While we wouldn't give high ratings to the Knight Rider pilot movie on NBC, we are still fans of the star of the show, KITT. When Ford and Barrett-Jackson announced that a pair of KITTs would be sold in Palm Beach this year, we immediately went to check the balance in our savings account.
The two cars auctioned were not actually KR models, but regular GT models made to look like the KR for the movie. The "hero" KITT still has quite a few upgrades, including a Whipple supercharger system, Brembo brakes, upgraded suspension and exhaust, and an interior with props for the movie, while the "attack" mode KITT has the stock motor with an automatic transmission and a KR body kit with two-tiered spoiler.
The auction, which will donate all proceeds to the Salute to Education charity, started slowly but climbed steadily to $160,000. At that point, Mark Fields of Ford got on the microphone and announced the winning bidder would also get the rights to a single allocation of the 1576 GT500 KRs. That doesn't mean they would get the car for free but at msrp - a significant savings. With that announcement, the bidders had renewed interest and the highest bid climbed up to $240,000. However, Ford and Shelby had one more twist. The single GT500 KR allocation was not just a random KR. It would be the LAST KR produced in 2009 - #1576. At that point, the bidding turned into a fight for the last KR and the two KITT movie cars were forgotten. The final bid ended at an even $300,000, with the winner writing a check directly to charity.