I Made My Own "Knight Rider" Trans Am Replica—Complete With a Working KITT

The story of my 1982 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am project.

Maddie McGarvey

Owner: Chris Blasius

Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Found on: Craigslist

Purchase Price: $4,000

Years Owned: Four

Maddie McGarvey
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Knight Rider fans like me have built replicas of KITT, the car David Hasselhoff drove on the show. But I wanted to take it further. I spent about two years searching before I found a clean, low-miles ’82 hardtop. I replaced the roof with a T-top I got from another Trans Am, then started making the KITT parts—the steering wheel, the dash, the lights.

I hired a fiberglasser to make the molds and shape each part. Along the way, we took pictures and overlaid them with stills from the show to make sure every angle was perfect. But I didn’t just want it to light up. I wanted it all to function like in the show.

Maddie McGarvey

So I typed out about 200 questions I thought people might ask, and saved them to a MacBook Pro running dictation software from the trunk. I hooked that to an audio mixer under the passenger seat, and installed a microphone in the cabin. Now, when somebody asks a question (“Are you there?”), the car answers with an MP3 straight from the show (“Of course”).

People have asked me to build them one, but I would never do this again. I don’t care how much anyone pays me. You’re building a car that doesn’t exist, with parts that don’t exist. I thought it was going to kill me, but I finally got it done. And the $50,000 and 2,000 hours was worth it, because I can get starstruck in my own garage.


This appears in the April 2018 issue.

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