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Friday, December 16, 2011

Original K.I.T.T. #1559

Mad Max Cars, a Seattle based company that specializes in refurbishing television and movie cars, contacted me about a newly acquired piece that they are working on - the Knight 2000 care from the 2008 Knight Rider pilot! Below is a description of the car, in their own words:

This 1988 Pontiac Firebird was acquired by Universal Studios through the Picture Car Wrangler who also built the Knight 3000 Mustangs, for use in the filming of the new Knight Rider TV movie / backdoor series pilot.

This car, numbered #1559 in official documentation, appeared in Scene 7 as the camera follows the villains through Charles Graiman's Lab/Garage. The car is shown in multiple staged shots over the course of its appearance. At roughly 3:53 into the TV broadcast (right after the counter top nano robots) we briefly see it under a tarp behind one of the villains, then a quick shot of a loose body panel as the remaining villains enter the garage. The next shot, a close up of the engine's Throttle Body clearly showing the 'Tuned Port Injection' lettering, begins this car's brief 'Hero' close ups. The villains are then shown standing next to and inspecting #1559 with their flashlights, the hood is off and a moving blanket covering the windshield back. In the next shot, only the antenna can be seen as one of the baddies pans his flashlight away from #1559 as the shot changes to lights shining on a ceiling full of hanging loose parts from #1559 as well as; some fiberglass K.I.T.T. conversion parts (loaned to the production by Rob Louisell), and panning down to an engine on a hoist (none of which have ever been on or part of #1559).

We are then treated to what is likely a digital composite shot from all accounts, showing a large wearhouse type lab, with tons of tables and gadgets and 3 K.I.T.T.'s lined up (behind the scenes photos and documentation reveal that the area was MUCH smaller). These cars are reportedly a
miniature or model Knight 2000 in the foreground, #1559 under a moving blanket in the middle, and the Knight 3000 Mustang in the background. A quick montage of shots then shows the crooks looking around at the lab gives some quick close ups of the hood, the bumper provided by Louisell, and a pair of pan by shots of #1559 again with the hood off covered by the tarp this time with its fender and a 82 style rear wing on top. We are then treated to shoots of a Supercharged motor on the hoist and the crooks discovering a 'Pilot' style Knight 2000 gullwing wheel, with 1559 in the background under its tarp and hanging parts. There we see 1559 for the last time, in the background, as the villains discover the Knight 3000 Mustang while looking through a rack of aluminum rims. As we get our first taste of Knight 3000 at about 4:41 in the broadcast, we have seen the last of #1559....... and unless a new series or movie is produced to change it, we have just seen the very last car ever to portray the fabulous Knight Industries Two Thousand we all know and love, in a Knight Rider Franchise production (which does feature David Hasselhoff in a cameo, reprising his role as Michael Knight).

Shortly after it was posted, the cars current owner saw it 'leaked' in a spoiler blog, long before the pilot movie was released. It can still be seen here:

He immediately called the builders of the Knight 3000 Mustang and inquired, being told the car could not be sold until they were certain it would not be needed again, but putting his name as the potential buyer. Keeping tabs on it, and finally calling to make the purchase when the series wrapped, the owner made his childhood dream come true in the biggest way possible, owning the very last true K.I.T.T. The last Knight 2000 is currently being refurbished and getting the conversions appropriate to a hero car of this stature, while maintaining all of its screen used integrity. This Museum caliber curatorial refurbishment is in the good hands of Seattle Movie Car restorer and builder Mad Max Cars, and should be complete soon.

Watch for more updates here as the car is completed!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Multiples K.I.T.T.'s in the Same Scene

Here's a selection of three screenshots where you can clearly see multiple K.I.T.T. cars in the same scene. TOP ROW: "Pilot"; "No Big Thing". BOTTOM ROW: "Knight Strike"; "Knight of the Rising Sun.

