Knight Rider, Picture KITT Reunion
Written by Jim Suva
A new TV show aired in September 1982. It was called Knight Rider. We were introduced to a talking, computerized Pontiac Trans Am. Its name, the “Knight Industries Two Thousand”. K.I.T.T. for short. Everyone soon wanted their own KITT. Over the years many replicas were made and are still being made, using different parts, built by different companies. In fact there are KITT replicas, Knight Rider groups and conventions held in different parts of the world.
The true Holy Grail of Knight Rider is owning one of the actual Trans Ams from the TV series. The next best thing to owning one, is to attend an event with three screen used KITTs.
On Saturday, April 29, 2017, the first ever original screen-used KITT cars were brought together in Auburn, Indiana. The Knight Rider Historians, Joe Huth and AJ Palmgren, are the devoted fans that put this all together. The Kruse Auto Museum was the site of the event. The museum can boast that is has Car #1 Camera Car owned by Carl Casper on display.
Carl Casper is a car customizer and show producer, who worked out a deal with Universal Studios to save four of the remaining Knight Rider cars when the show ended in 1986. He purchased those four and toured them across the country for a number of years. He then sold off all but the one he still owns and displays. One of the four KITTs was the convertible version from the last season, which is on display in Florida at a car museum. Without Carl, these cars would have been destroyed like all the rest.
The other two cars are owned by the Knight Rider Historians. Car #2 is the insert/close up camera car and Car #3 is a stunt car.
At the April event, Joe and AJ arranged to have three guest speakers from the show. Michael Scheffe – Designer and Builder of the Original K.I.T.T., Ron Martinez – Unit Production Manager, Jim Morris – Universal Studios Transportation. They reminisced about their time working on the show, cars etc. Michael Scheffe gave a great presentation on building the original cars for Glen Larson, used to shoot the pilot for the series.
On display were different Cast and Crew jackets, original dash, and other items from Knight Rider. One special item is an original K.I.T.T. nose that was presented to David Hasslehoff with a working scanner. About 99% of the items on display are owned by the Knight Rider Historians. A few of the Cast and Crew jackets belong to one of the attendees.
In attendance were about 100 fans who traveled from as far away as New Zealand, Germany, and Holland to attend this event. Also, five replica cars from all over the United States, from North Carolina to Kansas attended. The event was a big success. We would like to thank Joe and AJ for keeping Knight Rider alive, and maintaining the screen used cars and props from the show. Without them a lot of these items would have been lost. Joe and AJ have a Blog, which contains a lot more information about the TV Series Knight Rider: https://knightriderhistorians.blogspot.com/
As for right now, this is the only reunion of the screen used K.I.T.T.s planned. But who knows for sure, maybe someday there will be another.