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Start Your Engines

Back in the industrial era, horses were the main mode of transportation in most cases. Moving people, moving goods, moving materials. They were mobile, strong, and invaluably handy. But they also left so much waste in the streets that The Times of London predicted every road in New York City would be buried in 9 feet of manure before 1950.

Enter, the car. The automobile. The Tin Lizzie.

In a matter of years, the population of horses in the Big Apple plummeted to nearly zero. The streets were saved and the engines were running. Engineers worldwide began a race to create the most magnificent machines they could come up with—a race that hasn’t stopped. From figuring out how to reduce emissions, to dialing in trivially faster F-1 vehicles, automobile scientists are still tinkering with cars in ways that affect us all more than we probably imagine.

Buckle up, this playlist will have you feeling a serious need for speed.


Tracy Chapman with “Fast Car”

How fast have you gone on the freeway? 85mph? 90mph? Over 100mph? That’s getting up there…

Now just imagine hurtling at a speed of over 763mph for a full MILE (which takes under 5 seconds at that rate). A pilot named Andy Green, behind the wheel of a twin turbofan jet-powered car called ThrustSSC, achieved this feat back in 1997. This land speed world record stands to this day, and is the only time a car has become supersonic. Check out this video of Green describing the process if you want to get fired up about engineering.

The Clash with “Brand New Cadillac”

This version of “Brand New Cadillac” came out in 1979. A 1979 #6K S69 Cadillac Seville sedan had a base price of $15,546, which in 2022 is $61,907. No small amount. In fact, you could buy 2,210 pairs of our Premiums with that kind of cash! Plus, given the current gas prices, the shades might be a better investment anyways.

Prince with “Little Red Corvette”

It’s not a Corvette, but check out this photo of our founder, Adam Moyer, in a cherry red Ferrari back in the day. The smile says it all.


Ronny & The Daytonas with “G.T.O.”

Speaking of Daytonas, the Daytona 500 is widely regarded as the most important event on the NASCAR circuit. We may even have taken inspiration from this race for an upcoming Limited Edition pair, if you catch our drift. Sign up for a free Knockaround Rewards account to get early access to Limited Editions, as well as extra discounts, free shades, and more!


Arcade Fire with “Keep The Car Running”

If you ever bust a side view mirror and get down about it, think about the cameraman at the end of this video who had his lens shattered by Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler. At least leave a sticky note with a number, man!


War with “Low Rider”

Can you picture George Lopez bouncing off a trampoline? We sure can.


Janis Joplin with “Mercedes Benz”

Fun fact: the term “whip,” when describing a luxurious car, comes from the early days of the automobile. Since people were used to directing horses around, the steering wheel became known colloquially as “the whip.” Much later, when artists in the hip-hop community realized that the Mercedes-Benz logo resembled a steering wheel, they began to describe the manufacturer’s vehicles as “whips.” This term eventually came to describe any expensive car. And that, kids, is how slang is created!


Rick Ross, T-Pain, Lil Wayne, and Kanye West with “Maybach Music 2”

If you don’t have a couple hundred spare G’s laying around, ya’ ain’t gonna be able to swing a Maybach, unfortunately. This is what we might call a mega-whip (see previous song for more info).


Bruce Springsteen with “Pink Cadillac”

Between road songs and car songs, The Boss’ collection of driving-related music may be unparalleled in the industry. It’s probably not a coincidence that most Springsteen tunes are perfect for cruising behind the wheel on a warm summer’s day or a cold winter’s night.


Primus with “Jerry Was A Race Car Driver”

If auto racing is your thing, stay tuned next week for some shades that will kick your excitement into high gear. And if you’re reading this after 5/25/2022, check out our Limited Editions page to see what we’re talking about.


Bonus: Rascal Flatts with “Life Is A Highway”

Do your hands start to get a little sweaty when you push the pace on the highway? Us too. Kinda weird how that happens. Maybe that’s why race car drivers wear those gloves…

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