Our Two Cents: Our wish list for Santa

’Round these parts of Hagerty Media, we make a lot of inside-baseball jokes about automotive journalists and their, ahem, behavioral quirks outside of what the reading public may see once reviews are published.

There was a time when perks from auto manufacturers were vulgar and excessive; it was like Christmas whenever a new model came out and OEMs sought “our” approval. Maybe that’s still true for some, but we still look forward to gifts from Santa because [insert OEM name here] doesn’t stuff a sleigh fulla holiday merriment on our behalves.

Which begs the question: What’s on our wish lists to Santa?

Winter tires

winter tire snow slush opel
Pixabay

Hagerty’s senior manager of content, Joe DeMatio, is both pragmatic and optimistic when he asks for “a set of Bridgestone Blizzaks for our 2015 Jeep Wrangler” and “a paint job for our 1977 Lancia Scorpion.” The tires were brought by Santa a bit early, so Joe just wants some snow: Then he’ll have ample reason to exercise the replacements for the “same tire that we used the past eight winters.”

What’s harder to fit in a chimney, mounting/balancing tire machines, or a full paint booth? Using either will wake up the kids from their slumber, but it never hurts to dream a little dream.

Finish my restoration

Red Porsche 912 London UK garage
Flickr/mangopulp2008

John Mayhead, the editor of Hagerty’s U.K. price guide, has a similar request for Santa. He wants to get his Porsche 912 roadworthy, post haste. As he said, “it’s been a five-year restoration and I just want to drive it.” We’re watching to see if you’ll come through with the goods for this one, Santa.

I’ve been very good, I promise

2023 Corvette Z06 front driving action
Canon

Senior editor Eddy Eckart is reaching for the stars with his list for Santa. Go big or go home, right?

  1. A Silver Flare Metallic Corvette C8 Z06. (Gee, I wonder why?)
  2. A respray for my Volvo 850’s hood and front bumper.
  3. Cabinets and tool storage for my work stall.
  4. Some sort of data-acquisition system for the kart and race car.

Unobtainum, please!

Terry's Jaguar Parts

Did our editor-at-large Aaron Robinson create a list that even Santa can’t wish into reality? You be the judge:

  1. A new gasket for any British car that doesn’t start leaking five minutes after it’s installed.
  2. A new old stock (NOS) Lamborghini Espada distributor cap and rotor.
  3. More time to work on cars.

A picture is worth a thousand words, right?

Canon

Cameron Neveu, our motorsports editor and photographer, gave us a simple yet plausible request that Santa could easily respect and honor. Well, until I saw how much one of these beasts will set him back, but that’s between Santa and Cam: His request is clearly coming from the right place.

Dear Santa,

I would like a Canon EOS-1D X Mark III camera body. The rig can shoot 16 frames-per-second with a decent file size. Perfect for photographing fast cars. While you’re at it, please fit the body with a 600mm f/4 lens. I want to take pictures of the moon.

Sincerely,
Cam

Spokes & Vogues (x4)

OfferUp

I, Sajeev Mehta, tend to live and die by whatever car parts I need at the time. Or by whatever NOS/junkyard bits may surface online at a particular moment. So I genuinely feel that Santa needn’t try to get me anything I really need, because I have everything the universe can possibly bestow.

Or not, because I’ve always wanted a set of Texan Wire Wheels with Vogue tires for occasional use on my neoclassic luxury machines—but only in the original 15-inch, short hub design replicating the original Cragar wire wheel of the early 1980s. I checked some online classifieds and I think Santa can easily “swang” a set of these for me at a reasonable price, with enough cash for quality billet aluminum hub-adapters to get them installed on my non-GM vehicles.

A modest racing proposal

Sometimes the line to see Santa at public spaces can be disturbingly long. Brevity is paramount when that happens, as this line isn’t getting any shorter! Our VP of Hagerty Media, Larry Webster, has one simple request: Crosskart.

(Regarding lines for Santa, consider a pro-tip from yours truly: If you live near a big city, forget the Mall Santas and instead seek a franchised car dealership with Santa as part of its weekend promotional plans. Get on the dealer’s e-mail distribution list and join the festivities, so you can enjoy that new-car smell instead of the hustle and bustle of shopping malls!)

Swayin’ in the sleigh

Elevate Cars, Inc

Executive editor Eric Weiner makes it easy for Santa, as he’s already chosen the perfect vehicle (Volvo V60 Polestar) for 99 percent of his needs. The only thing he wants to make it excel is an “aftermarket rear sway bar.” And just to speed things up for Santa, perhaps this is the one he needs to add to the online cart sleigh?

