Deutsche Version  David Hasselhoff, Rebecca Holden, Peter Parros & Michael Scheffe in my K.I.T.T.!
 
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My progress

Exterior: 100%
Interior: 100%
Other stuff: 90%


Consumption

19.69 MPG (US)
23.65 MPG (UK)


FAQ

K.I.T.T. was a Trans Am - not a Firebird.

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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

01. Why did you build a Knight Rider replica?
02. How much is such a replica?
03. Where can I buy a finished K.I.T.T.?
04. How much is the scanner (or other parts)?
05. How long did it take you to build your replica?
06. What's the donor car for the project?
07. K.I.T.T. was a Trans Am - not a Firebird.
08. Can I also use a different car? Will the parts fit?
09. Which season is your car?
10. How screen-accurate is your replica?
11. Are the K.I.T.T.-dash-electronics working?
12. Where did you get the conversion parts from?
13. Can I buy replica parts from you?
14. Can you help me with buying parts from foreign vendors?
15. Where can I get plans for the scannerbar or the voicebox?
16. Can I build Lectric's Scanner into my Fiat Punto/Volkswagen Golf?
17. Is the conversion street legal in Germany?
18. Why is ... not like the original K.I.T.T.'s?
19. Why is your dash so shiny? K.I.T.T.'s dash was matt!
20. On some images, you have 6 front lights. Didn't K.I.T.T. have 4?
21. Do you have a manual transmission?
22. Do you have the green LEDs installed at your accelerator pedal?
23. Does the car speak?
24. Where can I get the speaking software?
25. Where can I get the soundfiles? Could you send me yours?
26. How do you build the turbo boost?
27. When will you build the Super Pursuit Mode and the convertible mode?
28. How fast is your K.I.T.T. and how much of gasoline does he need?
29. V6 engine is too weak. You need more power! Buy a V8 engine!
30. Could you register K.I.T.T. as classic car to safe taxes in Germany?
31. Is the car recognized? Is everyone jealous, when you're driving the car?
32. Is K.I.T.T. your daily driver?
33. Can I see your car anywhere or come to you?
34. I'm a Knight-Rider-Fan for 50 years and my greatest wish is to sit in K.I.T.T.!
35. May I sit in the car, when I come to a meeting?
36. Will you come near me with your K.I.T.T. replica?
37. Did you build the car on your own? Where did you learn all of that?
38. Cool website. I'll sure start to build my own replica soon!
39. Where do I get more information for building my own K.I.T.T.?
40. How do I get the red light between the headlights?
41. Can you build a K.I.T.T.-replica for me? I pay a lot of money!
42. Would you sell your K.I.T.T.? How much do you want for it?
43. Will you also build a replica of K.A.R.R., the bad protoype of K.I.T.T.?
44. When will you build the new K.I.T.T. (Ford Mustang Shelby GT)?
45. Will you build a DeLorean timemachine, too?
46. Are there still some original cars from the TV show left?
47. Don't you think, there still could be an original car left anyways?

