That was the intro to the original Knight Rider series that saw Michael Knight (David Hasselhoff), a crime fighter who uses a high tech, artificially intelligent automobile, the Knight Industries Two Thousand (KITT). This car is a virtually indestructible weapon that fights for justice, and was originally voiced by actor William Daniels. Gottfried Kramer was the German Voice. The show was created and produced by Glen A. Larson, and was originally broadcast on NBC from 1982 to 1986. The show has 90 episodes over four seasons. 4 Cars survived the show. The other 12 Cars needed to be destroyed after the show.
The car used as K.I.T.T. in the series was a customized 1982 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, that cost US$100,000 to build (equivalent to about $196,000 in 2021 or € 170.000,-). The studio hired former Mattel (and later Back to the Future DeLorean) designer Michael Scheffe to turn Pontiac’s latest sporty targa into something special in record time, who said that the only thing he didn’t like about the Trans Am’s design was the car’s squared-off nose. The nose and dashboard of the car were than redesigned by design consultant Michael Scheffe.
Early promotional shot. Note the lack of modifications at the front. NBC UNIVERSALGETTY IMAGES
The hero car was the only vehicle that contained the intricate dashboard. Spare cars were always on hand, and Universal eventually did all of the modifications that were needed. A mock up dashboard was used on a sound stage for closeups of the voice box or other buttons.
The producer Glen Larson wanted the talking muscle car to have a heartbeat and asked Scheffe to design a beam of light like the Cylons had in Battlestar Galactica to be used on the front of the vehicle. The Pontiac’s nose was eventually extended slightly.
The Former Stuntman of the TV show, Jack Gill claims that the studio got the cars from Pontiac for $1 apiece, but Pontiac often gave the studio vehicles that had already been damaged from a train derailment. The only car Universal had to pay for was the hero car.
For the scenes in which K.I.T.T. appeared to be driving without a driver, Gill would sit behind the driver’s seat. Jack would extend his arms and legs through the seat out of sight. A two-way mirror was created that hid Gill during scenes where K.I.T.T. appeared to be driving solo. K.I.T.T. was never seen driving for long periods of time solo because of the difficulty of shooting it.
William Daniels, the voice of K.I.T.T. , would record his lines after the majority of the episode was filmed. Hasselhoff would work with an assistant off-camera who would read him K.I.T.T. ‘s lines. If K.I.T.T. was in motion during filming, the lines would be read to Hasselhoff through the car stereo. The vehicle was usually towed during scenes when Hasselhoff appeared to be driving.
The studio held a marketing campaign for Knight Rider. Fans could write to the network and they would receive a pamphlet detailing some features about K.I.T.T. . The first campaign was held in August 1982. The pamphlet said, “The Competition is NO Competition!” K.I.T.T. was pictured parked alongside a vehicle that resembled the General Lee from Dukes of Hazzard.
See here Jay Leno´s take on the original Knight Rider
See here the video of this offered Knight Rider:
This Knight Rider was bought by the previous owner as a fully functional replica of the Iconic Pontiac Trans Am.
The Car was delivered new in Berlin in August 1993 and perfectly serviced from there on.
In 2012 the previous owner bought the car with the intention to convert it to a perfect recreation of KITT. Here you see the perfectly written down list of the performed work.
After the work was done the Car was brought to the German inspection to make it road legal and got a valuation report.
The Car is registered with historical number plates and road legal in Germany.
The Interior is very functional with a lot of Gimmicks built in.
Here is a List of things KITT is able to say
Click through the pictures to get an overview on this very special built.
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