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Gifts of Christmas Past: The classic presents we'll never forget

With the year drawing to a close and the excitement and anticipation building ahead of Christmas, we found ourselves getting a bit nostalgic and reminiscing about the best presents we at CarAdvice ever received.

Of course, and no surprise, they're all car-related! We thought we'd invite you to take a trip down memory lane with us, so here are some of our favourites. Some are classics, and chances are you'll recognise one or two.


Mike Stevens, Producer & News Editor

It might seem lame, but my fondest memory of a Christmas car gift was my Tamiya R/C car, just like the Hornet shown here – and it's why I need one of these new ones this Christmas!


Christian Clark, Commercial Director

I got a model Lotus 98T Renault Turbo F1 for Christmas once.


James Ward, Associate Publisher

I got the Fisher Price ATV for my first Christmas in Canada in 1975 and kept it as a ‘daily driver’ until we moved to Melbourne in 1983. Longest single car-ownership period for me. Ever. Was 6WD, two ‘little people’ driving it, had a horn and storage in the back for more toy cars. Giant Maple leaf flag on the side to help it get about too.


Jin Tee, Ad Operations Manager

I would have been about seven years old with a small interest in toy cars. Christmas came around and there was a big box under the tree with my name on it. I remember tearing apart the wrapping and uncovering this toy.

I was obsessed, it was my daily driver. I used to take it with me when Dad and I went driving and I’d pretend to be driving along side him. Thanks Mum and Dad… and Santa... for amplifying my love of cars at such a young age.


Andrew Beecher, CEO

Mario Kart for Nintento 64. Of course.


Mandy Turner, Audio Production Manager

Need for Speed 3 Hot Pursuit on PC. My first dose of car racing. This game took priority over my primary school homework. Mum and Dad regretted buying it for me, I think. I'll never forget my sister doing a full 360-degree front flip in a yellow Diablo. I kept the replay for, like, years.


Matt Campbell, Senior Editor

After spending about a week non-stop playing my eldest cousin's version of this game one Christmas break, my dad bought his actual game off him because I was soooo addicted.


Rob Margeit, Editorial Production Manager

It was the mid-1970s and I got this little beauty. First thing I did was rip the roof off. It's a Matchbox Mercedes-Benz SL350 and it kindled my love affair with Mercs that ultimately ended with me owning one. It travelled with me too, from its first appearance under the Weinacht's Baum in Köln, Germany, to my 18-month enforced stay in apartheid South Africa to my final destination, Sydney, Australia.

It never made the subsequent move to Melbourne. If it hasn't completely rusted away, it's probably sitting in one of those boxes you see at every weekend market ever, 'Old Toy Cars $5 each'.

Who knows, maybe one day I'll be reunited with it. Please keep an eye out for it.


Mat McNay, National Account Manager

I received personalised plates one year. MAT-246. Watch out.


Marcus Sroba, Office Administrator

Got a Super Nintendo when I was six and it came with Nigel Mansell's World Championship Racing. So. Epic.


Matt Chandler, CFO

Before Clooney and Affleck, Batman was cool. In the 1970s, the Batmobile was the coolest car you could have in my neighbourhood and I wanted one so badly.

I remember waking up on Christmas morning, when I was about four years old, and there beside my bed, Santa had left the Batmobile and Boat fully set up. One of my earliest memories.


Anthony Crawford, Founder

A WW2 wind-up Sherman tank that could literally go anywhere.


Curt Dupriez, Comparisons Editor

My son's 3 Series Convertible, an electric kids' car that cost around $500 in its day. It still runs, slowly, though my son's too big for it now. But we still have it! To fully charge the battery can take up to 14 hours. Peak range anxiety.


Tegan Lawson, Lifestyle Editor

It's embarrassing, so much so that I will never forget it. I got pink fluffy car seat covers and a steering wheel cover when I was 17 and I loved it at the time. Complemented the Gerberas and fluffy dice perfectly.

I cringe now, but trust me, it was all the rage at the time. I burned all the photos, but it looked a little like this...


Still looking for last minute Christmas present ideas? Check out our gift guide.

Merry Christmas!

NOTE: header image courtesy of LinesAcross.com

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