Sunday, October 17, 2010

Auction hammer to fall on the modern Knight Rider hero car

If you ask me how I got addicted to cars, all fingers will be pointed at a TV show that aired during the 90's on Indian television. Sponsored on our turf by MRF Tyres, the show used to be telecast at prime time on the only channel that could be tuned in on the TV set – DD1. Come on…what kind of a car buff are you anyway, if you can't remember Knight Rider? The smooth talking Knight Industries Two Thousand better known as K.I.T.T and his (I'd prefer that over "its") charming James Bond-esque driver Michael Knight played by David Hasselhoff was the invincible crime fighting team that bad guys (which range from smugglers to a rogue AI car) had a tough time in dealing with. I loved that show so much that all the scale model cars in my collection were painted black with a red strip on the front. Shabby craftsmanship, of course.

When the news of the arrival of a new rebooted version of Knight Rider in 2008 hit web, it kicked off mixed buzz in the circle of K.I.T.T fans. Some said it'll be phenomenal with filmmaker Doug Liman as executive producer, while others stood by the view that a reboot will never have the appeal that the original had. The latter turned out to be right and though the pilot episode drew in viewers (thanks to the hype), the series had a rather dismal first season with viewers giving it a thumbs down due to its weak cast (Justin Bruening is no Hasselhoff), scripting flaws and poor acting. The selection of the Shelby Mustang GT500KR as the replacement for the Pontiac Trans Am didn't find much appreciation either and who could forgive that hideous looking Super Pursuit mode!

As the series has come to a close with NBC having no plans to flag off a second season, the producers are auctioning off one of the two hero cars of the modern version of the series via Profiles in History, the world's largest auctioneer of original Hollywood memorabilia. K.I.T.T has been allotted lot # 122 in the auction. So what does the winning bid let the bidder take home? First of all, he doesn't get to be the proud owner of a Shelby Mustang GT500KR. Instead, he has to live with a Ford Mustang which has been stickered with GT500KR monikers and all that is required to conceal its identity as an ordinary Mustang. When we say ordinary, it means strictly ordinary. It doesn't have a supercharged or a standard V8 or a V6. No, it wasn't towed around in the sets. But it has the less worse thing – being powered by a 4.0 litre engine with a five speed automatic transmission.

The saving grace of the package is the K.I.T.T scanner up front which does the woosh-woosh sweeps. But we wonder it has the magic of the old K.I.T.T which is an icon in the long line of Hollywood cars. The proceeds from the November 6th, 2010 auction will go to a children's charity and the event will be held at The Globe Theater in Universal Studios.

Just in case you had the question in the back of your mind, the car doesn't drive by itself, doesn't transform into other Ford cars and you wouldn't be tortured with the lifeless voice of Val Kilmer while you drive.

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