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The original Knight Rider series debuted in 1982 and featured a 1982 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am as the Knight Industries Two Thousand (KITT). The series was reinvented in 2008 and featured a Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 KR as the Knight Industries Three Thousand (KITT).

KITT is a supercomputer built to fight crime. The artificial intelligence of KITT is the Knight 2000 microprocessor at the heart of a self-aware cybernetic logic module. This allowed KITT to think, learn, communicate and interact with humans. To allow KITT to fight crime effectively, the car was provided with a wide variety of special features. These include: multiple speed modes, a front mounted scanner that allowed KITT to ”see” and drive itself, the tri-helical plasteel 1000 MBSĀ  molecular bonded shell that was impervious to bullets and impacts, the alpha circuit which allows KITT to drive, pyroclastic coating, microscanners, and many more.

Knight Industries Two Thousand

Knight Rider Car (KITT)

The Ultimate "KITT Car?"

KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand) in the original Knight Rider series was physically embodied as a modified 1982 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. 1982 marked the beginning of the third generation of Firebirds, of which the Trans Am is an upgraded model. For the third gen, the base engine was a 305 cu. in. V8 with a four-barrel carburetor. As an upgrade, Pontiac offered a 305 with cross-fire fuel injection for the first time.

Knight Industries Three Thousand

Knight Rider Mustang

The Remake

For the 2008 reinvention of the Knight Rider series, a Shelby GT500KR was used. Shelby GT500s are a higher performance variant of the Ford Mustang. Carroll Shelby began working with Ford for the 1965 model year. His company, Shelby American, built Mustangs from 1965 to 1967. After a name change, Shelby Automotive made the builds from 1968 to 1970. After a long hiatus from the Mustang niche, the Shelby nameplate was revived in 2007.

The Shelby GT500KR is powered by a supercharged DOHC 32 valve 330 cu. in V8 that delivers 540 horsepower. The engine also features functional Cold Air Intake and unique calibration. The KR has many carbon fiber body components, including: a composite hood with functional scoops and vents, twist-lock hood pins, a unique splitter, and mirror caps. The suspension upgrades include one-of-a-kind spring rates, dampers, stabilizer bars, and a strut tower brace that was designed by Ford Racing.


About the author: Jerry Coffey


Jerry Coffey is the financial expert here at A recovered "debtaholic," he now preaches frugal-living and sound money management here and at, where he is the chief contributor. He works for a major automaker.


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