8 ways to treat your car-loving dad this Father’s Day

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It’s payback time. Time to make up for all the stupid neckties, questionable cologne, and handmade IOUs you’ve given dear ol’ Dad on past Father’s Days. You know the ones—good for mowing the lawn or taking out the garbage … chores that were already on your jobs list anyway.

No, it’s time to step up and give your car-loving father something that he’ll truly appreciate: the gift of your time, your attention, and maybe even a little of your sweat. Are you listening, kids?

Clean the garage

Red Tool Cabinets and Machines in Brick Garage
Sandon Voelker

No, it’s not glamorous, but that’s what makes this task worthwhile. We all want to spend time on the fun projects, but a messy garage sabotages efficient progress. Help your dad focus on what he loves by taking the task off his plate. Make that eternally-delayed trip to the storage unit. Purge the herd of family bikes cluttering the wall beside his project car, or mount them on the wall out of panel-dinging danger. Clear a space for a new shelf or tool chest—just don’t mess up his carefully considered organizational system!

Photograph his car

Photographer Shoots White Classic Car In Vancouver
Sabrina Hyde

Even though we love to text or email a picture of our ride to our friends, or post a quick phone shot on social media, there’s no substitute for a frame-worthy photo shoot. Use these tips and do the shoot yourself, or hire a professional. Either way, print out some hard copies. You’ll capture your dad’s memories and allow him to share his automotive story that much better with friends and family.

Go on a road trip

Father and Son Driving Camaro Interior
Sabrina Hyde

A long drive is a much-needed tonic these days. A day spent away from the urgency of everyday life can be a gift all its own. If your dad loves off-roading, scope out a trail you can tackle together. If he prefers a laid-back cruise around a scenic downtown, do some searching on Google Maps. Or maybe the dad in your life is craving a solitary escape: take over kid duty or volunteer for weekend yard chores to let him hit the road obligation-free. Don’t overthink this one, either; the destination isn’t nearly as important as the execution.

Wrench with him

Father and Son Under Camaro Engine Bay
Gabe Augustine

Maybe there’s a grueling, all-weekend project he’s been putting off for lack of help. Help a fellow gearhead by tackling that intimidating project once and for all. Maybe your dad’s put off a junkyard trip for weekends to look for that one part—use the special occasion of Father’s Day to block off the time and help him cross something off the project car list. It doesn’t have to be a heroic effort, though; quality garage time could be as simple as grabbing a few beers and talking shop while changing the oil.

Detail his car

Detail Wiping Yellow Ferrari Door
Sabrina Hyde

Maybe your dad’s car is running just fine, but it’s not looking its absolute best. Some classic car owners know a professional detailer and are comfortable trusting their ride to them; others prefer to do the task themselves, either out of caution or because they genuinely enjoy the hands-on task. If your dad’s in the latter group, hop on your computer and splurge on a box of automotive detailing goodies.

Buy him something

vintage car books Hershey 2017
Kayla Keenan

Sometimes you just want to celebrate a holiday with a gift-wrappable object. In that case, and especially if you’re in need of a contact-free option, we’ve rounded up not one, but two lists of our staff’s favorite books. If your dad would prefer to tinker with a model than flip pages, however, check out these old-school cool wooden kits. For wearables and gearhead-friendly accessories, check out The Shop by Hagerty, where you’ll find a casual Barn Find Hunter hat, our classic Shift Happens tee, and this retro-themed garage poster.

Research his car

Hands Opening Motors Auto Repair Manual Book
Carol Gould

Aaron Robinson recently used his abundant time at home to research the history of his 1949 Buick Special—and he struck gold. The key to his success? A subscription to Newspapers.com, which allowed him to discover the original owner of his 71-year-old ride. If your dad owns an older classic, or relishes the research, $75 will unlock six-month access to nearly 17,000 newspapers from 1700s–2000s. It’s an all-you-can-eat buffet of automotive history, and even someone who wants to peruse the olden days of automotive culture, rather than comb through digital classifieds, will enjoy it.

Watch a movie together

Drive In Movie Theater Sunset
Gabe Augustine

Maybe you’ve already tuned some carburetors together, gone on a glorious road trip, and turned a few wrenches in the garage. Top off your Father’s Day with a movie, enjoyed from the comfort of your car. Whether you’re looking for the all-time greats or some obscure titles, digging through vintage flicks or browsing more recent Netflix hits, we’ve got you covered. (Want something truly awful? Got that too.)

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