One of the coolest things about being a gearhead is that you don't always have to obsess with collecting actual cars—because they, after all, cost a lot of money—but you can most definitely do so with the car-related swag that revolves around them. Whether it be posters, diecast cars, or just a cool t-shirt, car swag can be a ton of fun, and in some cases, even highly collectible.
So, I'm curious, what's the coolest car swag, toys, or gear you've ever gotten?
Swag can be acquired in many ways, but my favorite way has always been at auto shows or motorsport events. There's something super cool about being handed a free, oftentimes hard-to-find, piece of memorabilia just for the sake of attending a shindig. Of course, you can always buy cool swag, and there's nothing wrong with that (god knows I've maxed out many credit cards in the past buying car junk), but it kind of feels a bit less special.
Personally, I've been a car nut and F1 aficionado since I was a wee baby. How do I know? Because tucked away somewhere in a closet is my baby onesie that resembles a Scuderia Ferrari driving suit from the 1987 F1 season. In that same box, there's also a life-size plastic toy helmet adorned in the black and gold JPS livery, mimicking Senna's John Player Special Lotus F1 car from that same era. These are things my parents bought me then, and now I oftentimes do the same for my kids.
While my childhood car swag game is strong, the stuff from my grown-up years is even better. This pile of crap that takes over my entire home-office and a couple of closets includes hundreds of hats, shirts, jackets, car parts, and even a pair of Michael Schumacher sandals (yes, sandals). Hell, I even had a Michael Schumacher-branded razor and Fernando Alonso sunglasses. More... original... items include a Pininfarina-designed Nextel cell phone that didn't sell in the U.S.
If I had to choose a favorite piece of swag, however, I'd probably say my 1:12 scale MotoGP Ducati Desmosedici GP11 racing bike hand-signed by Nicky Hayden, Sergio Perez-autographed Force India hat, and a 1:43 scale 2017 Honda Civic Type R diecast by TSM Model. Okay, that's three things, but whatever.
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