Author Topic: Forgive me - Knight Rider...  (Read 570 times)

jcwillia1

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Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« on: May 31, 2018, 06:32:05 AM »
I grew up on David hasselhoffs Knight rider show. I was way too young to be watching it so much but anyways.

When the Knight rider 2000 movie was aired I was blown away by the new design. I have since discovered that the car on that show wasn’t a trans am at all (bummed).

But I’ve still always dreamed of owning a car that looked like that. When I started looking at used cars a year ago I really struggled to find “my” firebird. They made so many variations...

Can someone help me figure out which firebird trim style bears the closest resemblance to what was on the TV movie?

Movie car : https://www.imcdb.org/v006322.html

Firebird :
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontiac_Firebird

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/2d/1993-97_Pontiac_Firebird.jpg/800px-1993-97_Pontiac_Firebird.jpg

I know less than nothing about cars - this just a midlife crisis thing for me. :)

NOT A TA

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2018, 08:38:49 AM »
Welcome to the forum!

I'd say 91-92 Firebird base model would be the closest overall appearance because of the nose. If you want to make a car that looks similar to the MOVIE CAR I'd start with a 91-92 and go from there. Should be able to find some used wheels that look like the ones on the movie car for cheap because they've got that dated 90's look few want now. The rear wing would require a bit of fabrication but could be done. You'd probably need to raise the ride height if you want it to look like the movie car.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2018, 10:53:20 AM by NOT A TA »
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jcwillia1

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2018, 08:45:58 AM »
Thank you.

I’m not sure I care enough to make modifications to it. Would probably just go with what it comes with.

So that nose - does it have a name or style designation?

NOT A TA

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2018, 08:56:50 AM »
It first showed up on the 88 Banshee concept car as far as I know. The later 93+ 4th generation Firebirds had the more dropped and pointed nose but the 91-92 had the big grill openings similar to the movie car.
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roadking77

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2018, 12:19:04 PM »
The original Knight Rider car from the tv show was a 1982 trans am. The nose was slightly modified, but not much. There is a red light in the centre that is recessed and the area at the front of the pop up headlights was "flushed in", or made smooth with the rest of the front bumper. On a stock '82 trans am, this is reverse. The area where the red light is, is flush and there are recesses in front of the pop up head lights. The other exterior change was in the taillights. A stock trans am has "ridges" in the taillight area that horizontal bars. On the tv car there was a smoked lexan cover over the entire taillight panel to make it flush. There were major modifications to the interior though, for the tv car. There are reproductions of the interior as well as the front end, but they command high dollar and can be a bit hard to locate.
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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2018, 12:19:04 PM »

firebirdparts

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2018, 01:06:54 PM »
There used to be a fan club for people who built replicas, and there were many of them built.  The parts were all commercially available. 

Back 20 years ago they had a convention co-located with the Trans Am nationals.  About 10 good cars would show up, and maybe 30 or 40 people.  So I guess all that to say you are 30 years too late, but I think you may still be able to get what you need to build one.
https://knightriderstore.com/
http://www.knightriderworld.com/

As far as I can see, any 1982 to 1992 Firebird would work fine as a starting point.

Kitt had bowling ball hubcaps and those babies are in high demand!  They only made those for a few years.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2018, 01:09:10 PM by firebirdparts »
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roadking77

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2018, 05:52:36 PM »
Ive always had oddball tastes, I traded a set of American racing wheels for a set of the "bowling ball" wheels for my '82 firebird.
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
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79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
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NOT A TA

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2018, 07:20:08 PM »
Guys, he's interested in the MOVIE CAR, not the TV car. And he doesn't want to build one, from what he said it sounds like he'd like to just buy the closest looking Firebird. Scroll down at this link to an auction when it was sold. https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/60311275_knight-rider-2000-hero-picture-car-wcoa
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FormTA

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2018, 08:54:49 PM »
Looks more like a 94 ish to me.
79 Trans am 301 (work in progress) LS swap n progress
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
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jcwillia1

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2018, 03:01:13 AM »
Guys, he's interested in the MOVIE CAR, not the TV car. And he doesn't want to build one, from what he said it sounds like he'd like to just buy the closest looking Firebird. Scroll down at this link to an auction when it was sold. https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/60311275_knight-rider-2000-hero-picture-car-wcoa

yes thank you - $75k is an order of magnitude higher than what I had in mind :)

NOT A TA

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2018, 08:11:11 AM »
Looks more like a 94 ish to me.

I agree the more pointed drop nose on the 94 looks more like the movie car although the grill openings aren't as big and the 94 rear spoiler has a similar look to the movie car.