Know of any others?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Universal Studios Static Display #1

Before Universal Studios had their K.I.T.T. display over the water, where visitors could sit in him and have a conversation, they had this display. The Trans Am, with blacked out windows and a rear defrost hatch, was perched on a stage and visitors could have their pictures taken in front of him. My guess is that these pictures are from 1983, since the permanent "K.I.T.T. over water" display started in early 1984. Do you have any information or pictures on this display? Let us know!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pilot "Comtron" Jacket

This jacket was worn by David Hasselhoff in the Pilot when he went undercover as a Comtron security guard. It is currently in a private collection overseas. Do you know the owner? If so, we'd love to speak to them and get some more details on this piece!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Original K.I.T.T. #1196

The convertible version of K.I.T.T. was built for the fourth season of the series by George Barris. This car started out life as a V6 base model Firebird hard top. As you can see in the engine bay, the car was originally maroon. PHS report shows that it had a gray interior as well. After the series ended, this car was shipped to the Cars of the Stars Museum in Keswick, England. That museum closed earlier this year and this car is now rumored to be heading to a museum in Florida.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Futuristic Briefcase

This briefcase appeared twice in the show - in "Knight of the Drones", David Halston used it to activate the Drone cars near the end of the episode. In "Knight in Disgrace" (pictured), Boyd LaSalle used it to monitor the Foundation. Notice how they superimposed the monitor screen. In reality, it wasn't there. This briefcase still exists today and belongs to a prop house in Hollywood.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Michael Knight's Leather Jacket

A supposed original leather jacket from the series. I don't know where this picture came from. My guess is an auction. It's current whereabouts are unknown. I'm sure they had multiple copies of the jackets throughout the years, but only a couple are known to still exist.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Miniature K.I.T.T. #2

Photo by Fergus Greer for The Comisar Collection, Inc.

This Jack Sessums built miniature K.I.T.T. was acquired by The Comisar Collection years ago through a Profiles in History auction. This archive includes over 5,000 pieces of TV and movie memorabilia and the president of the company, James Comisar, was gracious enough to provide this photo to us.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Season 3/4 PANP Board - Lighted!

So, I have owned this PANP board for almost two years, but I never bothered to try and light it up. The wiring appeared to be a mess and I didn't want to damage anything.

I was looking at it yesterday and decided to see what would happen. I figured out the positive and negatives and applied a 9V battery to it...the result is seen above! Surprisingly, with no repairs from me, about 75% of the board still lights! When I get some time, I will probably repair the circuit so the other LEDs light. Cool, eh?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Portable K.I.T.T. Box

As we all know, K.I.T.T. was placed in a portable TV in the episode "Soul Survivor". That prop was reused in a smaller capacity in season three's "Junkyard Dog" and season four's "Knight of the Juggernaut". Many people believe this prop to have been built from a Sony FX-414 portable radio/television. However, if you compare the layout of the controls on the top, they vary slightly. I do believe the correct model is a Sony, just not this one. Does anyone know the correct model number for this TV? If so, let us know!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Comtron Trailer

Earlier this year, AJ and I made a really cool discovery - we found one of the last remaining Comtron trailers! As you know, the Pilot episode featured these uniquely painted trailers heavily. In reality, they were part of Universal's transportation fleet, but to know that one still exists today is a really cool feeling! This trailer was built in 1981, making it quite new when first seen on the show!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mystery Screen Used Parts?

I found this picture in my archives, taken at (I believe) one of the Knight Rider conventions in Germany. In the clear boxes are supposedly original pieces of KITT. You can spot some season 3/4 pod buttons and a voicebox, among other things. Was anyone at this event, or does anyone know who owns these? Anyone have any better pics? If so, let me know!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Behind the Scenes: "Trust Doesn't Rust"

While many of you may have seen this photo before, I wanted to post it so you can take a closer look at something. Look at the passenger side seat - it's set up as an ejection seat! This picture provides one of the best views of the ejection seat and how the production team made it work. Note the lack of a center console and round steering wheel, too!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lost Knight #2: The Gold Barris K.I.T.T.

Jim Suva at the Rockford Files blog sent me this photo. It was taken years ago and shows a gold painted K.I.T.T. in the front window of Barris' shop in North Hollywood. Parked beside it is the "Dagger DX" from "Knights of the Fast Lane".

