Over the last year or so, I have been redoing, updating, repairing deconstructing a Knight Rider KITT that came to me via Texas where it was first put together.  KITT had visited me last Feb. and I was trying to get the owner to bring the car to Star Car events.  Well over time, he decided to sell the car, and I just happen to “need” another star car to get to work in, so KITT came to live with the Batmobile.  https://starcarcentral.wordpress.com/2008/10/17/kitt-knight-rider-brought-back-to-life/

DSC00047[1] (2)

KITT comes for a visit….


and decides to stay….

I really just wanted an owner of a KITT to show up at Star Car Central events, and around this time Alex Wong

showed up with his amazing showroom car, so I went from NO kitts, to suddenly 2!  Alex is to KITT with the details as I am to Batmobiles,

So I started picking his brain for everything that needed either upgrading, renewing, removing, or improving, to make my KITT

more like the original screen used cars.  The first one was the interior was the wrong color!  I knew the car was black and tan, but this car had an all black interior with tan carpet,

the original had tan interior, with tan carpet.  As Alex is one of the “good guys” and was all ready in the process of helping other KITT fans with thier cars, he had some

parts left over to get me started, carpet the right color, and lots of  time saving knowlege .  

Justa few wires....

That's not Bonnie, or April, that's Alex, and he actually fixes KITTS....

So after a walk around and making lists of all that wasn’t correct, needs updating (like analog TV’s that wont get a signal anymore)
we jumped into work! (in the above photo, wrong seatbelts, black seat parts, black door rail trim…. See? now it bugs you too….)
burbank parade
I had to modify the front foglights, grind off the grills, repaint the inside of the nose, move all the lights back, lot of stuff
that wouldn’t be noticed, but after Alex pointed them out, would bug ME for ever.  
last tan part
After searching craigs list, ebay, and junk yards, I finally got all proper tan parts, then  recarpeted and rejuvinated the interior.
Anyone need some black 1982 interior parts? 
One of the last exterior parts that needed upgrading was the rear “blackout”.   My KITT came with an old Marks Custom 3 part black out, and the TV KITT
had a single sheet of lexan/plastic across the back.  I removed the three pieces, as one was cracked, and  I was going to just leave the back of the car stock trans am, as I didn’t want to explain the taillight law to Highway Patrolmen over and over.  BUT then I saw the back of Alex’s car and said. “I gotta have that!”
So here are a few shots of how I destroyed the back of a trans am, so I can have the right KITT look!
taillight blackout 003
To make the lexan cover sit right, I had to grind off the eagle, and “fins” off of the center section of the taillights, as well as modify the back of all the rear lights, in order to suck the lights into the car
about 1/4 of an inch.
taillight blackout 006
Then I added adhesive strip across the reflector, double sided, to mount velcro to later.
taillight blackout 002
After wet sanding the lexan, and sanding the edges over and over to get the right fit, I attached a metal 1/2 inch
strip with heavy duty  double stick tape to add firmness to the curve of the lexan, then velcro on top of that.
The photo above is all of it put together, lexan, tape, metal, velcro.
taillight blackout 005
On the passenger side, my work on the back of the lights was not enough to suck it back into the car quite enough, so I had to go at it with a dremmel
(I wasn’t taking it back off of the car, it’s a big ordeal!) on the bottom you can see the double stick tape and velcro that attaches to the car.
taillight blackout 008
Finally, after sanding, painting, sanding, repainting, fitting, refitting, taping, velcro-ing, I thought I was done, and took a photo!
Then I tried to close it, and it wouldn’t close without repeated attempts and having to shut it pretty hard.  The lexan was pushed down, and now it didn’t fit again,
so I resanded, and refitted and now had to figure out how to add a bit of room so the latch would again catch every time.
taillight blackout 011
I eventually figured out I could take off the upper trim piece on the trunk lid (the tan part, the signature is Michael Schiff, original designer of KITT)
and remove the latch, add some thin washers under the 4 bolts, and it was all better!
taillight blackout 012
Now KITT is back on the road, with his exterior now more accurate, and a cool new black out!  Ready to help “one man, make a difference….
and get to work….)
Come see 7 starcars at the Lake Forest 4th of July Parade this Saturday…   also coming up, the KITT Knight Rider dash makeover by Alex!
The final phase….

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starcarcentral posts

June 2009

star car news archive

nate truman starcarcentral.com

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