Only three pursuit mode cars were built for the Knight Rider 1980s TV show – and this is the only example known to still exist.
KITT, the self-driving Pontiac Trans Am that featured in the popular 1980s TV show Knight Rider starring David Hasselhoff, is one of the most iconic TV cars of all time. Around 20 were built for the show, only five of which survived. The car we're looking at here, however, is the 'Super Pursuit Mode' version of Michael Knight’s trusty talking car introduced in season four.
Two appeared on screen: one was stripped out d to film the transforming special effects scenes and the other was used for stunt driving. A third was used as a backup car. The two on-screen cars have unfortunately been lost, but the third has been safely stored at the Volo Auto Museum in Illinois – and now it’s heading to auction.
Based on a Pontiac Firebird (the listing states it's a 1988 model, but the original Knight Rider series ended in 1986), the car is identical to the chassis that did the driving scenes since it was built as a backup car. It’s instantly recognizable thanks to its ‘Super Pursuit Mode' body modifications and features functional aero brakes on the rear that fold out to provide extra stopping power.
Like in the show, the car’s front features the pulsating red light that indicated when KITT was talking, and the interior equipped with the famous KITT dash and steering wheel. Sadly, the car doesn’t come with artificial intelligence or KITT’s distinctive voice to go with the light, but the sale listing via Auto Classics says that “electronics can be added to further enhance the car.”
The other two on-screen cars aren’t known to exist today, making this a very rare opportunity to own an authentic KITT car built for the TV show. Volo will auction the car on September 19 and estimates it will sell for between $35,000 and $40,000, but there’s no reserve.
This isn’t the only recently rediscovered car from TV and film. Earlier this year, the original Ford Mustang GT Fastback Steve McQueen drove in Bullitt was found after being presumed lost for over 40 years. The Aston Martin DB5 Sean Connery famously drove in Goldfinger may have also been found in the Middle East.