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MPC Knight Rider Series 2000

Knight Rider Series 2000
MPC No. MPC806/12
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: Black, clear, red
Scale: 1/25
MSRP: $26.95
Pros: Authentic features; nicely detailed
Cons: Some inaccuracies; some cleanup needed
Knight Rider was a 1982-1986 NBC TV series that starred David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight, a high-tech modern crime fighter assisted by KITT – an advanced, artificially intelligent and nearly indestructible car.

MPC reintroduced Knight Rider’s KITT 1982 Pontiac Firebird as part of the Silver Screen Machines series. The kit retains important details throughout, including the unique cockpit, and provides vintage-1980s MPC packaging.  
Kit parts are contained in five plastic bags, with decals that are protected by a cover sheet. The hollow tires are molded in soft rubber with nice tread detail and the manufacturer’s lettering. There are two engine options, as well as optional dark-tinted glass.

The original release had the correct vents on the bottom of the front fenders that are not present on this rerelease.  The first release also did not contain the body side molding and various embossed trim emblems found in this version. This kit provides two hoods, but only the one with the asymmetrical scoop is accurate for the KITT car.

The instruction illustrations didn’t match the muffler system or the tires.

I wanted to build the model to correspond to the box art, so I removed the body side molding and embossed trim emblems not seen in box-art illustrations. However, I did not try to create the missing front fender vents.
Other cleanup included filling sink marks on the spoilers, filling ejector-pin marks on the floor surfaces of the interior bucket, and smoothing the seams between the seat and seat back panels. I also removed mold lines from the suspension parts, rear end, exhaust system, and drive shaft.

The engine has more than 20 detailed parts. Build options are the stock fuel injection or a turbocharged version. I chose the turbocharged option, which assembles easily and provides good-looking detail. However, both exhaust manifolds need slight modifications to fit properly to the intake manifold. The instructions were too vague about installing the turbocharged exhaust, so I adapted the stock crossover pipe.

When painting the separate front valance and the separate rear body panels, pay extra attention to ensure that these painted panels match the colors and texture of the rest of the body. 

The body is a little flimsy because of the configuration of an opening hood, T-tops and a hatchback.

The fiddly installation of the front suspension requires the synchronized assembly of the spring, spindle, and lower suspension arm on each side of the chassis. The outcome of that effort is nice detail and poseable front wheels. The transmission mount wasn’t quite a good fit – I needed to slightly enlarge the mounting holes and bend it a little.

The nicely detailed interior assembles easily and fits well with the body and chassis.  Although a little brittle, the decals for the interior create authentic ambiance of the Knight Rider.

The rear of the chassis is installed first, and the body sides must be carefully spread apart. The radiator support was a tight fit to the front of the body. After the chassis is installed, the separate front valance panel and the separate rear body panel are glued in place. I used the tinted glass windshield, hatchback, and T-tops, and was quite pleased with their appearance.

The finished model is impressive looking and represents the 1:1 Knight Rider KITT car nicely.


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