Knight Industries Two Thousand, a sleek, computerized 1982 black
Pontiac Trans-Am (Serial No. Alpha Delta 227529) on the
adventure series KNIGHT RIDER/NBC/1982-86. Created by
millionaire Wilton Knight and his research team of Von Borman,
Breelin and Yamada, KITT was designed to be the ultimate crime
fighting vehicle. Its most sophisticated feature was a molecular
bonded coating which surrounded the car and made it impervious
Other design perks included turbo booster rockets
mounted onto the rear which propelled the car 50 feet through
the air; computer controlled automatic pilot; smoke screens,
flame throwers, an ejection seat, (a la James Bond); auto-cruise
silent mode; ski mode; audio/visual capabilities which included
intercepting police calls, voice analyzer, and video cameras to
record all surrounding landscapes; two-wheel balancing
capability used to escape through narrow openings; riding on top
of water (made possible by a third stage aquatic synthesizer);
and a top cruising speed of 300 m.p.h.
The heart of the car's system was a main microprocessor computer
program called KITT (voice of William Daniels) that interacted
with its human rider, Michael Knight (David Hasselhoff), a
former L.A.P.D. police officer (Michael Long of the 11th
Precinct) disfigured in an accident and given a new identity and
job with the Foundation for Law and Government, headed by Devon
Miles, (Edward Mulhare).
F.L.A.G. was established with the funds
bequeathed by Wilton Knight (Richard Basehart) to carry on his
crusade against evil-doers.A two-way wrist radio (shades of
Dick Tracy!) kept Michael in contact with KITT when he was out
of its cockpit.
Despite KITT's, seemingly indestructibility, the
futuristic car had its Achilles heels, (or should I say
wheels?). Once KITT was dropped into a pool of toxic waste which
eroded its circuits to the point where only the barest shreds of
its memory banks remained. Luckily, KITT was restored to its
former computerized (and often arrogant) self. so it could
continue battling such villains as his evil "twin" brother, KARR
(Knight Automated Roving Robot), an devious duplicate of KITT
(voice of Peter Cullen) with such nefarious program directives
as short circuiting pacemakers...Now that's mean!; and Goliath,
an indestructible truck owned by Wilton Knight's evil son,
Garthe (David Hasselhoff with a mustache).
During the 1985-86 season KITT received 11 new upgrades
including: super pursuit mode, ultra-stop emergency
decelerators, satellite scanner and transponder, high visibility
mode (negative roof), ultra-lite frequency degausers, reverse
polarity destabilizers, water-cooled Cabrillo accelerators,
re-engineered modular suspension, infra-red tracking and
intercept system, zero gravity induction system and high
performance liquid chromatography work station.
mechanical and computer systems were Bonnie Barstow (Patricia
McPherson) and April Curtis (Rebecca Holden/1983-84).
fall 1985-86 season , a hip, young black mechanic named Reginald
Cornelius III, aka "RC3" (Peter Parros) was employed by FLAG
after he augmented KITT's speed and braking performance by 40%.
During the actual filming of the series there were six identical
Trans-AM's used for the stunt sequences. Often when a stunt car
did a 50 foot jump, it's structural integrity was compromised
and sometimes the car even broke in half.
Covering the exterior
of each of these back-up cars was an onion skin coating which
was peeled off when dirty or scratched, thus insuring a shiny,
for each shot.
On 5/19/91, a new TV-movie Knightrider 2000
featured an amazing new KITT in a spectacular hell-on-wheels
adventure set in the year 2000. Michael Knight came out of
retirement to help with a new Knight 4000 project and discovered
unfortunately that his old car was disassembled with parts sold
to research as scrap-including the internal memory chips that
comprised the original personality of KITT (fortunately most
were retrieved and KITT was restored).
The new car was a bold,
deep red colored sports car with black-tinted windows and a
black top. Features included a three-liter, 300 horsepower
engine; digital sampling analyzer for identifying and
duplicating human voice patterns.; thermal expanders that heat
up the tires on a fleeing car-and exploded them; hydrofoil
capabilities that turned KITT into a speedboat; a collision
factor analyzer which calculated when it was safe to run a red
light or weave through traffic at high speeds; and a virtual
reality windshield that enhanced topography and visibility.
along for the ride this time round was Shawn McCormick (Susan
Norman), a police woman with one of KITT's microprocessor chips
implanted into her head.
With the death of Devon Miles at the
hands of gunrunners, a new project coordinator named Maddock
(Carmen Argenziano) took over the operations.
Years later, More vehicles and hi-tech gadgetry resurfaced on
the action adventure TEAM KNIGHT RIDER/SYN/1997-98 that hosted
more talking cars including Attack Beast, a black pickup; Dante,
a silver All-Terrain Vehicle with a British accent; Domino, a
red Ford sports convertible; and Kat, a supped up motorcycle.
TRIVIA NOTE: To make the KITT car appear it was driving by
itself, the car featured a right-hand driving position with a
second steering wheel installed below the dash. The stunt driver
sat slunk down in a reconfigured passenger seat which allowed
him to see over the car's cowl but still remain hidden from
general view. Model car versions of KITT were manufactured by
MPC, and Ertl/AMT company. The KITT car is an attraction at
Universal Studios in Southern California.
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