"Round and black,” is the only acceptable answer to the eternal question posed to race car drivers everywhere: “How are the tyres?”

If there’s one universal truth that binds us all together, it’s our tyres: our boring, round, black, tyres.

Look around the market however and this decades-long homogeny is being disturbed. First there were gimmicks like coloured smoke from the tyres, but now you can get tyres with red, green, white or yellow striping on the side and it might not be long until you can colour-code your tyres from the factory.

It’s only a recent fad, however, Goodyear recognised all this empty round and black real estate much earlier on. In 1961 the tyre giant experimented with a tyre that glowed as bright as the headlights, wrapped around a rim with light bulbs mounted in. By using dyes together with the special compound of rubber, you could get different glowing colours too and reportedly they offered at least as good or even better longevity and durability than conventional tyres. If you got creative, you could have switches inside the car to flip between different glowing colours. But it never caught on, and it’s a miracle someone hasn’t latched on to this with today’s LEDs and what not — anyway, let’s hope nobody gets any ideas.