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Original KITT

Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:04 pm
by rydon1981
According to something I just read on IMDB, KITT was originally going to be a Datsun 280ZX, but GM came out with the 3rd gen Trans-Am not long before pre-production.

We almost had this jumping over trains and crashing through walls:
IMG_0627.jpg (221.56 KiB) Viewed 8228 times

Re: Original KITT

Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:40 pm
by Knight Racer
This would have been what kitt would have looked like if that were true


Thank goodness we ended up with this magnifacent peice of machinery as kitt


Re: Original KITT

Posted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:39 pm
by mtnjak
Wow, I couldn't imagine that. I also couldn't imagine trying to figure out how to make those deep well light sockets for my bed project! LOL

Re: Original KITT

Posted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:15 pm
by corlando52
According to an interview with Glenn Larson, he said he never considered any other car. He was in love with the lines of the then new Firebird and thought it was the perfect vehicle for his KITT. This interview can be found in The Knight Rider Legacy.
"For him (Larson), choosing the redesigned 1982 Pontiac Trans Am for K.I.T.T. was a simple choice. 'No other car was being considered for K.I.T.T.'s body. I simply liked the look of that car. I thought that it was so extraordinarily clean that it wouldn't leave us a lot of need to do what other people had done previously when it came to motion picture cars. A lot of people went to an organization called Barris. I didn't do that. I liked the Pontiac, it was a neat looking machine and it was not even really out yet."

IMDB is wrong.


Re: Original KITT

Posted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:59 pm
by Knight Racer
I heard Michael Sheffe created kitt.What did Barris do?I heard he had some part in knight rider or he is just always at the shows?

Re: Original KITT

Posted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:12 pm
by lphill01
I think he had a hand in the Super Persuit Mode design.

Re: Original KITT

Posted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:27 pm
by Michael Pajaro
The imdb trivia is misleading but is not entirely wrong. According to product placement guru Eric C. Dahlquist, who wrote the foreword for "Hollywood TV and Movie Cars":

"A Datsun Z car was written into the original script, but (line producer Harker Wade) wanted to know if GM had anything hotter coming out that would work in this role. Of course: the all-new Trans Am! Pontiac's general manager, Bill Hoglund, had told me at a meeting just days before that he would like to see his brand-new baby in a James Bond kind of movie or TV show."

The Datsun may not have ever been a serious contender, but it was at very least a place-holder at some point in Knight Rider's development.

Re: Original KITT

Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:42 am
by neps
Barris got involved with Knight Rider for a number of things. No he didn't create the distinct look of KITT, or it's interior - that was all Michael Scheffe.

But what George and his team did do was yes - Super Pursuit Mode, but also the Convertible KITT, as well as designing versions of KITT that used rubber components that allowed them to survive injury and bounce back into place. There is also a number of photos of George driving KITT through the hidden seat that allowed KITT to appear to "drive" - but my memory is failing right now to know if he created that system originally.

Sue did several interviews with George for the site -about 40 minutes worth - worth listening to if you want to hear from him directly - some you may have to take with a grain of salt: ... e_this.php ... part_2.php ... part_3.php

Re: Original KITT

Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:03 am
by Michael Pajaro
The plaza in the photo Knight Racer posted from Just My Bill - doesn't it seem like that would be an easy location to find? Joe?

Re: Original KITT

Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:44 am
by Joe Huth
One step ahead of you Mike, it's L.A. City Hall:

And regarding your quote posted earlier...I've actually met Eric Dahlquist in person and he confirmed to me then that the Datsun was considered at one point before the Trans Am. Eric worked for the company responsible for providing the vehicles to the show.


Re: Original KITT

Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:53 am
by msKEN
Do you take the "creators" word, or the almost 30 year old recollection of an employee of a third party vehicle provider? Its an interesting concept but one hard for me to swallow. Would be a good question to throw at Larson again if he comes to KRF this year!

Re: Original KITT

Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:42 am
Ya gonna call BS on this one !!

I had the RARE chance of talking privately with Michael Scheffe last year in Vegas and at another *Private* gathering,(NO not the VIP thing).He told me his personal account of connecting GM with Larson/Universal and getting the first dozen or so '82 black/gold cars from the Van Nuys F-body plant,But NEVER any mention of a Datsun/Nissan being involved with Knight Rider :? :shock:

BUT !!! I do agree this is a good question to ask Mr.Larson he will be "the" guy to put this rumor to rest.

Also I'm personally getting tired of hearing that CLOWN Barris attached to Knight Rider in general.That old coot really likes to put his name on anything TV/Movie car related :roll: ,There should be a public disclosure around the net and Wikepdia that Barris was NEVER involved with the creation/development of the original KITT :roll:

To me KITT and the BTTF Delorean will ALWAYS and RESPECTIVELY have the name Michael Scheffe attached to them.He is one of the COOLEST and most humble guys I have EVER met involving Knight Rider :good:.He even offered to sign my replica thinking I brought it with me to Vegas ,But it was 900 miles away in storage :(

Also a cool side story he told me that he use to work for Mattel/Hot Wheels back in the day.I wonder how many of the Hot Wheels KITT cars will he get from them :mrgreen:

Sorry had to rant for a sec,Going back to selling Turbo Cast and bowling balls now :wink: lol