1984 Pontiac Firebird S/E Hardtop Knight Rider Replica For Sale

£36,995 As stated

Price £36,995As stated
Ad Type For Sale
Category American Cars
Make Pontiac
  Firebird S/E
Year 1984
Mileage 73,000 Miles
Country United Kingdom
Region Cheshire
Town Frodsham
Telephone 07720 781216
Status Private
  31-Jul-2022
Ref C1483254
Benefiting from a full strip down and three year ground up restoration with full photo gallery, spreadsheet, receipts and insurance valuation.

I’m sure by now you have either heard about or seen this car on the internet or at some shows around the UK. It has been described by many as a one-off and being at the top of its class in terms of fit, finish and quality and having won several trophies and appraisals I am confident people are right to say so.

I purchased this car in 2015 as a shell and I personally spent the next three years restoring it to what you see before you in these photos and description. I am a time served painter in the restorative sector so this isn’t a driveway build. It was lovingly created over time using professional equipment, products and techniques and no expense was spared when creating it; it benefits from every screen accurate or reproduction OEM part available at the time of the restoration, but has also been modified and improved to be a useable vehicle in todays traffic and conditions. This is possibly the only replica created to actually ‘be’ a knight rider car and not simply be a repainted firebird with some parts fitted. The explanation will become clear as you read on!

The exterior body shell is the best I have ever seen. Aside from one inner rear wheelarch panel replacement it has had no welding whatsoever. The underside was painstakingly stripped of its previous coatings, inspected and recoated with epoxy EM121; a two part industry standard rust preventative coating designed for use in the toughest conditions on earth. This was followed by a rubberised anti perforation coating then over-coated with black waxoyl. All of the box sections and cavities were similarly treated using standard waxoyl.

The upper body shell sported its original lamp black (11) paintwork bearing no signs of previous dents or scrapes so was stripped back to bare metal and, during approximately 600 hours of detailed bodywork to ensure a perfectly prepared surface, was treated to a 1k etch primer, surfacer, jet black base coat and a high solids clear coat finish. It was then meticulous detailed until a glass like finish was achieved.

To replicate the exterior of the famous TV car it benefits from an extraordinarily rare and renowned for accuracy season 2 nosecone, an exact reproduction of a halogen screen used scanner bar, a set of six tinted fog lights, a one off rear blackout which, unlike many other replicas, is devoid of any visible methods of fitment, a unique remote rotating license plate and the stock trans am rear ground effects. You may also notice that the tinted rear hatch has the rare option of no heated rear element as per the original KITT in the show. The vehicle is unrecognisable as a hard top both outside and in due to the paint job and trim which replicates the tinted sections of the glass T-roof panels and the original T-roof interior plastics and liners modified to fit the hard top frame. It has fooled everyone yet doesn’t allow for the incessant leaks from the glass roof panels which will frequently ruin the floors in these vehicles; I have replaced enough floor pans to know! Being a none T-top car is also a nod to the original stunt cars, as they were all hard tops.

Originally I fitted the 2. 8 v6 engine, unfortunately it suffered a terminal failure so it was replaced with a 50k mile 3. 1 V6 from a vehicle that had suffered a side impact. The 3. 1 was stripped and inspected for signs of premature wear or issues that would need addressing before the fitment. There were none so the engine was refreshed with all new ancillaries, seals and gaskets and fitted to the car. At this point the entire fuel injection and electronic management system was overhauled and modified using all new components and seals to ensure years of reliable running. Consequently this is one of the smoothest running v6 engines you will see. A pair of pacesetter tubular headers (exhaust manifolds for the brits) mated to a stock de-catted v8 exhaust give this car the performance note is deserves. The Chevrolet 60º V6 is renowned to be one of the most well designed and reliable engines to have been fitted into gm vehicles.

A Borg Warner T5 5 speed transmission fitted with new clutch, pressure plate, slave cylinder and fluid modified with a short shift kit finishes up the drivetrain and is a genuine joy to drive. The benefit to this drivetrain combination aside from weight distribution in corners, is fuel economy. In the 1750 miles since completion it has averaged 29 miles per gallon.

Under the car is a similar story with all of the steering and suspension bearing new bushings and components. It has several modifications to make the car much more responsive than a stock firebird. Rear tubular lower arms, adjustable panhard bar, lowered springs and gas shocks means that the rear axle is centred at this ride height which tames the rear end in corners and prevents a lot of rebound from the UK’s quality road surfaces. At the front the restored and re-bushed stock lower arms are mated to gas struts riding over custom rated lowered springs to give a firm yet precise ride and fantastic performance into and out of corners thanks to its brand new quick ratio steering box. This setup gave a few surprises and led to a fantastic conversation with an Impreza driver on a recently organised North Wales drive out!

The braking is taken care of via a brand new pair of stock front callipers covering brand new hubs and discs and operating a pair of high friction brake pads. The brake booster and master cylinder were replaced alongside all the pipework, rubber hoses and e-brake cables for peace of mind and confidence from the modified suspension setup.

