There are few cars in the world as identifiable and iconic as K.I.T.T. from the quintessential 1980’s television show Knight Rider. Being one of the most identifiable and iconic car guys in the world we’d expect Jay Leno to be totally into the it, especially considering this isn’t a replica but one of the original cars used on the series. In fact, it’s one of only five that are still around, and it was literally saved from a junkyard by its current owner, Joe Huth. The backstory on this rare car is amazing, but sadly Leno seemed more interesting in poking fun at the owner and his friend because both are superfans of the TV show. Really? Yeah, really.
Let’s talk a bit about the car's backstory, because it’s absolutely worth knowing. Of approximately 20 Pontiacs used through the course of the show, this was one of the last ones built and lived the hard life of a stunt car. It actually started life as a base Firebird without t-tops, nor did it have the full-on futuristic dash. It did, however, get a 305 cubic-inch V8 and an upgraded Turbo 350 three-speed automatic transmission, as well as significant chassis bracing. It also got a trick braking system that could lock just the fronts for better burnouts, or just the rears for excellent opposite-lock turns.
When the show ended, the car was given a full K.I.T.T. conversion and was put on display at Universal Studios for the better part of a decade. Once that chapter was finished, the car was simply put out to pasture in a junkyard. Enter Huth, who stepped in and restored the car to its glory days at Universal Studios while keeping the original stunt car modifications intact. Because you know, that’s what die-hard fans and car enthusiasts do.
Leno lets them tell the story, but not without a price. The first half of the video is the typical interview portion in the garage, but Jay’s condescending attitude towards pretty much all things Knight Rider honestly makes it tough to watch. We almost gave up after his third (yes, third) quip about how this TV show fandom must make tough to impress girls. The guests seemed to play it off with a laugh, but we can’t help but think there was at least a little bit of tension present. Frankly, the duo deserved much more respect.
Apparently, average car guys who love – and saved – one the most famous Hollywood cars of all time are just a bit too nerdy for Jay.
Source: Jay Leno’s Garage via YouTube