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
When the Owner of this Knight Rider, offered here, was thinking of buying a US Car in 2010 he found a black painted 1990 Pontiac Firebird 3.1l V6 with Knight Rider conversion (only on the outside) on the internet. It immediately caught his attention and the inner child flared up in him. He loved this series so much at the end of the 80s, beginning of the 90s which didn’t let go for years, influencing his future career as an electronics engineer and vowing: “When I grow up, I’ll buy this car and rebuild it like this!
But until then he had a long, stony road ahead of him…
When he arrived in Berlin, the car looked like new. He could literally see himself as a child standing in front of the car and talking to K.I.T.T. : “Hello K.I.T.T. “, I said and he replied: “Hello Flo(h)! Get in and we’ll go for a ride….”
When he decided to buy the car, he knew that it would be a long and tedious project (that never ends).
After endless hours of work, the owner recreated the Iconic K.I.T.T. including all of the gadgets and widgets, we loved the TV show for.
Things this K.I.T.T can do which are unique to all the others out there:
- He can speak and talk in German and English with the original voices
- It is an in depth recreation like none other
- He can answer to given questions in real time, videos, music or just talk to people.
These amazing features are built in and working:
- Speech recognition in German and English
- Folding number plate at the front and rear
- Change the Voice from K.I.T.T. to K.A.R.R Scanner , Voicebox
- Individual lighting
- Play any video via voice recognition
See the Walkaround Video with an explanation of the features.
AND …”DRUM ROLL”… This Knight Industries Two Thousand is approved by the Hoff himself
The Car is registered with historical number plates and road legal in Germany.
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