01. Why did you build a Knight Rider replica?
I call it "a child's dream comes true". I've been a huge fan of "Knight Rider" when I was 12 years old. At that time I was dreaming of building a K.I.T.T.-dash into my car when I'm big... Well, now I'm "big enough" and I'd never build such a dash into my standard car. In 2003, I realized, that you can buy most of the conversion parts via the internet. At this time, I already thought about letting my dream come true. In 2005, I started to buy the first parts, but planned not to buy the car before 2008. In August 2006, I found a partly-finished K.I.T.T.-replica at an affordable price and simply bought it.
02. How much is such a replica?
That's very different. I know of people who build their replica at "low costs" and on the other hand there are people, who pay a lot of money for all the parts. Personally, I'm kind of in the middle. Altogether you should be looking at 10-15,000 Euros - only for the parts(!) for a good exterior replica and 15-20,000 Euros for a complete replica including interior. Again: only for the parts! The donor car can already be bought for about 2,000-2,500 Euros. A complete new paint-job (which is necessary in almost every case) will cost at least the same and the conversion parts are not for free, too. My project did cost about 30,000 Euros over the years. But you also have to add additional costs (garage, taxes, insurance) to the car plus repairs for the car itself. So 40,000 Euros is a realistic price for the hobby. Personally I already paid more than 50,000 Euros altogether!
03. Where can I buy a finished K.I.T.T.?
You should not buy a "finished" K.I.T.T.! Imagine a 25 year old car with all the troubles + many tinkered stuff without any manuals. As soon as something gets broke (and it definately will - sooner than you think), you won't have any idea how to fix it. And there are no garage services, that will take tinkered cars without any manuals... Better build it yourself... And if you can't, really better leave it... This isn't a hobby for everyone. I can tell, because I've done it.
The cars that are for sale, are mostly those broken cars, where nobody knows how to fix them or the owners lost their patience. I know a lot of people who thought they'd take the "easy way". But there is no easy way ;)
The hobby is also quite overrated. Nobody would buy a 25 year old tinkered car... Only if they think it is "K.I.T.T.", then some people seem to forget to use their brains. Because in the end it's actually not "K.I.T.T." but an old tinkered car - with all the troubles of reality ;)
04. How much is the scanner (or other parts)?
I don't list prices here. I mention the vendors for every part, I used. You can use Google to find out the current prices for yourself, if you need to know. I did not choose the cheapest vendors myself. I prefer better quality over low prices.
05. How long did it take you to build your replica?
I started buying parts in 2005 and purchased the car in August 2006. In May 2008, the replica was mainly finished (including dashboard and all interior and exterior parts). We only worked on the car on weekends. The most delays come, when you want to buy parts. Some of them are extremely rare and hard to get, others have delivery times from 10-12 months (dash electronics). Additionally, you don't want to spend all the money at once. So most people buy one part after another. So building a replica can be a hobby for years, especially if you want to do it with quality.
06. What's the donor car for the project?
K.I.T.T. used to be a 1982 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am (3rd generation) from General Motors with t-top and auto transmission. For replica projects, you can also use later models until 1992. Don't buy a car just from photos, without having seen it in person! Most cars look much better on photos than in reality. My car also was in a worse condition that it seems to be on the photos!
07. K.I.T.T. was a Trans Am - not a Firebird.
I get to hear this quite often. But "Trans Am" is just a special type of the Firebird. Every Trans Am is still a Firebird, but not every Firebird is a Trans Am. It is similar to the Volkswagen Golf GTI. Nobody would claim that a GTI is not a Golf  ;)
So, K.I.T.T. will always be a Firebird, even though he is a Trans Am...
08. Can I also use a different car? Will the parts fit?
Serious question: WHY?!?
And of course: Hell, no!
09. Which season is your car?
I have a 3rd-season-K.I.T.T. with the newer dash, which only has one big monitor instead of 2 smaller ones. Since my car already had a 4th-season-front, when I bought it, I had a 4th-season-K.I.T.T. until May 2009. Then I decided to install the 3rd-season-frontnose by Knight Passions, which I always preferred.
10. How screen-accurate is your replica?
