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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Fate of the Original Hero Car - REVEALED!



 Want to know what happened to this car? Read on!

Throughout the first two seasons of Knight Rider, the production had only one “hero” car – the car outfitted with  a complete dash and used anytime you see David Hasselhoff getting out of the car. This car was kept in pristine shape and was rarely used for stunts. As many of you know, the third season brought about a completely new dash, which KITT retained until the end of the series. Some may have thought that the studio simply updated the existing hero car. However, that was not the case. After thoroughly investigating the matter, the Knight Rider Historians have been able to determine what happened to this car after the second season wrapped.

Actually, this car did carry over to the third season. “KITT vs KARR” was the first episode of the third season to be produced, and this car was used as KARR. The next episode produced was “Lost Knight”, which also still featured this car. You can see it in the stills below:




Following the production of these two episodes, this car was sent off to George Barris’ shop in North Hollywood, CA to be converted into the right hand blind drive car. The show only had a driver’s side blind drive car up to this point, and the studio wanted the ability for KITT to drive up to Michael and have Michael get in and drive away, all in one take. Thus, the right hand blind drive car was commissioned.  They removed the hero car’s dashboard and began welding in parts so it could be driven from the passenger’s seat:



So, how do we know it’s the same car? Simple. The right hand blind drive car still exists today. By analyzing it today, the Knight Rider Historians have found evidence to show the car’s previous life. Check out this promo photo (below), featuring the season ½ hero car. See the plastic panel screwed on underneath the dash on the left side? Now, look at the right hand blind drive car, taken last year. See the screw holes in the stock dashboard? That’s where the plastic panel used to connected. Also, in this same picture, noticed how the stock dash was haphazardly cut with a saw down its entire length? There’s a picture taken by Michael Scheffe (which we will not publicly post) in 1982 showing one of his workers getting ready to cut the stock dashboard with a saw. We believe it was this very car, which again adds to the fact that this was the original hero car.




Additionally, when Barris’ shop removed the hero car’s dashboard, they left the hero lower and upper consoles in the car. This behind the scenes picture, courtesy of Christopher Orlando and taken on the set of “Knight of the Juggernaut”, shows the right hand blind drive car with the hero lower console intact:




So what then happened to the hero dash they pulled out of this car? It was placed in the driver’s side blind drive car! If you’ve ever noticed the 2 TV dash in the last two seasons of the series, it was because you were watching the driver’s side blind drive car! Check out the promo shot above, and note how the labels are missing above the POWER and AUTO buttons underneath the monitors. Now look at the dash in the blind drive car below - same labels are missing!


 
So there you have it. The original hero car was converted into the right hand blind drive car.  

7 comments:

  1. Hey thanks for sharing this. This was a very cool and informative article :-)

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  2. Very informative. I love hearing about what happened to the cars. Too bad they hacked it apart instead of just maintaining it, but of course, that's show biz. Thanks Joe.

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  3. Never knew this! Whether K.I.T.T. was being damaged on screen or off screen, makes me weep!!!

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  4. Wow, so where is that KITT now? I would like to see in person that vehicle. I have being considering the possibility to some day do that to my KITT and add the left side driving controls.

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    1. The Right hand drive car is owned. You Carl Casper, and is stored in the Kruse Museum in Auburn In.

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