Man I'm gettin old, 25 years younger me in a new '94 below.

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rkellerjr

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2018, 06:39:54 AM »
I would say the '82 - '84 look like K.I.T.T. hands down the closest years that have the "look".

Jack

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2018, 07:25:58 AM »
They actually made a movie?! learning something new every day...




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jcwillia1

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2018, 08:22:10 AM »
so far the 94 looks the closest to me.

jcwillia1

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2018, 08:23:47 AM »
see but then what is this?

https://classics.autotrader.com/classic-cars/1994/pontiac/firebird/100912047

This is a 94 but it has the fog lights instead?

Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2018, 08:23:47 AM »



NOT A TA

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2018, 09:56:11 AM »
see but then what is this?

https://classics.autotrader.com/classic-cars/1994/pontiac/firebird/100912047

This is a 94 but it has the fog lights instead?

That's a "Trans Am" model Firebird in your link so it has a different bumper cover with the driving lights. That's part of the reason I suggested a base model Firebird that has more of the "look" of the movie car.
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jcwillia1

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2018, 10:18:47 AM »
Thank you. I’m uneducated on the differences.

jcwillia1

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2018, 10:34:57 AM »
seems like most of them have that circular driving light look.

don't like that at all - ruins all the charm of the nose of the car for me.

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2018, 11:37:25 AM »
seems like most of them have that circular driving light look.

don't like that at all - ruins all the charm of the nose of the car for me.

The Trans Am versions are considered more desirable to most performance enthusiasts and were more expensive when new so they're the ones you'll see most often listed for sale in online auctions etc. 

The '94 "Formula" model Firebird will have the nose you like and was available with the more performance oriented power train and suspension components used in the Trans Am. My son had one as his DD for several years back in the late 90's early 2000's and it was a great car.

A red '94 Formula with the a Lt-1 engine and the manual transmission would be cool and have the "look" of the movie car. A simple swap to the rear spoiler used on the Trans Am version would make it look even more like the movie car. The early 4th gen Firebirds are at the bottom of the depreciation curve now so if you find one you like you can probably enjoy it as long as you want to and then sell without loosing any money. Buy a garage kept one with as few miles as you can afford.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2018, 11:40:46 AM by NOT A TA »
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jcwillia1

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2018, 02:00:45 PM »
is that also known as firehawk?

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2018, 06:49:09 PM »
is that also known as firehawk?

No, the Firehawks were Trans Am's or Formula models that were modified by an aftermarket performance company called SLP (Street Legal Performance) and offered for sale new with warranty through the regular Pontiac Dealerships. I didn't mention the Firehawk Formulas because they came with a hood that looks different than the movie car.
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jcwillia1

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2018, 05:58:48 PM »
So if I see firebirds for sale for $2000 there’s something wrong with it right?

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2018, 09:19:00 PM »
So if I see firebirds for sale for $2000 there’s something wrong with it right?

Not necessarily, the years you're looking at aren't really sought after by performance enthusiasts and are at the bottom of the depreciation cycle. Wouldn't surprise me at all that you could find a nice driver someone bought when they retired and now they can't drive any more so it's only got say 50,000 miles on it and they're selling for 2 grand. There's really just not much demand for them, particularly the 6 cyl with auto trans base models.
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jcwillia1

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2018, 03:02:36 AM »
Most of the models I am looking at are 100,000+ miles. This isn’t an investment, this isn’t even about buying a good car - I just love the look.

Now that I know how affordable that is, I just have to figure out how to get the wife on board. And just to be clear, she’s not. Lol

jcwillia1

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2018, 04:03:42 AM »
Boy I have really started a fire  this is not healthy  lol

Seeing a lot of front ends that look like this

https://www.carsforsale.com/vehicle/details/40241340

Not sure if it's just the picture but the front nose almost looks like it's a different color from the hood?  Are those two pieces different materials and just wear differently?

FormTA

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #25 on: June 13, 2018, 04:45:34 AM »
Not sure on that year but the bumper cover is urethane, fenders are plastic, doors are fiberglass, hood could be fiberglass or metal depending on year, roof is plastic on t-top models and quarters are metal. Not sure what kind of plastic the fenders are... ABS, urethane or??? You will also find many front bumpers repainted due to stone chips. The last we I looked at and the one I owned were.
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79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
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jcwillia1

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #26 on: June 13, 2018, 04:47:52 AM »
So is that normal for the two pieces to take on a different appearance over time?

