21 August 2013

Homemade KITT: ‘Knight Rider’ replica car

Chris Palmer needed five Trans Ams, numerous visits to eBay, countless hours of work and the generosity of several friends to recreate the car that starred in the hit 1980s television show “Knight Rider.” And he wouldn’t hesitate to do it all over again.

“It was totally worth it – more than worth it,” Palmer said of his KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand) lookalike. “I love this car. Everybody seems to love this car.”

Palmer started with a 1991 Pontiac Trans Am, which had a better drivetrain but was nine years newer than the car used in the show. That decision necessitated the purchase of four more Trans Am models – two each from 1982 and 1983 – so he could swap out the panels and parts required to make it look like KITT. The ’91 also has a five-speed manual transmission, unlike KITT’s automatic, so Palmer chopped the gear shift and swapped out the knob to make it look authentic.

Palmer found KITT’s unique dash (complete with two video screens) and the car’s trademark front bumper on eBay, and everything operates and sounds as it did on the show. KITT’s Michigan vanity license plate reads KNI6HT.

The Detroit-area resident said his 3½-year project would not have been possible without the help of his co-workers at Sled Alley Hot Rods Detroit, as well as Lafata Auto Body, which did the paint. Palmer, president of the newly created Great Lakes Knights Car Club, hopes to build show-quality movie-replica cars for other fans. For now, he’s enjoying all the attention he’s getting from ultimate KITT car.

3 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Logan Blain Southe East September 3, 2013 at 01:01
    This post is very interesting becuase Palmer has brought an old TV icon into the modern world. Being a car fanatic, I really appreciate this feat becuase I know what it takes to do all of the work required for Palmer to transform this car from a fairly modern car to a retro 80's car. I also have a personal connection to this car because I am in the process of restoring a Pontiac Trans Am myself so this post really intrigues me.
  • 2
    DUVAL SILAN Harrisburg, PA October 7, 2013 at 11:40
    I have MS and don't drive because I cannot concentrate on my surroundings and drive safely. I was in a car accident involving the concrete barriers and to date when I am in a car and the driver is next to the barriers it freaks me out. Therefore I need a KITT car so I can do what I want to do when I want to do it. Do you think this type of vehicle in the future? I see it happening and I WANT ONE. (smile)
  • 3
    Greg Calgary AB July 9, 2014 at 12:58
    This care is VERY impressive. Looks well done. If you ever want to sell this car please contact me and I will fly down to pick it up. Post reply here when you want to sell please.

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