I'm proud to say, that my replica is quite screen accurate. Still, there are some differences:
In Germany, we are not allowed to mount a black taillight cover, so I'm using tinted taillights.
My car has a manual transmission, because I prefer to shift myself.
I don't have a 82 center console, because I don't like the clunky look of it. So I also have a self made center console for K.I.T.T. with special functions.
Besides that, my car has all necessary elements that make it look like the original K.I.T.T. including custom frontnose with red scannerbar, Cowl Induction Hood, rear bumper, Turbo Cast Rims with Bowlingball hubcaps, rear side deflectors, t-top, interior in TAN, PMD-seats, overhead console, custom dashboard, switchpod and gullwing steering wheel... (see also Original vs. Replica).
11. Are the K.I.T.T.-dash-electronics working?
The dash electronics work just like the original dash did. There are displays for speed, oil pressure, temperature, gasoline, voltmeter. My 3rd/4th-season-electronics additionally have a working compass which also shows the turn signal function.
12. Where did you get the conversion parts from?
Everything you need, to build a K.I.T.T.-replica is available over the internet. Take a look at my link section for vendors.
13. Can I buy replica parts from you?
No. I don't offer any parts. From time to time, I'm selling spare parts here. Besides those offers, I have nothing for sale.
14. Can you help me with buying parts from foreign vendors?
Sorry, but I don't have the time to do so. Get yourself a PayPal account and contact the vendors yourself. If you can read this, you'll probably speaking English. That's what most vendors do, too...
15. Where can I get plans for the scannerbar or the voicebox?
Not from me. I don't have any, because I bought them already finished.
16. Can I build Lectric's Scanner into my Fiat Punto/Volkswagen Golf?
The scanner has been designed to fit K.I.T.T.-frontnoses. It probably won't fit other cars or you have to have good bodywork skills.
But please, don't ask me, if it will fit. I don't know, and to be honest: I don't even care ;)
17. Is the conversion street legal in Germany?
Not everything. We're not allowed to have a red light in front of the car, so I'm not allowed to use the scanner. A steering has to be a circle, so I'm not allowed to install the gullwing steeringwheel. We're also not allowed to mount taillight-covers. Everything else should be no problem.
18. Why is ... not like the original K.I.T.T.'s?
Some things (e.g. the taillight cover and the gullwing steeringwheel) are not street legal in Germany. So I can't legally have a 100% accurate replica. But since I also want to drive my car, I have to go with some compromises.
19. Why is your dash so shiny? K.I.T.T.'s dash was matt!
Not really. K.I.T.T.'s Dash was silk-matt, so you could still see the reflections of the LEDs on the surface (Screenshot). My dash has also been painted silk-matt. I did not want to have it painted in matt, because you would soon see many fingerprints on the surface, which would not be removeable. The dash is not shiny black. Otherwise it would look like a mirror.
20. On some images, you have 6 front lights. Didn't K.I.T.T. have 4?
The images show my old 4th season frontnose. In the meantime I changed the frontnose to a 3rd season one with only 4 front lights. But 6 front lights are correct, too! The look of K.I.T.T.'s front changed through the seasons and sometimes even throughout one episode. In the 4th season, K.I.T.T. used to have 4 front lights. But there are also some episodes, where he had 6 front lights (screenshot).
21. Do you have a manual transmission?
Yes. I prefer manual transmission over automatic. In Germany, automatic transmissions are quite uncommon. So the recurrent change between my K.I.T.T. and my daily driver is not that complicated for me. Also, I prefer to shift myself.
BTW: Most of the original cars also had manual transmission, because they were better for stunt drives ;)
22. Do you have the green LEDs installed at your accelerator pedal?
No. You shouldn't install anything at important units like this, simply for security reasons. Besides that, you can't see the pedals from outside and the green light would probably interfer myself inside the car. So I never had any plans to install them.
23. Does the car speak?
Actually, it does. Technically, it's not a problem anymore to have a realistic computergenerated voice. But I prefer to hear K.I.T.T.'s original German voice. I already have a speaking software which works great and I can even talk to K.I.T.T. through my smartwatch (Video)... Most of the time, I'm using a 30 minutes audio file containing hundreds of phrases in a playlist.
24. Where can I get the speaking software?
