The KITT Knight Rider car would have to be one of the most watched TV series based on a custom car, there wouldn’t be too many of us who hasn’t watched this program either briefly or be in the ‘never missed an episode’ group.
KITTKnight Rider is a 1982 Pontiac Trans Am loaded with all the special effects microprocessor, computer and protection devices. This one is privately owned and is 1 of only 5 from the TV series, thanks to the owner for sharing it with Jay Leno.
If you are wondering what KITT means, it is Knight Industries Two Thousand. For the 2008 series it was Knight Industries Three Thousand
One of the more spectacular devices were rockets mounted behind the front wheels which when fired would jump KITT over an obstacle, so now I know how they did this, plus a lot more.
The first TV series was in 1982 to 1986, Michael Knight, a high-tech modern crime fighter assisted by KITT, an advanced artificially intelligent, self-aware and nearly indestructible car.
A fore runner to the self drive cars that are in the news today?
KITT was designed by customizer Michael Scheffe. The convertible and super-pursuit KITTs were designed and built by George Barris.
A total of 23 KITT cars were made for use in filming the series. All except one of these cars survived until the show was axed; all except 5 of the remaining 22 cars were destroyed at the end of filming. Of the 5 that escaped that fate: 1 ‘hero’ car was shipped to a theme park in Australia, but is now believed to be back in the US ;
Universal kept one ‘hero’ car and one stunt car for use in the Entertainment Center display – the two originals have since been sold to a private collector in the US; another, a convertible, disappeared for a while before being sold to the former Cars of the Stars Motor Museum in Keswick, Cumbria, England
This convertible was sold to the Dezer Collection, Miami, Florida when Cars of the Stars closed. The fifth car is believed to be in private hands in the UK – this may be the only KITT that remains ‘original’ and is believed not to have been restored with replica parts.
1991 a spinoff movie Knight Rider 2000 was released, and 1997-98 came the spin off series Team Knight Rider.
In 2008 a new series of Knight Rider modified the 2008-2009 Ford Shelby GT500KR as KITT. Don’t know how many Shelby’s they used but hope they didn’t destroy them afterwards.
If you are a fan here’s your chance to see KITT up close and come for a drive.
Thanks to Jay and Wikipedia for the history. Photo is a take from the video.