For many kids, Knight Rider was the first show we programmed on our VCRs. It lasted four seasons and spawned several made-for-TV movies. There was also official show merchandise, but surprisingly no official tie-in with Pontiac. That's why when the Knight Rider Historians uncovered evidence of an official "Knight Rider" special edition Pontiac Trans Am, we took notice.
Joe Huth and AJ Palmgren are the lone crusaders who champion this cause in a dangerous world. The world of the Knight Rider. According to their YouTube channel, no official agreement existed between Pontiac and the show. Additionally, while the first season referenced KITT as a "black Trans Am," subsequent seasons made vague references to him as a "black t-top" or "black sports car," specifically avoiding any references to Pontiac or the Trans Am.
However, once the show became popular, Pontiac may have planned a limited "Knight Rider" edition Trans Am. For evidence, Huth and Palmgren reference a three-page article in the June 1983 High-Performance Pontiac, which revealed that Pontiac was testing a black 1983 Trans Am with the Daytona 500 Pace Car aero package. In addition to the black paint, the car featured red accents and "Knight Rider" stenciled in red tape.
The trail goes cold after that magazine article until the early 2000s. That's when photos of the car surfaced from another fan, Adam Urbanski. He discovered them while cleaning out a file cabinet at a tier 2 automotive plastics supplier and says they were part of a professional photo shoot. Then in 2006, he tracked down one of the cars for sale on eBay.
In addition to info on the "Knight Rider" edition Trans Am, the Knight Rider Historians tracked down the original GMC semi that was part of the Flag Mobile Unit. They also located other cars used to promote the show and were recently featured on our Rambling About Cars podcast.
If Knight Rider taught us anything, it's that "One man can make a difference." Or, in this case, two men. We don't know if the Pontiac "Knight Rider" edition Trans Am is still out there. But if it exists at all, finding it is a shadowy flight into a dangerous world of a car that does not exist.