The science-fiction-tinged action drama that made (for better or worse) a household name out of David Hasselhoff, was defined by two things – Hasselhoff’s magnificent mane, of course, and his co-star, the 1982 Pontiac Trans Am that was transformed into the Knight Industries Two Thousand (KITT).
The artificially intelligent automobile spoke (it possessed a bit of an attitude, voiced cleverly by William Daniels), and tracked to any destination without any driver input than voice command. Oh yeah, it could travel at speeds up to 200 mph and was virtually indestructible.
In the lead character of Michael Knight, Hasselhoff and KITT fought crime under the umbrella of an organization called the Foundation for Law and Government (FLAG). Notably, for the testosterone-drenched show, the chief engineer in charge of KITT’s car was a woman, Dr. Bonnie Barstow.
The car cost the production company $100,000 to build, with the red front-mounted scanner bar (which allowed it to see), modified dash, and other hi-tech interior additions designed by consultant Michael Scheffe. The list of “standard features” controlled by the internal supercomputer is long: turbojet power, rocket boosters, an ejector seat, satellite communications, radar, laser defense system, traction spikes, a grappling hook, flame throwers, and of course, as was de rigueur for the decade, the T-Top roof system that allowed big ‘80s hair to billow in the wind.
There was also KITT’s evil twin, known as KARR, an acronym for Knight Automated Roving Robot. But we won’t … go down that road.