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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Original, Screen Used K.A.R.R. License Plates - FOUND!

We have some amazing, exciting news for all of you! File this under, "Props That We Thought Were Long Since Destroyed".

Earlier this summer, we acquired 3 original, screen used KARR license plates, from the most well loved episode of the series ever, "K.I.T.T. vs. K.A.R.R."!!

We wish we could say that our excellent detective skills led us to the plates, but in reality, we were contacted through our site by the former owner. He actually had 4 plates, and sold us 3 of them, keeping the remaining one for himself. We are forever grateful to him!

They exhibit all of the typical wear seen on a 30 year old prop license plate, to include peeling paint and cracks in the clear coat used to finish them off.

The plates are constructed in exactly the same way as the KNIGHT plates, starting with a blank metal plate and hand glued letters.

Below is a comparison of one of the KARR plates to an original KNIGHT plate that we have in our collection. Notice that the KNIGHT plate is faded a bit, due to its extensive use, while the KARR plate exhibits slightly less wear.

Another original Knight Rider prop - saved and preserved!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Original K.I.T.T. #1196

For the final season of "Knight Rider", Universal Studios contracted with George Barris to build a convertible version of K.I.T.T., seen above. While the "C Mode" K.I.T.T. was only used a handful of times, it is fondly remembered by the fans.

In June of 1985, Barris began the conversion of a 1982 Pontiac Firebird (base model) into the convertible version of our favorite talking car. This car, as equipped from the factory, was Maroon on the outside with a gray cloth interior, a V-6 engine, and very few options. It didn't even have the full instrument cluster, but rather the required speedometer, tachometer and dummy lights for the rest!

This car was built over the course of a couple weeks at Barris' Kustom City shop in North Hollywood, CA, before being delivered to Universal.

When the series ended in 1986, the remaining dozen (or so) K.I.T.T. cars were left to languish on Universal's backlot. Most of the cars ended up getting crushed, per an agreement between Universal and Pontiac. A select few of the cars were saved from this fate, due to the ownership status of those particular cars. The convertible is one of those that was saved. These cars were acquired by a car show exhibitor, and spent the next few years touring on the Budweiser World of Wheels car circuit.

Here, you can see the convertible on display a few months after the series ended.

In 2002, the car was put up for auction at Kruse and sold to the Cars of the Stars Museum in Keswick, England, where it stayed until 2012. The museum's contents were then sold to the Dezer Museum in Miami, FL, where the car still resides today.

In late 2013, we were honored to be asked to do some minor repair work on the car's scanner. We are happy to report that the Dezer Museum is taking excellent care of this unique piece of Knight Rider's History!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Our Facebook Page!

Just a quick reminder...we only update this site every once in a while, but for regular Knight Rider related updates, please follow us on our Facebook page: Knight Rider Historians on Facebook

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The On Screen History of the F.L.A.G. semi

The Mobile Unit. The F.L.A.G. semi. Whatever you call it, it's an integral part of "Knight Rider". Throughout the course of the series, there were various incarnations of the semi. Here, we will break them all down for you. Did we miss any? Let us know!

Version #1:

This version of the semi was only briefly seen at the very end of the Pilot.  The correct GMC General cab is used, and we believe this is the same Dorsey drop trailer used throughout the series, but with a very unique, mostly gold paint job.

Version #2:

Used from episode #2, "Deadly Maneuvers", through its final appearance in "A Plush Ride", this version features the correct GMC General cab, but with the Dorsey trailer painted white. Why the beautiful paint job from the Pilot was replaced with this, we don't know.

Version #3:

Now the semi is starting to look closer to what we all remember. When the new Executive Producer, Robert Foster, came in at episode 13, "Hearts of Stone", one of his first mandates was to paint the semi black. This is the only episode to feature this unique paint scheme, where the triple gold pinstripes don't angle back up near the back of the trailer, and the gold chess piece insignia is much smaller. Footage of this semi, despite it only truly appearing in this episode, will appear throughout the rest of the series.

Version #4:

This is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it version of the semi. During the opening credits of "Give Me Liberty...or Give Me Death", K.I.T.T. is pulling into the semi at night. Notice the trailer's pinstripes are the same as Version #3, but the chess piece logo has been crudely painted over, no doubt in preparation for the paint job it's about to receive.

Version #5:

Finally, the semi receives the paint job that it will keep throughout the remainder of the series. The stripes now angle up toward the back of the trailer, and the chess piece insignia is much more prominent. This trailer is first featured in "Give Me Liberty...or Give Me Death".

Version #6:

Beginning with the third season premiere, "Knight of the Drones", the semi receives an upgraded cab, with a black sleeper added. This is actually a completely new cab. Note how the fuel tank is now situated below the door, where the original version, it is set back on the frame. This is the final version of the semi, used until the end of the series.

And while we are at it, the semi did appear in a few non-Knight Rider productions:

January 22, 1985: Street Hawk - "Vegas Run"

October 12, 1985: Airwolf - "And a Child Shall Lead"