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Gold Trim on the Original Pilot KITT?

The first scene shot for "Knight Rider" was the one where Michael is pulled over by two well meaning policemen for being asleep at the wheel. This was filmed as a part of a presentation video that Glen A. Larson made to sell the series. It would be months later that the rest of the Pilot was filmed.

This is the original car that Michael Scheffe delivered to the studio – the car with the full dash but an otherwise stock exterior. Here are Officers Deke and Kyle walking up to the car. You can see that it has no rear blackout. The gold trim of a factory Pontiac Trans Am isn’t there (or is it? More in a minute…).

Here's a factory black and gold 1982 Trans Am:

These scenes are all from the Pilot Presentation:

Them getting out of the police car and walking up to K.I.T.T. is all one continuous shot. Because of this, we get confirmation that this is, indeed, the car that Michael Scheffe installed his dash in.

The scene continues. As they walk away, take a look at this:

Here, let's zoom in on the front fender:

This car CLEARLY still has its factory front ground effects. And is that gaffe tape covering the factory gold trim at the bottom? It SURE is! And without the scene cutting, we see this tape cover up, the Scheffe dash and the stock taillights all in one shot as the police leave. Cool, eh? But wait, there's more!

A scene earlier in the episode, where K.I.T.T. first leaves the Knight Estate garage, gives us

definitive proof that the gold was taped over on this car. Check it out:

You can see the gold peeking out from the gaffe tape!

And as the car drives out past the camera, you can see the tape line the entire way out:

The gold trim was then permanently painted black before they filmed the rest of the Pilot. Pretty cool, eh?

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