Back when I was eleven years old, I was enthralled by a new show called Knight Rider. For anyone who missed this television classic, the premise is that self-made billionaire Wilton Knight rescued police Detective Lieutenant Michael Arthur Long after a near fatal shot to the face. He gives him a bit of plastic surgery and a brand new identity as Michael Knight. Knight then plunges into a world of acroynyms by becoming an experimental field agent for FLAG (Foundation for Law and Government) and driving a hot new ride called KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand). What made KITT so cool wasn’t just that he was a modified and technologically advanced Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, but the fact that he could talk. He was a central character to the show and nearly stole every scene he was in. I was years away from having a car of my own, but I wanted a car just like that one. That, sadly, never happened, but I was lucky enough to meet KITT in “person” a few years later.
My parents took me to a local car show, where there was going to be a special appearance by KITT. I thought they were doing it just for me, but looking back, I think my dad was more interested in seeing Morganna, The Kissing Bandit. She was notable for rushing the field at baseball games to kiss the players as well as for having incredibly large breasts. Whatever the reason, I was just thrilled to see this amazing car in action. I wasn’t disappointed. I turned the corner and there it was, a sleek black beauty of a car with the signature pulsating red light in the front that glowed in eight different patterns depending on KITT’s mood. I was certain the pattern that greeted me meant that he was also happy to see me as well and I waited in line so I could sit in the front seat. The interior was amazing with a steering wheel pulled out of a spaceship, glowing lights and a television screen. Okay, outside of the steering wheel it looked pretty much like most new cars today, but back then, it was truly amazing!
Sadly, I never got to meet David Hasselhoff himself as only the car was touring at that time, but it was still a wonderful memory. I watched every episode of that show until it ended in 1986. I was sad to see it go, but I was 15 by then, had my driver’s permit, and was finally getting to actually drive a car by myself. We didn’t have a ton of money so I didn’t get to test my skills in a sleet sports car. I can’t quite remember what I drove first, but I think it was an old truck with a bit more rust than paint. As fate would have it, though, my best friend from high school turned 16 that year and his parents bought him a midnight blue Trans Am. Even without the flashing light in front, it was the coolest thing that could have happened and we spent the next few years happily riding around in it. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. I may have been moving into adulthood, but I was still holding on to my Knight Rider dreams.
About the Doodlewash
Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Red Orange, Sennelier Red, and Payne’s Grey. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon with black ink in a little red cloth hardbound l’aquarelle journal I found in a Paris shop.