The ’80s TV series Knight Rider was immensely popular in Europe, even long into the ’90s as reruns. Since our summer house didn’t have a functioning TV in 1993 or so, I biked to the house next door to watch Knight Rider and MacGyver. I’ve tried to watch both in recent times, and out of the two MacGyver has aged so much better (as a series, not necessarily the actors). It’s probably due to seeing Knight Rider reuse the same trailer rollout clip for the tenth time that I noticed they had spent 75% of their budget on the car, 20% on David Hasselhoff’s appearance and only the remaining percentage on actual production values.
But I digress. The car, at least in more impressionable days, was nigh-on perfect. The series milked the Trans Am’s ’80s design til the last drop, and it’s practically a wonder the KITT dress-up wasn’t available from any Pontiac dealership. It’s that iconic, nearly on the same level as the BTTF DeLorean. Here’s a 1984 Trans Am for sale in Italy, and yes, it’s completely KITT’d out. There, I got to use that quip at least once.
From the nose cone to the bowling ball wheel covers to the blacked-out taillight bar, it’s exactly like it should. It also looks kind of weird parked on an Italian side street, next to humdrum Fiats and Opels.
And of course, it has the swooshing red light. I have no idea whether using that is legal anywhere but in Mediterranian countries, where I’d imagine the Carabinieri to be quite impressed rather than incensed with it.
And the party trick of course is the interior. Complete with the pistol grip steering “wheel” and the gadgety, extended dashboard, it’s just like in the series. It’d be fitting if there was an Italian dub of William Daniels reciting replies for you. The interior is tan, just like the TV car’s was.
The whole car is probably based on an US-sourced kit, and it’s most likely been cobbled together there. Another possibility is naturally Germany, as David Hasselhoff’s popularity there might well be enduring.
The Italian Knight Rider car is for sale for the princely sum of 20 000 eur over at autoscout24.de. Would you hand it over?
Bonus content: Here’s a clip of a similar car driving on a Japanese? highway. Always entertaining.