Aus78Formula

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2018, 05:57:10 AM »
Dodgy repaints and touch-ups, less common for those who take pride in their vehicles.

jcwillia1

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2018, 06:02:25 AM »
Any ideas as to what I might expect for normal maintenance?  If it’s painful and expensive to own then I’m probably keeping it for only a year or so.

If it’s relatively low maintenance possibly longer. I fully recognize this is a dumb purchase for me not being a car guy but it’s one of this bucket list type things.

roadking77

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #29 on: June 13, 2018, 07:57:49 AM »
Forgive me if I say the emperor has no clothes, but, I think you are looking at this kind of car the wrong way. Any "older" type of car will come with its share of problems and maintenance issues. Although a 4th gen t/a is fairly modern, they are still old, used cars and will require a bit more maintenance and expense to keep them on the road. They will not behave the same as a new honda or Toyota. It sounds to me like youre setting yourself up for failure. You stated if its painful and expensive you will get rid of it in a year. To me that would be a warning not to even consider one in the first place.

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85 T/A - Sold
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FormTA

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #30 on: June 13, 2018, 08:14:25 AM »
As for color differences, even my 2012 RAM truck with color matched urethane front bumper has now changed color and is now noticably different.

As for old car, yes there will be plenty of maintenance that will need done unless you find one that has been well cared for as well as driven.
79 Trans am 301 (work in progress) LS swap n progress
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
See the recurring theme???

jcwillia1

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #31 on: June 13, 2018, 08:57:25 AM »
This is more than likely just a weekend around town car for me. Likely not making my daily commute with it.

76455sd

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #32 on: June 13, 2018, 09:57:40 AM »
FWIW It is my understanding that the later 4th gens with metallic paint, the factory assembly method was that bumpers were painted separately from the rest of the car and then installed.  So the two different sprays (and under the right lighting conditions) make it look like different shades of the same color.  However, if you go right up to the car and look directly at the two components they are in fact the same color.  Not sure if this is true for the earlier 4th gens or not.
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jcwillia1

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #33 on: June 13, 2018, 09:59:38 AM »
Interesting. Thanks.

firebirdparts

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #34 on: June 13, 2018, 11:46:02 AM »
Any ideas as to what I might expect for normal maintenance? 

They're dead simple low tech cars.  Probably a cheap car to own, even if it breaks.  Parts would be cheap.  A big problem on the '94 is "opti-spark" but that only applies to the V8 cars.  What you are looking for might turn out to be a V6 car.

This car for example:
https://www.carsforsale.com/vehicle/details/40241340

Had a 3800 V-6, which is a really excellent and durable design.  That car could last you the rest of your life. 
« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 11:50:44 AM by firebirdparts »
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1953 Chevy pickup (converted 4x4)
1988 T-bird Turbo Coupe

jcwillia1

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #35 on: June 13, 2018, 11:49:49 AM »
yes totally bottom of the line for me.

I've seen the prices of the V8's and that's not a place I want to go.

jcwillia1

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #36 on: June 14, 2018, 01:02:37 PM »
On our way to see one.

Here is a checklist I came up with. I can’t really check anything mechanical because I don’t know the difference.

Mirrors
Headlights
Reverse
Brakes
Cruise
Auto
Seat recline
Seat move
Wipers
Windows
Horn
Trunk
Engine look
Gas cap
Muffler
Car stereo
Parking brake
Glove box
Tires
Hvac
Seatbelts
Locks
Rear view mirror flip night view




NOT A TA

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #37 on: June 14, 2018, 05:31:09 PM »
Based on what you've mentioned in posts and your list of things to check I think it would be in your best interest to have a knowledgeable "car guy" or a shop look at any car you consider BEFORE PURCHASE.  Part of the reason for this is due to the emotional aspect. If you come across a car that visually clicks your buttons you might end up with a neglected piece of junk with shiny paint that could end up being a money pit. Automotive repair shops can do a "PPI" Pre Purchase Inspection and while you might spend a hundred bucks each time for 2-3-4 cars the money you could potentially save yourself might be far greater. If a potential seller doesn't agree to a PPI, thank them and walk away. It's better to miss out on what MAY have been a good car than to get screwed on a bad one.
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jcwillia1

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #38 on: June 14, 2018, 06:24:26 PM »
some of the distances of these cars are going to make that impractical at best.

Aus78Formula

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Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #39 on: June 15, 2018, 03:13:47 AM »
If prepared to spend very little then prepare for many potential issues, this may not be a problem if you know what you are likely to get, just part of buying a car.
Maybe this could be moved to the correct forum, 40 replies..wow.

Re: Forgive me - Knight Rider...
« Reply #39 on: June 15, 2018, 03:13:47 AM »
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