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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!