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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?