We’re late to the party, but Knight Rider celebrated its 32nd anniversary on September 26. This science-fiction TV show staring David Hasselhoff (before he became the patron saint of Germany) managed to last through 1986. According to Yahoo Autos, creator Glen Larson was keen on doing a sci-fi version of “The Lone Ranger” with Tonto as a talking car . . . what? Alas, the clincher was having the right voice for the car, which was handled with aplomb by William Daniels.
The original car in the TV show was a a 1982 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am with a 305 small-block, but when modified with a sequential beam on the nose and a digital and LED dashboard inside, it became K.I.T.T. (Knight Industries Two Thousand). Best of all, K.I.T.T. was controlled by a computer with artificial intelligence, beating the Google Car by possibly more than 40 years. Cost at the time was over $11 million − totally leading edge. With powerboosters, 60 could be reached in 0.2 seconds, faster than the space shuttle in 1982 and still faster than every car built today.