KentuckyKITT's Season 1/2 Replica

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Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:31 pm

KentuckyKITT's Season 1/2 Replica

Postby KentuckyKITT » Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:06 pm

Hi all. This is my second KITT replica. For those who know me, I used to have an 84 Trans Am that I built into a KITT car. I started this hobby in late 2001 and slowly built my first car and then sold it in late 2005 to a guy in Tennessee. It was then sold to someone in Oklahoma and as far as I know resides somewhere in Oklahoma, but that was a good 6 years ago last I heard, so not sure where it's at now. Anyway, I couldn't stand not having one, so in early 2006, I bought a sight unseen 82 Trans Am black and gold ttop 305/th200 off Ebay for $500.00 cash and drove to Jacksonville Florida to pick it up. I still have this car today and it's come a long way. Kelli P. if you're seeing this car on the internet, yes, this is your old car and I told you and your boyfriend that day that it would become KITT and be well cared for!

Here is how the car looked (pretty sad) when I got it back to my friend's in Tennessee and where it stayed for many months:

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I was told this car did not run or drive. My friend and I had it running and driving down the road the same day we got back with it.

Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:31 pm

Re: KentuckyKITT's Season 1/2 Replica

Postby KentuckyKITT » Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:33 pm

So, actually, I first bought another 84 Trans Am that already had 14" turbo casts on it and the cowl induction hood but it didn't last long and I have no pictures of it. It turned out the floors were buckled on that car when I pulled the carpet out, so I parted it and scrapped it. Here is the 82 with the 14's, cowl induction hood and a day's worth of buffing the single stage paint out that hadn't been cared for in years. Also, my friend helped me shave the rear wiper and roof washer fluid from the car.

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And I had an old Yancey dash, pod and wheel that I had already bought for the "new" 84, so that went in:

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Then, a few months later, I scored a set of almost NOS 15" turbo casts. They were actually factory take-offs and stored in a basement for years. I paid 900.00 for them with the original Goodyear Eagle GT tires with hairs still on them and they went on the car along with a set of actual NOS 15" caps for 300.00 (can't get them for that price anymore!) and the car stayed like this until I got it back to Kentucky a few months after that:

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Back at my old house in Kentucky:

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It stayed black and gold for quite awhile and I toyed with leaving it like this...
Last edited by KentuckyKITT on Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:36 am, edited 2 times in total.

Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:31 pm

Re: KentuckyKITT's Season 1/2 Replica

Postby KentuckyKITT » Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:53 pm

Sometime in 2007, I decided it was time to tackle the interior. I stripped all of the black interior out and sent the seats, door panels and sail panels to my upholsterer. The headliner was so badly damaged/rotted and falling apart that it could not be used and for a good 3 years, this car simply did not have a headliner because I wanted a factory board. I tried an ABS one in my first KITT car and was not amused or impressed with it, so I went without for awhile. While the interior was out, I decided to fix some small surface rust areas and then I coated the entire inside of the car with rubberized undercoating, including up the sides and the t-bar. I also installed later floor seat belt retractor brackets so that I could use the full set of tan seat belts I acquired along with a full tan interior plastic set out of an 87 Trans Am.

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Coated:

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For $500.00, I had a relatively rust-free car with the exception of the ttop area and one spot on the passenger a-pillar up by the windshield which would later be fixed correctly.

More to come...

Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:31 pm

Re: KentuckyKITT's Season 1/2 Replica

Postby KentuckyKITT » Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:31 am

On to the interior a few months later. It was late summer 2007 when I got the seats and door panels back and begin installing all of the tan plastics and was starting to get pretty excited with the look:

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A few weeks after finishing the interior thus far, I decided it was time to get rid of the gold trim and pin stripe. The pin stripe was a no-brainer, but I thought for awhile before I finally masked the car and sanded the gold all around the car, primed it and then spray bombed it with black 4 coats and after wet sanding and buffing it, actually turned out pretty good. This was all temporary because I knew someday, the whole car would get repainted, but that didn't happen until just a few months ago, but we'll get to that. I also fixed the factory front bumper best I could, put a grill on the passenger side to make it look better and repainted it as well...you guessed it - spray bomb!

Not too shabby and it was starting to take form:

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Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:31 pm

Re: KentuckyKITT's Season 1/2 Replica

Postby KentuckyKITT » Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:43 am

Now, it was time for the tail light blackout. At the time, my friend in Tennessee was making these and I really liked it because there was no gap at the top and it went up under the hatch. Since I could clearly see screws holding this on in the show, I decided to do this as well and placed the screws in such a way that it would allow the blackout to conform and curve with the rear bumper instead of laying flat. I also removed the smoke tinted covers from the tail lights so that it would recess in the quarter panel:

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To this very day, I still have this exact same blackout on the car and I eventually painted the screws black.

Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:31 pm

Re: KentuckyKITT's Season 1/2 Replica

Postby KentuckyKITT » Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:32 am

Next up was the front bumper. I remember finding Knight Passions website back in late 2001 early 2002 and wishing I could get that bumper even when I had my first KITT, but I just couldn't afford it with the shipping. I liked that bumper the best and still do. One day, Knight Passions decided to give away one of these front bumpers and all you had to do was pay the shipping. I was the lucky recipient and when the bumper arrived, It was amazing. Finally, I had the bumper I really wanted after all these years and a huge thanks to Knight Passions for this. I still have this same bumper today.

I mounted the bumper right away and it was quite easy and since it was already black gelcoat, It was never painted until just a few months ago, but we'll get to that.

I also installed the front scanner that my friend in Tennessee made for me. It's an aluminum bar with 1156 bulbs, relay box and a JC Whitney Knight Rider scanner controller box. I still have this exact scanner and control box on the car to this day and later I would add an aluminum top shield/lip over the scanner to make it more accurate looking and give it a more thinner appearance.

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Now, it was KITT.

Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:31 pm

Re: KentuckyKITT's Season 1/2 Replica

Postby KentuckyKITT » Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:45 am

A short while after the bumper was installed, I sold the dash, pod and wheel because I was planning on buying a more accurate setup. I put the factory wheel back in and a junk dash pad for now. Then, I decided to tackle the leaking ttops and see if I could remedy that and boy was I in for a shock when I pulled back the weatherstripping:

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Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:31 pm

Re: KentuckyKITT's Season 1/2 Replica

Postby KentuckyKITT » Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:51 am

I decided I could fix this surely. So, I went to the junkyard and found a red ttop trans am with good ttop rails and spent 2 hours with a spot weld cutter and removed them from the car and brought them home. I started looking at what it was going to take to fix it and realized that it was beyond me as I didn't have a welder and winter was coming and there just wasn't time to get it done right, so it never got done right until just a few months ago, but we'll get to that. In the mean time, I cleaned it all up, primed and painted it and sealed the weatherstripping back down and behind for a temporary fix.

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Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:31 pm

Re: KentuckyKITT's Season 1/2 Replica

Postby KentuckyKITT » Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:08 am

That was all for 2007, winter was here and that's all the progress I would make for awhile actually... As it turns out, sometimes life throws you a curve ball and in 2008, I suffered severe financial troubles due to losing my construction job and going back to retail which amounted to about an 8.00/hr pay cut. Bills were piling up, creditors were calling and so the decision was made to start getting rid of things and get myself back on track. I sold my pickup truck, and a bunch of other stuff I really didn't need, but I just couldn't let the 82 go, so it became my daily driver for the later half of 2008 and most of 2009. I drove it every day to work, grocery, etc... It was the only car I had for awhile and to me was the best decision as it was really reliable and never left me stranded and I knew someday, things would get better. The car sure was attention getting since it was being driven every single day. It became sort of famous in the town I was living in at the time. People always asking when I was going to finish it and I'd always reply someday.

In October 2009 after finally pulling myself out of the rut and working my way up in retail, I was able to buy a daily driver and I picked up a 2000 Cavalier. Finally, KITT could rest for awhile and I might slowly be able to start doing things to it again. I would keep this Cavalier until July of 2016 amazingly and it was the most dependable car I have ever owned and the new owner is still driving it to this day, although it looks terrible now, but it's still going.

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Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:31 pm

Re: KentuckyKITT's Season 1/2 Replica

Postby KentuckyKITT » Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:28 am

Fast forward a short while to July 2010 where I took a supervisor position within the retail company I was working for at another store 2 hours north in Kentucky. Little did I know that this move would land me the job I have now a year later. I found a small house to rent and secured it. Then, I packed it all up and KITT and I traveled North. I would later buy this house and I still live in it today.

KITT at the new place and still looking pretty much the same. Although I did work on the paint more to give it a higher gloss shine. I also replaced the hood with a better one I found and had it repainted. The other hood was originally red and was still red underneath and had some serious paint cracking/checking and a little rust. I still have that old hood today as a spare. The Goodyear Eagle GTs were sold off to Knight Designs and I put a set of used, good condition Goodyear Eagle GPs tires on it which were similar to the GTs, but much newer and safer to drive on.

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Awhile back, I had picked up a season 2 overhead console cheap that was built taller which would hide the headliner, but I never installed it and ended up trading it straight up for a MCK gullwing that needed some paint work and after some paint work, installed it. I still have this same wheel today. The strongest, most secure Gullwing wheel I've ever had. I also scored a mint 82 Dash pad for $60.00, that's right $60.00 and installed that for now. I still have the dash pad and plan to add it to my retirement fund 30 years from now when it will be worth a couple grand.lol

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