How Knight Rider’s KITT became a Pontiac Trans Am


April 16, 1982 was like any other Friday morning until Eric Dahlquist, the president of Pontiac’s West Coast public relations agency, answered his office telephone in Sherman Oaks, California. After the caller confirmed he was speaking to the president of Vista Group, he said, “Be at the PMT lot this afternoon at 4 p.m. There will be three black Trans Ams there with the keys inside. Take them. They’re yours.” Click. The man hung up.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/04/09/how-kitt-became-a-trans-am

It’s hard to believe David Hasselhoff was more real in Knight Rider than Bay Watch but it’s true. I almost forgot about this show and on hindsight it was the funnest on that list of all kinds of shows. Don’t forget about MacGiver and Three’s Company around those days. Barreta was a little too early. Hawaii Five O was too early but that surf wave was awesome. The A-Team was more like good comedy than drama. Mr-T tackled a car and it went into the ditch.

The Kitt car was bullet proof and had computer AI driven perfection and had a turbo boost button to push which could have saved the day. The car would tell you the Obd2 diagnotics code instead of making a big ordeal out of it.

Everybody wants a bullet proof computer car that could do anything with perfection and it was the latest sports car that still looks sharp. A friend’s dad had purchased one but then we knew it got 10 city 12 highway and we never went on the freeway to show it off. We just watched the TV show instead.

Lately, I saw some one arm bandits at a Casino with Knight Rider as the theme that still needs upgrading of more sound effects and looks to be one of the very top fun slot machines because there’s more sensible action happening like a storyline to follow but not quite like a video game does. I don’t gamble but I do watch others and eat the food.

I might purchase the DVD series but I’m sure I saw most of the 100 shows that were created. Night Rider was the realest of them all because it is the funnest and has a strong sense of security or relability, something most cars are not anymore even though the gas mileage might be nicer to get these missions accomplished. Mr. Hasselhoff is 6’ 5" tall but the show makes him look 5’11".


If I remember correctly, Eric Dahlquist also did photography, and took a few photos of me playing around in my buddy’s Sprint car at Willow Springs’ dirt oval one day when he was shooting the cars that showed up. I was quite flattered when he later sent them to me. Later on, I met his son Scott through a mutual friend, and some hilarity ensued. Scott had a pretty good car-photography career going at the time. Nice folks with interesting experiences & good stories.


Jim Graham’s first thoughts were probably correct. They should have passed and let Ford embarrass itself by using Mustang II’s instead of these Trans Am II’s :wink:


Naaaa…The Mustang II’s were “girlie cars”. It’s what Charlie’s Angels drove!


I’m REALLY dating myself but does anyone remember Route 66. That C1 Corvette was nailed into my brain even back then and the theme tune for that show by Nelson Riddle is still my favourite driving tune. That must be one of the first shows to feature a car as a costar.


I’d watch re-runs of this show today!!! I still watch the A-Team, Chips, and of course Sanford & Son just to see the vintage cars. Although Sanford & Son is more becuase Red Foxx was a comical genius. Anyway this show was Waaaaaaayyy ahead of its time. Heck it even inspired one of the underground rap homies from New Orleans to right a song about it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGQTHQterFg


I always threatened the wife if we ever picked up another minivan, that I would have it painted to match the A Team van.

So, no minivan anymore in the Davis livery!

Yay me!



He’d get a lot of tickets in here in Maryland where red lighting of any kind can only appear ion the rear of the vehicle.