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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!











9 comments:

  1. Have the dash electrics been changed? In the picture taken in the lot you can see s3/4 electrics, but a season 2 dash in the museum.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. agreed..even when it was in England it had the 4th season dash cause it was all stickers not functional

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  5. Interesting info but by looking at the dash I see some interesting differences, for instance the voice box looks like it has for rows of lights rather than three and the lower console has a different button lay out.
    Thanks for the update. One day I'll have a KITT convertible.
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  6. Nice blog. Keep it up. By the way I have the original scanner that was on this car. :)

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