The speaking software contains of "Naturally Speaking 8" (or higher) and the additional "KITT Talk" software, which has been created by Chris Groeling. By now his software is not available for download anymore, because Chris decided to stop providing it.
25. Where can I get the soundfiles? Could you send me yours?
For copyright reasons, I won't give away my soundfiles. You have to find your own way to capture them from the DVDs...
26. How do you build the turbo boost?
The turbo boost is just a movie effect. Infact, you can see the ramps they used in a lot of episodes, if you watch closely. For me, it is too expensive to install hidden ramps all over the town. So I abstain from this "function" ;)
27. When will you build the Super Pursuit Mode and the convertible mode?
Both modes were only film tricks, which are impossible in reality. Actually, I don't really like the look of both modes. I have t-tops, so I don't need the convertible mode at all. Additionally, my K.I.T.T. is a replica of the 3rd season, where both functions did not exist, yet.
28. How fast is your K.I.T.T. and how much of gasoline does he need?
I decided to buy a "V6" engine only, because it's cheaper and I don't want to speed with the car, because it has been quite expensive to build it. The car officially runs 170 km/h, but I already ran 190 km/h with it. It needs about 10-13 liters of unlead gasoline. The actual average gasoline consumption can be found on the left side of this website, the complete overview can be found here.
29. V6 engine is too weak. You need more power! Buy a V8 engine!
Of course the V6 engine is not the best option for a 1.5 tons car, but it's a show car, no racing car. The most reason, why I decided to get a V6 instead of a V8 are the costs in buying, insurance, taxes and gasoline. And as long as I have to pay the bills it's my decision. If I had wanted a V8, I would have bought a V8. But I didn't and still have not change my mind ;)
30. Could you register K.I.T.T. as classic car to safe taxes in Germany?
If the car is older than 30 years, you can, if it fulfills a list of criterias. One of them is original state, which normally is not fulfilled by K.I.T.T. replicas. On the other hand the taxes for a car, that is not registered all year long are even lower than a full-year registration for classic cars. In my case, I'd save about 26 Euros a year, but I'm not even interested in a full year registration because there would also be more costs for insurance, though I don't really need to drive the car at winter time...
31. Is the car recognized? Is everyone jealous, when you're driving the car?
Very different. Because, we're not allowed to activate the scanner on German streets, the car is not always recognized at first sight. But when the scanner is activated, while parking, a lot of people stop to take pictures. A lot of people also get "crazy", when they see the dashboard, because most of them don't expect a complete interior replica of K.I.T.T.
32. Is K.I.T.T. your daily driver?
No. K.I.T.T. is my second car "for fun". I use it to cruise around in summer only (April-October). My daily driver is a Mercedes E 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC Avantgarde (2014).
33. Can I see your car anywhere or come to you?
I surely will continue attending to some meetings in Germany in the near future. The car is not at my home, so you don't have to come to me without asking.
34. I'm a Knight-Rider-Fan for 50 years and my greatest wish is to sit in K.I.T.T.!
I get quite a lot of mails like this. It's nice to see, that a lot of people like my project, but I don't have the time to meet them all and take them for a ride with my car or to open a "K.I.T.T. museum". Please try to understand that. I'll continue attending to some meetings here in Germany. You can go there, too - and maybe even take a seat in the car and make some photos. But there is no chance for more than this, sorry.
35. May I sit in the car, when I come to a meeting?
I really understand, that people want to sit in the car, when they see it. Personally, I was really happy, when I got the chance to sit in a K.I.T.T. replica for the very first time. That's why I often allow fans to sit in my car, too. The problem is, that the space underneath the switchpods is very limited. When I ask 20 people to watch their knees, when they get in or out of the car, 15 of them hit the switchpod anyways! The car suffers from that... and me too! That's why, I'm going to refuse this questions more and more in the future. I'm really sorry, but I prefer to have my car not damaged instead of making everyone happy. You know, the car is very expensive. If you can not accept this, please don't come to our meetings.
36. Will you come near me with your K.I.T.T. replica?
