Kitt is a heavily modified Pontiac Trans Am built by The Foundation for Law and Government. Kitt was designed by an eccentric millionaire named Wilton Knight back in the early 80s with the primary function being, the preservation of human life. Kitt was put into service after an officer by the name of Michael Long was fatally injured in the line of duty.
The Foundation and it’s founder, Wilton Knight came to this man’s rescue, healed him, performed plastic surgery on him to repair his near fatal wounds, and paired him up with his new crime fighting vehicle, KITT. Michael now had a different appearance, purpose, as well as a different name. Michael Knight. Together, Michael and Kitt now fight for The Foundation for Law and Government with the base principal, “one man can make a difference.”
Kitt is constructed from a virtually indestructible alloy and is impervious to gunfire, harsh conditions, and a modicum of physical abuse. His tires are made from military grade Toughflex rubber which is impervious to punctures or heat. Kitt, which is an acronym for Knight Industries Two Thousand is powered by a top secret turbine powered engine and guided by a central processing computer. The computer has the ability to activate a variety of onboard devices that aid Michael Knight in the crime fighting and protection of the law. Kitt is also equipped with a voice module that allows him to interact with his driver and warn of possible threats, or to lend assistance to Michael Knight whenever needed. Together, both Michael and Kitt are a crime fighting team backed by The Foundation for Law and Government to champion the cause of the helpless, or the powerless in a world of criminals that operate above the law.
The base model of the Knight Rider car; Kitt being used for display purposes is constructed from a 1984 Pontiac Trans Am. Owned by Michael Hyatt of Claremore, Oklahoma, Kitt represents a passion project that was started back in 1994 with the acquisition of the initial donor Trans Am.
Michael Hyatt’s Kitt shares more than just the “look” of the car featured in the TV show. Michael’s Kitt has the ability to interact with the public, speak to guests at a convention, as well as perform a variety of spoken commands by his driver.
In addition to being a fully functioning and drivable vehicle, Michael’s Kitt is equipped with an onboard surveillance system that consists of multiple hidden cameras that not only show video to a monitor on Kitt’s dashboard, but also have the ability to record to an onboard DVR system that can be played back at any given time, or stored for later use.
Following the spirit of the TV show Knight Rider, Michael’s Kitt has a functioning smoke screen mechanism which is achieved by a custom made injector system that shoots a concentrated fog juice into the hot exhaust system, thus using the exhaust pressure to blow out a plume of smoke at the push of a button. In the spirit of the TV show as well, Michael has also installed an oil slick function. At the push of one of Kitt’s many buttons, Kitt will spray (what looks like oil) out from behind the rear bumper. As with the smoke screen function and the oil slick function, both are just for show and entertainment purposes and are not used during daily use. Kitt’s electronics are powered by a 1200 cranking amp diesel truck battery that can be sustained by a stand-alone charger. Kitt’s battery must be connected for any of his onboard functions such as speech or illumination to work properly. The same battery is responsible for the functions of the base Trans Am.
The base car and Knight Rider Conversions were completed in 2007 by Michael Hyatt. Since that time, Kitt has attended multiple Star Trek and Sci Fi Conventions around Oklahoma and surrounding states. Many actors from Star Trek and the Sci Fi universe have taken photographs inside Kitt during the conventions. In 2009, Kitt attended the first ever Knight Rider Festival in Las Vegas, NV hosted by Paul Casey. At the festival, Michael Schefee (the original KITT dashboard designer from Universal Studios) was very excited over the detail level put into Michael’s Kitt and signed his dashboard. In addition, George Barris himself from Barris Customs and the world of Hollywood Cars, also signed Kitt’s dash and awarded Michael the “George Barris” award at the festival for the authenticity and functionality of his Kitt car.
In 2011, A&E sent a contract film crew to Oklahoma to document and film Michael’s Kitt car in action. Excerpts from this video can be seen on Michael’s youtube page, www.youtube.com/kn1ight
In closing, Michael’s Kitt is probably the closest someone will ever get to a near 100% accurate Knight Rider car. His appearance, his functions, his very last detail were all attended to during his creation. He’s a crowd pleaser, attention getter, and more importantly, is graciously covered by Hagerty Show Car Insurance. The previously mentioned Youtube site features videos and shows, showcasing many of the features and functions of Kitt as he’s been used throughout Oklahoma.