If I approached the average stranger on the street and asked what they thought car companies were good at making, it stands to reason they’d say “cars.” Which is a more robust response than I get from women in bars when I ask the same thing and wink suggestively. Anyhow — the point is some automakers are so on top of their game that their non-car products — “lifestyle accessories” aimed squarely at fanboys and fangirls in target demographics — are special. Some of that merch is actually desirable on its own, while some is so opulent as to elicit a wide-eyed laugh. Regardless, what follows is a list of the best of it all.
Volkswagen: Bus Tent
Your parents “traveled the world” in their VW bus, wearing roughly one pair of bell bottoms between them for up to four months at a time. You may not have enough time in your schedule for free love and wildflowers, but when you kick back at a campsite some weekend you can at least pay homage to your folks and their patchouli-fueled road trips.
Land Rover: Driving Coat by Barbour
Land Rover is two things: very bad-ass and veddy British. So when you’re on your next ultra-proper overlanding expedition, look the part. Heavy Oban waxed cotton fends off the wet, and Barbour’s signature high-quality detailing abounds, from the corozo buttons to the sit-down corduroy collar. Inside, a jacquard and wool lining keep you looking smart and feeling good.
Aston Martin: Sterling Silver DB5 Model
A few things here: the DB5 will always be James Bond’s car. The only DB5 paint color that matters is silver. Aston Martins are for the elite, but are not necessarily flashy like some gauche Italian hormone-mobiles. All together this means that a 1-of-100, sterling silver, 1:30 scale model, which takes 11 craftsmen at Grant MacDonald Silversmiths 50 hours to fashion, is the perfect, somewhat-conservative but-still-incredibly-classy-and-special trinket any Aston driver will treasure.
Chevrolet: 1969 Camaro Pool Table
Anyone laying down this kind of cash for a pool table probably has more mullet-and-Budweiser than Paul-Newman-in-The-Sting blood in their veins. Which is completely awesome — if you buy one or have one, please invite us (me) over for a game. Available in Z28, SS or RS trim levels, each table is finished in actual chrome and stainless steel details (bumpers, wheels, etc.) and can be painted any color you’d like, though the original colors are recommended. Each model is built for the customer, hand finished, and even comes with its own VIN number.
Morgan Motor Company: Leather & Sheepskin Flying Jacket
Morgan still uses wood to make the frames of its cars, which means driving one — or, better yet, owning one — is as close as one can get to flying a vintage aircraft without leaving the ground. So dress the part: pair your new flying jacket with some Morgan-branded aviator goggles and go hunting for Red Barons.
Mini: Folding Bike
Sure, they’re not as small as Mr. Bean’s original runabout, but Mini’s offerings still essentially live up to their namesake. They’re small. So why the hell would you want to take along a full-size bike with you on your sojourns? A folding bike makes far more practical and thematic sense. The frame is made of lightweight aluminum, you have eight gears at your disposal, the chain is Teflon-coated, the 20-inch wheels are probably bigger than your car’s, and there’s a pump integrated into the seat. And if you somehow need more encouragement, the color is called “Lime Punch.”
Tesla: Touchscreen Leather Driving Gloves
Honestly, we’d hoped that Elon Musk would have flexed his delightful, world-changing lunacy muscles in the gear department and come up with some crazy Tesla-brand gadgetry, but touchscreen-compatible driving gloves make far too much sense not to include on this list.
Koenigsegg: CC Diamond Ring
If you’re massively rich and unique enough to purchase a Koenigsegg, you’re definitely in the market for a branded diamond ring, whether for yourself or to give your fiancée in preparation for your insane Swedish-hypercar-themed wedding. 18 carats of rose gold harness 9 diamonds and showcase the marque’s ghost logo. (And you know what they say: “if you have to ask how much…”) After your proposal, might we recommend lounging around in your branded bathrobe?
Porsche: Shish 2.0 by Porsche Design
I’ve been scribbling diagrams on a whiteboard for three hours and still can’t quite figure out how hookah relates to the epitome of German sports cars. But that’s a fool’s errand anyhow — Porsche Design is all about elevating somewhat everyday products to the nth level of design, and their avant-garde spins on, say, hookah-smoking devices, are only testament to their art.
Ferrari: Cavallino Gommino Driving Moccasins by Tods
No automaker merchandise list would be complete without a nod to Ferrari’s extensive catalog (some of which can be a little…over the top). These are our favorite offering from the Italian stallion: semi-murdered-out and perfect for heel-toe shifting. Molto ostentatious? Si. Unnecessary? Obviously.
Dodge: HEMI BBQ Sauce & Mustard Set
Imagine a quiet, peaceful cookout in a lovely riverside park, replete with red-checkered tablecloths and lilting summery music. In the distance, the brutal, unrestrained roar of a HEMI V8 as a classic ’70 HEMI ‘Cuda tears through the forest roads and drifts into the gravel parking lot where its owner — your equally unrestrained uncle — proceeds to do donuts, all the while screaming, “I BROUGHT CONDIMENTS THAT KICK ASS.” Could grilled meat get any better? Doubtful.
Audi: Table Soccer
Journalistic integrity required that I label this product as its manufacturer does, but we can all agree that this is a foosball table. Yes, a foosball table whose cost falls within a Benjamin of the used A4 sedan you’ve been eyeing. But imagine all the fun nights you’ll spend playing “table soccer” while you try not to stress about paying off the perfectly reasonable loan you took out to buy the thing. Worth it.
Bentley: Vertu Signature Touch, Breitling GT3, Montegrappa Tire-bouchon
Bentley’s entries in this segment completely transcend “merchandise.” What the company brings to the table is goods that are as next-level as the pristine, near-unparalleled automobiles they make. Cases in point: the Vertu Signature Touch, which features a 21MP camera that can capture 4K video. Or the Bentley GT3 chronograph by Breitling, a 500-example run of titanium and carbon fiber detailed with brilliant green accents. If you’ve got a Bentley in your carriage house and neither of these on your nightstand — for shame.
MOPAR: Storage Wall Cabinet
While not technically an automaker in the same sense as others on this list, MOPAR’s ultimate garage cabinetry for gearheads can’t be passed up. This is a customizable range of workshop tool boxes and storage solutions that will hold tools, hang coats, route power and more. If you’re serious about wrenching, you have to be serious about your work station. MOPAR gets it.
Maserati: Rolling Trolley Bag
Calfskin leather, unique drab green details, the option to detach it from its rolling trolley for shoulder duty — this is the right kind of luggage for someone on the go…so long as that someone is going very fast and very stylishly in a car emblazoned with the Maserati trident.
Bugatti: Chiron Jacket and Atelier Bugatti
This is a sporty jacket that features four-way stretch and a strategically designed hood. But look closer and you’ll see the homages: the horseshoe shape and two-tone colorway, just like on your favorite Bugs. For those wanting to turn it up to 11, Atelier Bugatti is the company’s tailor/custom clothing maker on retainer for discerning customers, described thusly by Bugatti themselves: “Customers qualifying for the Tailor-made service are absolutely spoilt rotten.”