The 1983 Pontiac Firebird, Firebird S/E & Trans Am
Graham Ewing brings us a set of pics of only the 2nd nice '83 TA to ever be
added to the site (although we have several '83 MR MSE TAs in the Macho
section). This is a great looking TA and its kind of rare with the Crossfire
injection. There just aren't many of these around. Graham writes:
||This is one of the '83 Trans Ams used in the TV series KnightRider. It is on display at Universal Studios in Hollywood.|
'83 Trans Am with a KITT
conversion is owned by Stephen Laskowski. The car is actually a black and gold
Recaro Trans Am. It was purchased in November of 1995 with only 66k miles showing on the clock,
for $4,195. Steve invested some money into the brakes (all new), a new paint job, and some
rear end work. The car had been making a strange sound that the previous owner had assured
him was the sound of air being sucked into the engine through the hood. He would later
find out that the rear-end had been rebuilt at one time and reassembled too tightly which
caused one of the bearings to fall apart. However on the lighter side these were the only
mechanical problems he has experienced since owning the car.
The car has every option available on an 83' model including leather Recaro seats. These were actually replaced thought during the installation of the KITT conversion kit with the KITT PMD, open head rest, tan cloth seats.
Steve obtained these hard to find seats from a junkyard and paid the hefty sum of $1,000 to have the reupholstered in the correct color (originally burgundy). The stock TA wheels were also replaced with the 14" bowling-ball style rims. He found them in a wheel shop and picked them up for $125 for the set. However he would later discover the real KITT car had come with 15" rims. Luckily a co-worker had a junk TA with the proper 15" rims and traded them for the 14"s. Keeping the car as original as possible is definitely a priority but some modifications have been performed to make the car as realistic as possible. A tiny camera was added to the roof of the car that connects to one of the TVs in the dash and will serve as a rear view mirror. The gas pedal is lit with 16 tiny green 12v bulbs that light up when the pedal is pressed. A 4x6 speaker was mounted under the hood which is attached to a wireless remote PA system. This is used at car shows to to give the appearance that the car is talking.
Most recently a fully functional Knight Rider dash was just installed in October. The dash is a combination of the 1st season 2 TV fiberglass with modified Mark Custom Kits 4th Season electronics (which did not come fully functional when purchased and poor longevity techniques used). It contains 2 TVs, a direction compass, all digital gauges, and voice box LEDs that work with the signals from the radio. The car also has an overhead console with a keypad that serves several purposes. Most are on/off switches for things like the PA system or rear view camera but some make telephone chimes to add believability to the electronic cockpit.
E-mail: Stephen Laskowski
One of the first '83 TAs to finally be added to the site in a long time.
This one is owned by Jim Gray and here is what he had to say:
"Hello again! The TA is a 1983 model with no T-tops (hard top). I bought this car with a bad motor for $400.00. After I purchased the car, I immediately bought a new 305 long block motor and had it installed (with now only a little over 800 miles on the motor), a new clutch, new radiator, battery, alternator, heater core, heater hoses, thermostat, and Flowmaster dual exhaust (no cat). This car now runs very smoothly and is a joy to drive. The dog in the pic is my dog Cody.
This car still needs much more work to be done. The driver's side exterior needs a new front fender, new door, and rear quarter panel replaced due to being hit slightly from the side and rust on the rear quarter panel. After all the exterior work has been done, I will have it repainted the same with the decals placed the way they were from the factory (I don't believe this car's decals were placed in the right places after it was repainted over 10 years ago). This car also came with louvers on the back hatch which is rare and I don't know if they came with the car when it was new or aftermarket. It can be raised and has stands to hold it up so as to clean the rear glass. I'm attending college full time right now and this car is a project that will gradually come together piece by piece. I'll send more pics when I get more taken. Thanks for looking and I can't wait to see it on your site!"
This Trans Am is owned by Chris G. Chris writes:
"Purchased used in '84 3500miles. Added a bug bra and rear sun shield. Have had it on the road for 25 years now, just turned 44,000 miles."