CC Capsule: 1992 Pontiac Trans Am GTA – Kitt and Caboodle

Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be. Once upon a time, seeing a black 3rd generation Trans Am, even one with a nose job like this one, would have brought me back to ye olde cathode tube epoch, where my brother and I watched David Hasselhoff and his hair play second fiddle to the automotive equivalent of a superhero. Flat screens have taken over for a while now, though. And this time, it took me quite a while to think of KITT.

It’s like seeing a red Ford Torino, an orange Charger, a Peugeot 403 cabriolet or a ’59 Cadillac ambulance. Or any DeLorean, even without the flux capacitor. Movies and TV shows from a certain era always leave a strong imprint on a young mind. In my case, that era was the ‘80s, because we got certain American shows some years later on the other side of the pond.

Truth be told, I never really took to Knight Rider (which was known in France as K-2000) quite as much as I did Starsky & Hutch, The Fall Guy or, nimbly leaping from the small to the big screen, Ghostbusters – the first movie I ever saw in a theater. Which is strange, as that show was one of the most car-centered ones on TV. But I was never big on superheroes, and KITT was just a bit too competent and unrealistic for my liking. Suspension of disbelief couldn’t work with that kind of …er… suspension.

Ok, the winter morning sun made taking interior photos a bit more challenging than I would have liked, but still, I was a bit puzzled by that shag carpeting they put between the seats. Gotta say, the interior they made for KITT looked quite a bit better than this. That was one of my favourite features on that car. Ah, the magic of television…

The other great thing with TV show cars is how invulnerable they are. No matter how mistreated they get in one episode, they will have magically recovered by next week. The one exception was Columbo’s 403, which got noticeably worse from one season to the next. Luckily, the show went on hiatus; they fixed it back up and it was right as rain, good for another ten years.

Well, our feature KITT car here is not the traditional minty-fresh showroom-condition unit we’ve gotten used to from our Japanese friends. The fiberglass rear spoiler either had an encounter with something that disagreed with it, or this is just the normal biodegradation of GM plastics of that era. Aside from that small imperfection though, this old Pontiac still looks the part. Just stick a bar of red LEDs on that nose and a curly clown wig on the driver, and Knight will ride again.


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