When the Knight Rider hit the market in the ‘80s, the nearly imperishable KITT, a heavily modified Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, was introduced to the world that left everybody dazed. Even today, the car continues its legacy of being one of the coolest cars ever made with remarkable features. Fans around the world spend countless resources and efforts to assemble their own real-life KITTs.
One such automobile junkie from Detroit, Chris Palmer, after working on it for about three years recently displayed his very own perfect replica of the famous movie car, in a promotional video for a local car insurance company . Palmer says that when he started out, he needed much more than the kindness of his friends to finance his insane obsession of having his own perfect KITT. He required five Pontiac Trans Ams, several custom parts and innumerable hours of dedicated work to create his four-wheeled tour de force. But in the end, as Palmer says, “it was totally worth it – more than worth it”. He had a maddening dream of sitting behind KITT’s steering wheel ever since he was a little kid, and his passion never died out throughout the years. He has owned and driven 15 or 16 Pontiac Firebird Trans Ams since he started driving, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that he took on the challenge of fashioning a perfect replica of the Knight Industries Two Thousand.
The auto enthusiast started out with 1991 Pontiac Trans Am which undoubtedly had a far better drivetrain but was nine years newer than the car used in Knight Rider. He eventually bought four more Trans Ams, two each from 1982 and 1983, so he could replace the necessary panels and parts to model his car to look exactly like KITT. Palmer’s ’91 Pontiac had a five-speed manual transmission, unlike KITT’s automatic, so he chopped the gear shift and changed the knob to make it look genuine. Fortunate as he was, he was able to get the trademark front bumper and complete dashboard on eBay, and all he had to do was to modify those and install them. After all the modifications, the car turned out better than he ever dreamed of constructing, which is reinforced by all the attention he gets driving around in his notable KITT.
Palmer, who is now the president of the newly established Great Lakes Knights Car Club, intends to put his experience use, now that he has the resources, in building more movie-replica cars for other auto-enthusiast fans like himself.