Probably not. If you don't speak German, you're probably not in Germany. So I guess, the answer is "no". I actually don't even make a lot of tours within my country. There are only a few planned public meetings, that I list here. You can get there, to see the car. But don't expect too much and read the notice at the linked page.
37. Did you build the car on your own? Where did you learn all of that?
I would be quite helpless, if I did, because I don't have any experiences in car technology. A good friend of mine (electrician and airplane mechanic) is helping me. The car is from 1988 and much easier to work on than newer cars.
38. Cool website. I'll sure start to build my own replica soon!
Don't underrate the efforts and costs! There are many replica projects, where the owners realized  too late, that everything is not as easy as it seems to be. I also did underrate the efforts and my project would not even be half as good, without the help of my friend, wo is a mechanic. Most replica parts come "out of the mold" and need a lot of additional work before they can be built into the car. You should not think, it's too easy. We took hundreds of hours of work and I don't even get started about the costs.
39. Where do I get more information for building my own K.I.T.T.?
Take a look at my link section and the KnightFoundation.net forums.
40. How do I get the red light between the headlights?
I often get emails like this... Of course, everyone should try to get the project done by himself. I provide a lot of images of my conversion, but I cannot provide detailed building instructions. If you have particular questions about special problems, post some images at KnightFoundation.net and I'm sure someone will find a solution.
41. Can you build a K.I.T.T.-replica for me? I pay a lot of money!
Sorry, I don't have the time to build anything for anybody.
42. Would you sell your K.I.T.T.? How much do you want for it?
Sorry, I don't want to sell my car, because I'm not in the mood to build another one for myself. Of course, money is the key to anything. Offers from 199,999 Euros COULD be successful  ;)
43. Will you also build a replica of K.A.R.R., the bad protoype of K.I.T.T.?
I'm not in the mood to build a second K.I.T.T., so of course, I'm also not in the mood to build K.A.R.R., which is quite the same car - besides another dashboard and the silver paint job. Additionally, the 2 episodes with K.A.R.R. were nice, but I'm not really interested in that car. I liked the silver paint job when I was a child. Today, I don't really like it. K.I.T.T. was the hero of my youth. K.A.R.R. wasn't. And no, I don't need a second movie car. You can only drive one at a time.
44. When will you build the new K.I.T.T. (Ford Mustang Shelby GT)?
Simple answer: NEVER. The new show may be OK, but I'm not interested in the new car. There is only one real K.I.T.T. - and I already own him ;)
45. Will you build a DeLorean timemachine, too?
I am the webmaster of the biggest German fansite for the "Back To The Future" trilogy (www.ZidZ.com), so I get this question quite a lot. I'm not really a fan of the DeLorean and it would be much more expensive to build a complete BTTF replica, so I don't have any plans for that. Besides, the time machine will never be street legal, so it does not really make sense to put a lot of money into that.
46. Are there still some original cars from the TV show left?
No, the original cars all had to be destroyed after the end of the show (Photo). Pontiac placed a special clause in their contracts with Universal Pictures, who actually followed this condition (see Interview with David Hasselhoff in 2004 (German): "The real cars, who starred in «Knight Rider», were destroyed because of an order by the producers. I never realized, why."). The cars, that were exhibitioned at the Universal Studios themeparks were only replicas of the original cars.
Additionally, there are 2 tour replicas, that David Hasselhoff brought to Europe for his Austria tour in 1987. He bought 2 normal Firebirds (see video) and asked the original garage to convert them into replicas. They used left over parts (4th season front, 2nd season dash).
Another alleged "original" from Bern (Switzerland) has been identified as a replica from Zapper80 from Canada. So you should look sceptical at such claims.
47. Don't you think, there still could be an original car left anyways?
Nobody can tell for sure. There are a lot evidences against it, but I would not eliminate any possibility of a still existing "screen used" original. The only cars, that were really good looking were the close up cars, which have definately been destroyed. Anything that could be left, are bad detailled cars, where most new replicas are superior - for optical and technical reasons.



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