A pop-up surprise?

C5 Corvette Front Three-Quarter Winding Road Action
Josh Sweeney

Hagerty’s Special Projects Editor, Steven Cole Smith, made it easy for us. Not necessarily for Santa, because our esteemed editor wants his “80-year-old mother-in-law’s C5 Corvette” for Christmas Day. To make things more complicated, this is “unlikely to ever happen, as she’s healthier than I am.”

Listen up, Race Santa

Kyle Smith

Editor Kyle Smith has a short wish list for Santa. Truth be told, it’s 100 percent on-brand with Kyle’s passion and that will clearly curry favor with the esteemed Mister Claus.

  1. A check large enough to cover entry fees for three to four race weekends next year. (I’ll cover the travel cost if Santa can cover race fees.)
  2. A new set of ratchets: High quality, USA-made 1/4-, 3/8-, and 1/2-inch drive, please.
  3. A fire extinguisher: The non-dry chemical kind is more than I want to spend but I hate being scared to use my ABC bottle because I know it will cause corrosion if used … and I shouldn’t be scared to use my fire bottle!

Used-car nirvana?

Used Car Seller Carvana tower
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Bryan Gerould, our layout editor, comes in strong with one sentiment we’ve all shared when looking for another vehicle: asking Santa to “plummet the used car market.” Is that too cynical for the holidays? I think not: Even Santa knows that business is business.

A shocking request (x4)

Bilstein

Hagerty’s managing editor Stefan Lombard makes it easy with specific car parts. How could Santa say no to such a modest yet valuable request for an improved suspension?

Dear Santa, I’d love four new Bilstein 5200s, a new rear leaf-pack, and revolver shackles. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

Don’t get gritty

Econ Engineering

To all our readers in the salty parts of North America during the holidays, just remember that Hagerty UK also feels your pain. To wit, James Mills, our UK editor, asks Santa for a modest request for all motorheads living in Blighty: “a mild Christmas so the gritters don’t come out—and we can keep playing with our cars.”

Check out the Hagerty Media homepage so you don’t miss a single story, or better yet, bookmark it.

Leave comment
Read next Up next: I helped make the first Miata, and now I love its ancestor

Comments

    Save the money on the winter tires. A good set of all seasons of quality and get to a parking lot and practice driving in the snow and car control.

    If one can not drive a vehicle today in snow they should not be on the road.

    To be honest the systems on the cars today almost make it harder to drive in some cases as you have to fight the system to so some maneuvers

    I have had all seasons, I have had snows, and I have had studded snows. Saying that you don’t need snow tires in the snow is like saying you can hot lap a track without race tires, sure it can be done but the right tire makes a huge difference. I’m not going to sugar coat it, snow tires are awful on dry pavement, then again race rubber is really loud on the street as well, ask me how I know.

    That said I run all season tires and take my computer home and work from there when snow is forecast. I’m old, if they won’t let me work from home I take a vacation day.

    Years of experience driving in northern tier states and mountains in the winter have convinced me that the studless snow tires are the best for all-around driving. The only road surface that the studs are of minimal greater help on is water on ice. Otherwise, even the new plastic studs tear up pavement more than they should, and actually make grooves in the road that tend to ice up prematurely. Bridgestone and Michelin both make good studless snow tires. Highly recommend either. I keep them permanently mounted on a spare set of wheels, and my dealer changes them with the summer tires twice/year at no charge.

    Typical weak editing – this exact “magazine” ran a carvanna story just a day ago – albeit almost verbatim what is on wikipedia lol, you would think somebody would NOT put up the poster child company for fraud, deceit, and caproate greed vs. corporate governance, but maybe I simply ask too much

    Considering they are a contributing factor to the overvaluation of used cars since the pandemic–as witnessed that article by several commentators telling us that Carvana paid more than anyone else for their trade–it seems like a fair image to publish.

    Dear Santa

    For Christmas this year I would like most of the winning lottery numbers, I don’t need the top prize, just enough to build a garage with 5 storage bays and one work bay, a lift, a bathroom with uranyl, and a kitchenette. A loft with a guest room/bar would be a nice added touch but I don’t want to sound greedy.

    I have been good Santa, honest.

    I got hung up on “our behalves” as I hadn’t seen that before. According to the interwebs, it’s correct but rarely used anymore. Thanks for the expansion of the lexicon, Sajeev!

