Anki Drive, a racing game

    The new Anki Drive game puts a player in control – via an iOS app – of a diminutive robotic car. Using a camera on its underbelly, the car follows a racetrack imprinted on a smooth, roll-out mat that measures 8.5ft by 3.5ft. Despite similarities to slot-car sets of yore, Anki Drive offers a much deeper racing experience. Competing on this track is more than a simple exercise in throttle-mashing. The cars pack a degree of artificial intelligence, learning a driver’s control style and applying it to maximum benefit on the track, and they are programmed to employ aggressive maneuvers —or even activate virtual weapons – to take out rivals along the way. Try that with your old Scalextric set. In the US, $200 buys the track mat and two cars; additional cars are $70 apiece. (Photo: Anki)

  • The Morgan Driving Jacket, by Timothy Everest

    Britain’s Morgan Motor Company has enlisted the talented tailor Timothy Everest to create a driving jacket worthy of its neoclassic 3 Wheeler. Available in navy cotton or sage green stretch cord, the Morgan Driving Jacket features hand-turned aluminium cuff buttons that open to accommodate a chunky wristwatch and brightly coloured under-collar trim that encourage a saucy flip-up on chilly mornings. Priced at £450 (about $740), the jacket is available in right- or left-hand drive versions, with an extended elbow patch on the inboard side, making gear-shifting a breeze. (Photo: Morgan Motor)

  • Bentley backgammon set, by Geoffrey Parker

    From elite British game-maker Geoffrey Parker, the magnificent Bentley Motors backgammon set is pretty enough to make Omar Sharif weak in the knees. The set features a hand-bound leather casing, nickel locks and knurled checkers adorned with softly embossed Bentley wings. It commands an aristocratic £2,950 (about $4,800) and comes in beluga black or hotspur red (pictured here) – although, naturally, a buyer can specific a bespoke colour scheme to match his or her beloved Bentley. (Photo: Bentley Motors)

  • FAB1 Ghost day hire, by Rolls-Royce

    There is nothing quite like a pastel-pink Rolls-Royce to turn a commoner into a queen – for a day, at least. As part of a plan, spearheaded by BBC Radio 2 host Chris Evans, to raise £1m the British advocacy group Breast Cancer Care, charitable extroverts can spend a day in the plush back seat of this bespoke Ghost Extended Wheelbase – whose color and FAB1 number plate recall Lady Penelope’s six-wheeled Rolls-Royce from the old sci-fi TV show, ‘Thunderbirds’. Bookable online, day hires of the rosy Roller, which include the services of a chauffeur, start at £2,400. (Photo: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars)