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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Larrabee man to build K.I.T.T. car

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Zach Faist is pictured next to a 1982 Pontiac Trans-Am that his father bought. Their plan is to restore the classic car to replicate the 'Night Rider' car from the popular 1980's TV show of that name. Photo contributed
LARRABEE - If you grew up in the 1980's there were several TV shows and movies that featured cool cars, such as the Dukes of Hazard's General Lee, the A-Team van, Magnum PI's Ferrari, and the Back to the Future Delorean, just to name a few.

But one of the most popular cars from that era has to be K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider. The popular show ran on NBC for 84 episodes from 1982 through 1986. It feature David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight who fought for law and justice in the incredible super-car, the Knight Industries Two Thousand--or K.I.T.T, for short.

The car was, a sleek, black, customized Pontiac Trans-Am and was impervious to attack, thanks to it's special bonding coat and could cruise at 300 mph and could leap up to 50 feet through the air. K.I.T.T was loaded with such armaments as flamethrowers, smoke bombs, and infra-red sensing devices.

Best of all, K.I.T.T could talk, and in fact had a personality all its own; peevish, a bit naughty, but totally protective of Michael. Michael could summon the car when in trouble, and it would come crashing through the walls to get him.

Last year Curt Faist of Larrabee had a chance to purchase a 1982 Pontiac Trans-Am and has started the process of converting that car in to a replica of K.I.T.T. At this point it would be simple to say that Faist's reasons for building the replica would be a childhood dream to become a reality. The fact is that Faist is putting all this time, money and effort into the car because of his youngest son.

Faist, along with his wife Wendy, has three children - Tyler age 12, Trevor age 10, and nine-year-old Zach. Zach was born with many health problems that today is a handful for the couple, the least of which is Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. Zach is described by his parents as being an avid Knight Rider Fan. Just by watching old DVD's of the show helps Zach calm down at night prior to bedtime.

"The reason I'm doing this is for Zach," said Faist. "He can't wait to grow up and drive the car." Faist who is also an avid comic book collector also stated, "Once I found this car, I sold all my comic books so I could by it."

"The goal is to have the car fully functional with a computer that talks back," said Faist. But first Faist is going to keep things simple. He'll be concentrating his efforts on just the exterior of the car.

One thing about this conversion, it won't be cheap. Parts for the vehicle are extremely expensive. The pilot dashboard, large-grip gull wing and matching switch pod for example can run as high as $2,100. A reproduction back bumper can be as high as $500 and the noise of car can be priced at $800.

Faist also stated that many local people have already come forward and donated some parts.

"I would like to find someone local to paint the car when I'm ready," added Faist. He is currently putting the project together in his garage at home and has set a deadline of late summer before the exterior of the car is done.

The body isn't the only thing Faist is redoing. He plans on dropping in a 355 engine into the vehicle to give it that added boost of speed.

Once complete, the family should have many adventures with a car that can take them on a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist.

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