Do you have any information on this car, or additional photos? If so, let us know!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The LH Blind Drive Car

From the very start of the series, viewers witnessed K.I.T.T. driving by himself. In reality, stunt man Jack Gill would hide in a specially constructed seat so as to hide his appearance. Originally, there was only one blind drive car - one driven from the driver's seat. It wasn't until the beginning of season three that the passenger side blind drive car made an appearance.

The first picture you see is a behind the scenes shot of the blind drive car. The other pictures show the blind drive car in action on the series. Note that even though K.I.T.T. switched to a 1 TV dash in season 3, you can still spot a 2 TV dash throughout the last 2 years of the show - this is the blind drive car. Any time you see K.I.T.T. driving by himself during seasons 3 and 4 - look for the 2 TV dash. If you can see it, it's the driver's side blind drive car. If you can't - it's the passenger side blind drive car.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Season 3/4 Compass

Owner: Private

Description: This compass panel was once a part of the dashboard found in the first Universal Studios display car. Note how the textured overlay is missing, revealing the directional arrows as block LEDs. Either this piece was built specifically for the display car and it was done inaccurately, or this is a piece that was used in the series but at some point had the overlay removed. While not easy to see, if you look at the picture of the dash when it was still on display, you can see the block LED compass arrows as well as the red "North" bar graph array.

So, with this piece, I now know where the complete dash electronics for this car are currently. I own the Tach, PANP, monitor frame, voicebox and steering wheel - the other private party owns the rest. Hopefully, we can join our parts back together again and rebuild this dash.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Behind the Scenes: "The Nineteenth Hole"

A number of years ago, these photos, along with a few others, were posted on one of the Knight Rider message boards. They appeared to be pictures of pictures and the quality wasn't the greatest. They were taken on the set of "The Nineteenth Hole". Do you know the owner of these photos? We would like to speak with that person! Please let us know.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Season 3/4 Switchpods

Owner: Private

Description: This season 3/4 switchpod panel was housed in the first Universal Studios display car from the late 80's until approximately 1999. Notice how the center buttons are absent - this was most likely due to the fact that the car received so many visitors and more buttons to press meant more opportunities for breakage. The picture above on the right shows this switchpod installed on the display car. Chances are good that prior to be installed in the display car, these were used in some capacity on the series (just not for close-up shots).

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Rubber Shell

The infamous rubber shell. Used throughout all four seasons of the series, this shell was designed to slip over the top of the cars during stunt scenes. Other cars could hit KITT and you wouldn't see any damage. Once the scene was done, the shell could be lifted off to reveal the damage to the car. Unfortunately, the only pictures I have of the shell off the car are the two seen here. Its current whereabouts are unknown. Do you have additional pictures of this shell or any information on its whereabouts? If so, let us know!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Original K.I.T.T. #1177 Dash Panels

These dash pieces claiming to be from an original K.I.T.T. car have been a staple on Ebay for the last couple of years. Here's a link to the latest auction:

knight rider kitt original dash buttons prop on screen

So, are they legit?

Yes and No. The title you see is from screen used K.I.T.T. #1177 and is genuine. The rest of the pieces offered in this auction, to my knowledge, were NEVER on the car when it was used in the series. I believe these pieces were installed on #1177 AFTER the series ended. Carl Casper purchased the remaining cars and put them on tour - these panels were part of the modifications done to the car subsequent to filming. So there you have it!

Miniature K.I.T.T. #1

Owner: Private (from Greece)

Description: This is one of several miniature models of K.I.T.T. built by the late Jack Sessums of Sessums and Slagle Productions. These cars first made their appearance in the season two premiere "Goliath" and were seen from time to time throughout the rest of the series. The owner purchased this piece from the Volo Auto Museum in 2007.

Being the only mini K.I.T.T. with an opening t-top, it's easy to spot in such episodes as "Return to Cadiz" and "Knight of the Drones".

You can see a video of this car by clicking this link.