Lastly although it’s the first thing you notice, are the wheels. I’ve been asked so many times why I haven’t fitted the original 'Turbo Cast' wheels. I didn’t want them. The stock wheels are narrow and small with a very high profile tyre which doesn’t lend itself to cornering ability whatsoever and this car has been built to handle well. Spending all that time and money to get a car handling correctly then fitting unsuitable wheels would be a waste and give unpredictable driving results. You don’t see modified autocross vehicles running on stock wheels and this is the reason; they’re part of the handling setup. This car is known worldwide for the way it sits and looks, there isn’t another like it. The wheels fitted are custom offset 18x8 and 18x9. 5 turbine design wheels attached via 20mm and 25mm one off adaptors to give it the stance presented in the photos. Furthermore a custom mounting system was created to enable me to fit the one-off bowling ball hub caps.

As we move inside the first thing that becomes obvious is that almost everything is new. The infamous PMD viscount seats sourced from the US, re-stuffed and reupholstered in immaculate brand new camel tan 'Parella' cloth with leather piping and brand new PMD trim badges greet you as you open the door. The door panels themselves have been remanufactured from 3mm ply and recovered in the same 'Parella' cloth and lush tan leather rather than the cheaper vinyl of the stock firebird. As per the TV car the metal trims are chrome, not black, and in the spirit of practicality a pair of the later cup and map pockets have been fitted. The brand new front and rear ACC tan carpets lie over the original sound deadening material which is fitted on top of ‘silent coat’ vibration dampening pads attached to most areas of the sheet steel shell, all protected by removable footwell mats. The stock interior plastics have all be re-dyed with OEM products to restore the original finish which look fantastic. The trunk area has the hard to find rear tonneau cover in place which has been restored and functions as intended and features the rare cubby lid for hidden storage.

Sitting in the driver seat it is easy to see why every child on earth was fascinated with 'Knight Rider'! Behind the one of a kind quick release, lighted ‘gullwing’ steering wheel the modified ‘Knight Passions season 1’ dash bearing modified ‘Idegeeniali' dash electronics which incorporate all the cars standard functions and displays as well as active dummy displays sit behind one-off custom made overlays and gels and include two mirrorable 16:9 HD TFT displays capable of automatically displaying custom made video files, automatic reverse camera display and HDMI inputs from any video source of choice ie. your phone, which in turn sit behind the one-off switchpod populated by ‘Jupiter season 1’ switches all hooked up to accompanying sound effects and functions makes you feel like a child again. With the press of a button on the modified ‘pilot episode’ overhead console the voice box bursts into life with KITT’s famous introduction from 1982….’I am the Knight Industries 2000’ ; you cannot help but smile! This illuminated console has various active dummy displays but also houses many other random sound effects and voice samples from both KITT and KARR which are piped into the cockpit and has practical uses like the trunk release and ‘knight mode’; a dash dimming system for night time driving. The lower console is again a one-off having been made to replicate the original ‘series 1’ prop but retain use of the custom reupholstered e-brake with it being a manual transmission car. Whilst illuminated for effect it houses, through its ‘Jupiter season 1’ buttons and switches, most of the practical functions of the car; electric aerial, front and rear fogs, lighted gas pedal, panic alarm, interior light, mph/ kmh switch, scanner controls and the power window switches.

If you’re a person who appreciates music you’ll be more than happy to see a brand new Alpine bluetooth headunit which is mated to a Pioneer digital 1400w power amp driving two 5” Infinity kappa dash speakers and two 6x9” Infinity kappa rear 3 way drivers. The bass is supplied by a boxed, vented 10” Vibe sub driven from a Kenwood 600w amplifier. The system has been setup for the interior space and as well as being capable of serious volume, sounds amazing.

By now you must realise that this is a special vehicle, truly a one-off, equally at home coveted in someones garage or as part of a collection. My heart, soul, blood sweat and tears went into this build but after many years of enjoyment in the form of attending shows, going for day drives on hilly routes, local procession, events and raising money for charities it is time for this truly remarkable vehicle to find a new home. You can slide in, turn the key, hear the familiar turbine sound from the front of the car and off you go; Every single time. I’d drive this car anywhere with no hesitation and with it brings admiration and smiles from everyone. It certainly isn’t a vehicle for people who don’t enjoy attention.

With that said I will be happy to entertain viewings from serious buyers. I won’t allow any test pilots or tyre kickers and no-one will drive it without demonstrating the correct and proper insurance. I am happy to answer any genuine and serious questions pertaining to the sale, anything other than that will be ignored.

As with all things there is a negative; there are a few stone chips present on the vehicle inline with the fact that it has been used as a car. It wasn’t built to sit and gather dust and I have put some miles on it. If the buyer wishes this to be rectified I will be happy to come to an agreement with regard to paint rectification at my place of work.

The vehicle will be professionally cleaned and valeted before sale. I hope it finds a home that will continue its legacy and respect it as I have.

It will come with the Instagram and Facebook page and following, private plate and all documentation which includes the spreadsheet of every part fitted. I have several pieces of rare original Pontiac marketing material from 1984 which are available if negotiated separately. A list of all items fitted to and completed on the vehicle is available on request.
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