    And Stefan wants revolver shackles?? Pray tell, what for? If they’re the same ones I know of – those were a bad idea from day 1 and the ubiquitous exhibit A for bad products from the days when suspension articulation was all the rage in the early 00s.

    Something about a group of people and the word “behalves” just sounds better in my mind. Glad you noticed (and enjoyed?) it!

    As dotage looms, I’ve acquired a 2001 Roadtrek 200 Versatile Class B motor home with a 454 cid engine. Next year my wife and I plan to travel some and take in some car-related events that would otherwise be inconvenient and expensive to attend. I’m having the drivetrain gone through currently to minimize the change of getting stranded near West Left Overshoe Nebraska. I wouldn’t mind a set of Bilstein shock absorbers that come highly recommended by other owners as upgrades to the basic package.

    I’m asking Santa to help deliver all the parts that have been on backorder for over a year. Even parts for current production vehicles. (I’m talking about you, Dodge)

    Sand trucks that sprinkle it out on snow pack/icy roadways Some areas also add salt to the mix to make it even worse for our collector vehicles. Haven driven most of my working career as a semi truck driver all over the North American continent I’ve seen the joys of winter driving in about all the conditions you could imagine. I’m also a big fan of dedicated winter tires as there are times when that extra bit of traction can mean the difference between life or death. A lot of uninformed drivers think 4 wheel drive is all you need but it does no good at all for stopping and when there is a jack knifed fuel tanker across both lanes in front of you you want all the stopping power you can get. The latest non studded winter tires out there do a great job of providing that extra stopping ability and I highly recommend them if you want to keep you and your loved ones safe when driving in winter conditions.

    Having been in Chicago winters and having tried snow tires on the AWD Subaru versus the “exce;;ent” all-seasons I agree on the snow tires. The all-seasons the car was fine but on the snows it was literally unstoppable. ABS would kick in on the all-season tires but it enever did on the snow tires which meant it had better grip. It also meant I could go nuts on the unplowed side streets versus going 5mph on the plowed main streets.

    Good list.

    I’d hit Nick up for a brake/suspension package on my Challenger to turn the ‘Ring ahead of the local Porsche Youth for a change. Barring THAT miracle, CARB getting off its’ tailpipes and giving us Cali Hellcats legal Stage II performance upgrades.

    In my shop, I have 5 different brands of electric hand tools, with 5 chargers and batteries. I was surprised to not see a single tool recommended for Christmas. What about some responses talking about electric power tools (kits). Which brand is reliable and stays with the same battery style for a long time? What mechanic wouldn’t like that for Christmas?

    Dear Santa, I want an electric tool kit with three long-life batteries, a charger, impact driver, hammer drill, metal shear, drill/driver, circular saw, oscillating saw, jigsaw, precipitating saw, sander, and grinder.

    This year I’d like to see the Ford Maverick I ordered November 1, 2021 for Christmas last year . Maybe Christmas 2023.

    Sajeev, As to your wire wheel request. Cragar (I worked for them back when) was acquired by the Mr. Gasket Group our of Cleveland. Gasket also acquired out of the same building both Weld wheels and Tru-Spoke which was the go to wheel out here on the west coast. Tru-Spoke had the wire wheel market pegged for decades. There are a ton of variances on wires, like the “Tru-wire” or “radial lace” just to name a few

    Dear Santa,
    A Magnuson blower, long tubes and an aluminum driveshaft for my S197 Mustang. Or if you feel I’ve been particularly well behaved this past year, a 2013 GT500. Either is fine.

    Kyle, seriously? You dump a ton of coin in your race bikes and equipment but a couple hundred dollars for a Halotron fire extinguisher is too much? I’m reminded of an old Middle Eastern saying: “strain out all the gnats and swallow all the camels.”

    Considering I already have an ABC in the shop, yes it is hard to swallow spending another $400 for something I already have. “A tone of coin” is relative also. I’ve only spent a couple hundred bucks on upkeep for each bike this season and that includes tires for the SV650. It might not appear budget from the outside, but my racing effort is very much grounded in reality of what a person can do with a regular paycheck and normal person responsibilities.

    My primary Christmas present arrived home in late August. My collision damaged ’99 Jeep TJ was finally repaired to better than before condition. I’m still driving it ,past it’s usual winter storage time, thanks to virtually no salt so far .
    I also agree that snow-specific winter tires are a must . The softer tread compounds grip much better on icy roads.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *