#parent | #kids | 5 Gifts that the petrolhead in every dad will appreciate in 2021

JOHANNESBURG – Father’s Day is right around the corner and if you’re looking forward to being treated to more than just a pair of funky fashion socks (which is still one of the coolest gifts in my opinion), you might want to share this article with your significant other (or kids, if they’re adults now).

I’ve rounded up the top five things (in no particular order of preference) that I would love to receive as a Father’s Day gift in 2021 below, which caters to my needs as a petrolhead dad:

5) New sound bar

If you’re spending lots of time at home watching television or streaming your favourite movies and sports like I am, you’ll appreciate a decent sound bar. I watch lots of YouTube content as well as the Formula One on race weekends and a decent sound bar would go a long way in amping up the enjoyment. (I use a tiny budget-friendly set up at the moment).

I’ve discovered, however, the Denon Home Sound Bar 550, which offers Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Alexa, and HEOS built-in to create 3D cinema experiences in any room. You can use it in the garage or in your study/home office to create a powerful sound experience to go with your TV or monitor thanks to eArc connectivity too.

Denon Home Sound Bar 550

Using six audio drivers for thumping sound, you can stream high-resolution music from your favourite music services or local music libraries directly to the sound bar using the built-in HEOS functionality. HEOS app will enable you to wirelessly pair additional Denon sound bars with each other in various rooms in your house so that you can choose where to send the audio regardless of what device you’re using to stream content.

The sound bar is also compatible with Apple AirPlay 2 to easily stream from Apple devices and it’s the first Denon sound bar to include on-board software drivers for Control4, Crestron, URC, Elan, and more if you run a smart home setup.

4) New digital camera

I’d love to wake up on Father’s Day to a brand new Arri Alexa Mini or Sony A7S III, but let’s be honest cinema and full frame cameras are so expensive and so challenging to work with if you’re more of a point and shoot type person, which I am.

One of the best cameras you can actually wish for is the DJI Osmo Action. It works as a stills camera as well as a 4K video camera and thanks to built in WI-FI, you can pair it with you mobile device which then serves as your monitor to ensure you’ve framed the shot perfectly.

DJI Osmo Action

You can mount the DJI Osmo Action on your windscreen with the right attachments and use it as a dashcam, or you can point it at yourself and start that YouTube channel that you’ve been threatening to start for a few years. The camera features something called Rocksteady stabilisation, which smooths out your footage meaning you can actually use the camera in very bumpy or turbulent situations and still maintain smooth video. Ideal for action sports, track days, heck, you can even take it on your next skydive to capture the magic in UHD resolution.

The nicest thing about the Osmo Action from DJI is that it’s priced attractively and you can actually find refurbished units from the manufacturer itself. Most GoPro accessories will work (cages usually don’t, but the mounts do) and you can use DJI Mimo to directly import your clips to your smartphone or iPad to upload or edit on the go.

3) New driving shoes

I usually spend three to fours hours in the driver’s seat every day, test driving vehicles, and I go through driving shoes like you would not believe. If you spend lots of time on the road, you know what I mean. I used to just chuck on whatever pair of boots I could find, closest to the door, and hit the road, but in recent years I’ve really focused on being comfortable in the driver’s seat.

This is why I think a pair of 2021 Puma BMW Motorsport X-Ray sneakers might go down well with me. These shoes have been designed to be as light as possible, with a snug fit and minimum slip. It’s the ideal sort of design if you drive in a sporty manner and would like to have the confidence of being able to step on the accelerator or brake pedals without having your foot slip off it.

The X-Ray is painted in BMW M colourway pattern (I love that Texaco red detail), which is great if you support the team in Formula E, but if you’re not a fan of Bayerische Motoren Werke there are colourways available.

Driving shoes, particularly bespoke ones, can become expensive, so the Puma X-Ray works well in bridging the gap between price and capability. Unfortunately, the X-Ray can only be found in a limited amount of retail outlets, or your loved ones might be able to find them online, as they are a limited edition. Start dropping hints now if you want to ensure they arrive in time for Father’s Day or that next trip to Red Star Raceway or Dezzi Raceway.

2) New test equipment

If you, like me, tend to appreciate knowing the performance capabilities of your car you would naturally love a Racelogic Video V Box for Father’s Day. Unfortunately, the high-tech satellite-based performance box has crept up in price over the years, so, arguably, it’s not as affordable as it used to be.

A V Box Sport could do the trick, if you prefer Racelogic, however, a good alternative is the Dragy, a compact GPS-based speed and timing measurement tool that pairs with your IOS or Android smartphone. You pair the Dragy signal unit to your device, mount the Dragy unit to a secure position in your vehicle (some place that still allows good reception from the satellites, but snug), activate the Dragy app on your phone and away you go.

Dragy GPS unit

If you mount your phone to the windscreen using a suction cup, you can also use the Dragy app to record video of your performance runs and you can share these results on the Dragy peer-to-peer network or on social media.

Some professional testers will argue that the Dragy doesn’t give you the kind of accuracy that a V Box would, but I’ve watched numerous tests of the equipment on YouTube, as well as DragTimes review of it, as well as played with one myself and the numbers are so close they may as well make no difference if you aren’t doing official performance testing of vehicles.

1) New reading material

It seems to be a mainstream way of thinking now that if something is available in a digital format on the Internet, it should be free to read, watch, stream or interact with. However, good content is worth paying for even if it does appear on the Internet and I’ve recently discovered a Formula 1 newsletter that’s compiled by former TV Host and F1 guru Hendrik Verwoerd.

Titled Formula One Weekly, you get all the F1 information you need in an easy to read PDF format, delivered to you inbox for R3.75 a week. Yes, you read right, it costs R3.75 a week and it’s a tailored read that’s well curated with deep insights into the pinnacle of motorsport. Click here for more information.

Formula One Weekly cover

If you’re into Formula 1 and you would like to learn more about the rules, regulations, as well as catch up on the team politics and technical features, you might enjoy a weekly dose of insights from Formula One Weekly.

I could keep going with more and more ideas for cool gifts for ’petrolhead dads’, but I think this list sums things up nicely and covers a variety of affordability price points. From the IOL Motoring team, we would like to wish all dads a fantastic Father’s Day.


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