VIPER DEFENDER – a rare starcar goes up for bid! Rare Ford Futura batmobile appearance! Knight Rider Over Morphs!

The last Defender went up to $270,000 but the reserve was $300,000!

One of the rarest starcars out there is the Viper “Defender” from the NBC series that was cancelled and then went into syndication for a few seasons.
My pals at UniquemovieCarslasvegas.com have possibly the only remaining fully working “Defender” from the series.

The basic premise of the show was in the not too distant future the world is full of crime and the government starts up a secret task force with a cool car to fight for Justice. Basically Knight Rider, but the car is just a super car with gadgets – it doesn’t think or talk.
Similar to the “attack mode” in Knight Rider, in this show a “basic” red and then later blue Viper transforms into a grey hardtop custom version called “the defender” and it has grappling guns, stun effects, off road tires etc, as well as some screens in the dash!

Back in the day of the show, the transform shots cost $50,000 each! Now they look more like a great fan film CGI effect.

Still pretty cool (and impossible) but I suffered through this show waiting for the effect shots! The problem is the show was built around one new cool effect, sort of like “manimal”
(Look it up if you want – its a guy who could turn into animals)
But this show just never found the right cast or tone or storyline. Swapping out the original driver, then bringing him back, it was all just a rehash of “Street Hawk” (guy at computer helping cooler guy on super car/bike) “Knight Rider” with a bit of “Robocop” sucky future mixed in. But the car morph effects were always cool!

But seriously, the WHEELBASE gets longer, the tires expand to some sort of off road thing? And it goes from a high profile red viper to a high profile custom hadtop viper? Just leave it as a Defender! But then of course, you wouldn’t have the cool morphs, and that was the only draw for the show!

This was the best show opening, and from the looks of this, I should have LOVED the show. It even tossed in some “Speed racer” with a little “flying bird” that popped out and had a camera inside it! Where did they get THAT idea? 🙂
I kept watching because the morphs were and still are pretty cool, and I tried and tried to like the show. I always liked the car!

I did have to hunt down a copy of one episode on “VIDEOTAPE” (explain that to your younger friends!) where the only screen apperance of a rare Ford Futura Concept car replica was ever seen. The story was they found this fantastic car in a lost underground facility and it was stolen. Sort of a “tucker” story about a guy who designed the car of the future, and the big car companies didn’t want it to be made. I only cared because the Futura Concept car was lost for all time, when it was transformed into the 1966 batmobile for the Adam West series. So this is the only film of a Futura racing around, other than a little footage of the original “pre-batmobile” in the movie “it started with a Kiss” with Glen Ford and Debbie Reynolds.

Here’s some footage of the replica tooling around at a car show.

As a starcar, the Defender has all the required stuff, cool modified car – it’s the star of the show – it was in every episode – and if you buy it or make one, you are SOOO in the starcarcentral.com membership! However, it was missing that one last important element to send it to the top of the desired tv and movie cars, it had to be a HIT show with lots of fans during it’s run. But I won’t hold that against any starcar that STARTED as a VIPER!
Viper/defender fans, lets bring the show back – or a feature film? I would watch it – just for the effect shots! 🙂

The re-boot of Knight Rider was using the same playbook, and even though all the effects were past the verge of believable I watched every episode!
Check out the transformations in this video!

Let’s here it for fanboy editors with lots of time to put these together! The series lost me promoting other Ford vehicles, when a Mustang turned into a TRUCK? I said, “Hey, and it can turn into Optimus Prine too!” as a joke. Well… then later in the series, they turned the Evil KARR into a giant robot, and the voice of KARR was the voice of Optimus prime!
I was still watching, and smiling!

Tell the truth now, you clicked on a few of those clips more than once! Weather it’s the Defender, Kitt or even Michael Jackson’s face, Morphing is cool!
Stupid impossible cool, is still stupid cool!

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August 2010

star car news archive

nate truman starcarcentral.com

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