DID YOU KNOW? This family is also responsible for building the world’s FIRST and only replica truck of Optimus Prime from Transformers!
My name is Joe Fiduccia, a father and family-man living in northeast Pennsylvania. I am also the owner of one of the greatest TV cars ever made: K.I.T.T. from the 1980’s television show: Knight Rider. And today I would like to take a moment to introduce myself and tell you more about how we came to own our replica
In summer of 2009, my wife and I enjoyed a day at a local car show with our young baby boy. We did not have KITT at the time, and just went to the show to enjoy the summertime weather. Sitting there and admiring the cars, we began thinking to ourselves about how cool it would be to have our own custom car. After some discussion back and forth, we decided to build our own KITT replica…bringing a childhood dream of ours to reality.
We eventually located a black 1988 Pontiac Trans Am in North Carolina. I took a one-way flight down there, met up with the owner, did a full inspection on the car, and purchased it that day…driving it home the 13 hours back to PA. It wasn’t the most comfortable journey, but the car ran great and I couldn’t wait to get started on the build.
The very next day I began taking the car apart. Piece by piece I removed the lighting and panels, and tore out the interior while also modifying the exterior. The engine and drivetrain were clean and in good running conditon despite a few leaks, and the frame of the car was in good shape as well. So most of my focus was simply converting the car cosmetically.
Over time, and with the assistance of my family, we began putting KITT together. Even my baby boy (2 years old at the time) was in there with his “toy tools” helping us out. And I was fortunate enough to have some guidance from other KITT owners around the world, giving me some ideas and places I could go to get a handful of parts and electronics. I also spent some time scouring junkyards trying to locate parts like the Turbo Cast wheels and Cowl induction hood.
It seems like everyday from then on, we were doing something to KITT. The work was difficult and some nights proved impossible. While I am personally fairly knowledgable about cars, I had never done fiberglass or body work, and had never built electronics. But I wasn’t afraid to try. If we failed, we failed. But at least we could say “we tried.” It was no easy task…but I never quit,
In the end, after several years of work, I can finally say KITT was a success. We were able to create a fully-fucntional KITT replica, complete with the unmistakable red scanner, the futuristic interior, and yes…the orgiinal talking voice. And from that day on, we began a new legacy. One that still stays true to the original theme of Knight Rider whereby: “one man can make a difference”.
It is a legacy that the Fiduccia-family now calls the “Make a Difference” campaign.
Knight Rider & K.I.T.T. are wholly owned and copyrighted properties of Universal Studios, Inc. The car we built was never used in the actual TV show, and forever will remain a custom-made replica. We invite you to follow our story and see how the Make a Difference campaign truly aims to keep the legacy of Knight Rider alive for generations to come.