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Knight Rider

Updated October 2, 2013

For a moment, let’s think about the things we wished our cars could do for us. Make a latté? Well, yes, that would be great! Cut off contact with poisonous friends for us? Of course! Nowadays, we have cars that can tell us where to go when we get lost, let us know who is calling us on our phones and even let us know when they’re ailing by way of the highly computerized systems imbedded within them that keep track of every potential bump in the engine . That stuff is all well and good, but ultimately, it’s all programmed in – it’s man made and derived from the mind of a person much like one of us, a person seeking convenience at the behest of melding the relationship between man and machine to simpler levels.

The Beginning of an Era

In 1982, the television show Knight Rider was unleashed upon the American boob tube watching audience. The show stars David Hasselhoff, in one of his lesser embarrassing roles, as Michael Arthur Long, an undercover police detective, based in Las Vegas. At the beginning of the show, we see Knight shot in the face and nearly dying from the wounds sustained as a result. After facial reconstructive surgery, Long is equipped with a new alias – Michael Knight – as well as a new ride, KITT, an autonomous car with artificial intelligence. Short for the Knight Industries Two Thousand, KITT was, in reality, a third generation Pontiac Firebird, a muscle car that debuted in the same year as the television show.

More About The Car

Though KITT was notable for a great many things – its sassiness standing out as a chief attribute – its physical make up stood apart from the rest of its F-bodied ilk as it was a Trans Am. Having undergone a great number of minor modifications including spoliers, fog lights and exclusive hoods, the model had been used in a number of films prior to debuting by way of KITT on the small screen – a notable example of the car’s use can be found in Smokey and The Bandit along with its second sequel. No doubt, certain consumers of a more gullible mettle were likely disappointed when they purchased a Firebird Trans Am, and found that the car was neither capable of acting as a conversationalist, or able to get them an in with the likes of Hasselhoff. As time went on, Knight Rider enjoyed a considerable amount of success and has, to this day, been allocated to the annals of pop culture history as a cult favorite. In the late 2000’s, the series was revived, but this time, KITT appeared in the guise of a 2008-2009 Ford Shelby GT500KR, a Mustang with a considerably more rounded and modernized frame than its original corporeal form nearly three decades before. Things can’t stay the same forever, can they?

Casey Meehan writes for Colorado Springs Auto Repair Shop, Your Import Car Doctor.



Calvin Escobar
About Calvin Escobar

The Car scene is so diverse Where I come from, most enthusiasts recognize the amazing engineering (particularly the engines). The bulk of the ridicule originates from the manner in which many of the vehicles are modded/maintained. Thus, the jokes and or hate tends to be aimed more at the owner rather than the machine. All of which makes seeing properly sorted old Toyota's and Hondas at car meets, auto shows, and track days all the more refreshing.

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