KITT's Hollywood Nose Job
Much like many stars in Hollywood, even K.I.T.T. couldn't escape a face lift. In one of our other posts, we revealed that the original season 1/2 hero car was converted to the all new right hand blind drive car for season 3 (meaning, the car was driven from the passenger seat). This new right hand blind drive car was a specialized K.I.T.T. that was only to be used for certain blind drive scenes.
The first episode (in order of production, not air date) where we see this new right hand blind drive car is in "The Ice Bandits":
Note here the slight sag on the top of the bumper, as well as the fog lights mounted towards the inside of the nose. Why are these lights so close together? Simple! Remember, this car was originally the season 1 hero car, with THREE sets of fog lights per side. When the show converted the cars to only have two sets per side, they simply removed the outer fog lights and left the others as is!
Here's another, closer look, from "Knight of the Drones", the very next episode produced:
Let's fast forward a few more episodes, to "Dead of Knight". Here, we can see that the nose sag is becoming more pronounced:
A few more episodes later, "Knight of the Chameleon":
Finally, we get to "Junkyard Dog".
It should be noted that "Junkyard Dog" was extremely hard on this particular car. Daily Production Reports show that the right hand blind drive car was used when K.I.T.T. is lifted with the forklift:
This is what the notes said about the damage incurred:
Later in the episode, K.I.T.T. swings his door open to pick up Michael. And whoa! Check out that nose sag!
But there's more. Here's the damage caused to the car by this quick scene:
But the worst was to come! The climax of the episode shows K.I.T.T. pushing the "junk yard dog" into a pit of acid. For reasons unknown, the right hand blind drive car was used for this scene as well!
But a close eye can spot the damage done to the car for this scene, and it was extensive. It destroyed the front nose, hood and both fenders!
And here's a close up:
And the Daily Production Report notes confirm the damage:
The car was returned to Universal Studios and repaired. During that repair, the right hand blind drive car received a new nose, steel impact bumper and fog lights. It returned in the VERY next episode filmed, "Knight in Retreat". Note the new fog light spacing and the non-saggy nose:
The new nose and fogs are hard to see in the above. This shot below is a couple episodes later, from "Knight Strike":
This car still exists today! It was housed in the Kruse Museum in Auburn, Indiana for many, many years. It is currently off-display and in storage. While the front nose is not the one you see in the screenshots above, the fog lights are!