Exclusive: Jalopnik Lifts KITT's Hood

Illustration for article titled Exclusive: Jalopnik Lifts KITT's Hood

Ray and I got to live out a major childhood fantasy of ours earlier today when KITT swung by Brooklyn and offered to take us for a ride. KITT's found new life not as an F-body, but as a Ford Mustang GT500KR. Well, a more accurate description would be a Mustang GT with an automatic transmission — the cast can't drive stick — a supercharger and GT500KR bodywork. They do say, "Never meet your childhood heroes, you'll be disappointed." In this case, they're only partially right.

Knight Rider, the made for TV movie, airs Sunday night on NBC, starring our friend KITT here and a cast of no name, blandly good looking actors. Val Kilmer provides KITT's voice. David Hasselhoff will make a cameo appearance to smooth the transition from 25 years ago to today. It's rumored that should the movie prove successful, we should expect a spin-off series some time in the near future.


In person, KITT is little more than a prop. It's roughly finished and beat to hell. We're some of the first people outside the show, after Jay Leno, to get our hands on the car. We're not NBC employees like Jay, so we couldn't drive the vehicle for liability reasons, but we were able to hop in for a short ride. It felt like a Mustang, one with loud pipes, a plastic interior and lowered suspension; it rides rough as hell. But that's the adult in me speaking. The five year old that still exists somewhere deep inside me is positively giddy with excitement at finally getting the opportunity to ride along with Michael Knight, or at least one of Ford's delivery guys who looked just a little bit like him. NBC's hoping a lot more people's inner child won't be able to resist KITT either.

Photography: Ray Wert and Wes Siler

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I'd say they just thought it would be cool to get the control column off a Learjet, hence the 'steering wheel' with no top. Either that, or that Momo model had F1 style lights on the top but the producers thought the instrument dials of KITT/Mustang was more high-tech looking than a 5000 dollar F1 steering wheel.

The blower is there so they can justify not having 'turbo boost' by having psuedo 'blower boost' for which you have to dial a code into the console. 1-800-FAST for example. Or 1-800-GITT for when the Stang craps out.