Why classic cars from Knight Rider to the A Team could be your perfect buy

Today is the birthday of a certain Mr David Hasselhoff who, to many television viewers, will always be remembered for his role as crime fighter Michael Knight the popular 1980s series, Knight Rider.

While Hasselhoff may not appreciate a reminder on his birthday of when he was constantly upstaged by a talking car sidekick, named KITT, famous cars from television can offer the perfect gift to collectors.

That's because television memorabilia is more popular than ever - and classic cars from the hit shows of the past 50 years have been reaching high-end prices at auction.

For instance, the iconic Pontiac Firebird Trans Am cars from Knight Rider has soared in value in recent years. There are thought to be four working versions of the original car used in the show currently in existence.

In May 2005, land developer Andrew Kissel paid £46,000 ($69,000) for one of them, and this model is set to go up for auction again in the near future.

Elsewhere, Kassabian Motors in California has put another of the KITT cars used in the series up for sale with a £100,00 ($149,995) price tag.

Each car features the familiar red beam of light emanating from the bonnet, as well as the futuristic yellow-lit buttons in the interior which are so familiar to fans. Unfortunately, any conversation held with the car will be strictly one-way.

Furthermore, newer cars related to Knight Rider have sold also well. A charity auction at Barrett Jackson in the US saw a pair of Ford Mustang Selby GT500s used in the recent Knight Rider series remake sell for an incredible £200,000 ($300,000).

There are also a number of classic cars which have been painstakingly retooled to resemble their television equivalents, and then sold on the collectors' markets.

The '73 Lincoln Continental Batmobile - Sold by Historics at Brookland

One collector purchased a 1973 Lincoln Continental and re-designed it to resemble the famous car featured in the 1960s Adam West-starring Batman television series. In June this year, the car sold for £33,007 ($44,000). Now the new owner just needs a Bat Cave to keep it in.

This year also saw the sale of the original 1971 Gold Dodge Challenger. The car was made famous in the 1970s, thanks to the exploits of three hip detectives known as The Mod Squad. On June 24, it sold for £32,000 ($49,500) at auction.

Elsewhere, you have to look a little further south for the ultimate prize in classic television cars - deep south that is. The 1969 Dodge Charger, otherwise known as "The General Lee", was the star of popular 1980s show The Dukes of Hazzard.

Today, it is believed that there are only 23 examples of the car still in existence. One example, used in three episodes and the reunion film, sold for a record breaking price of £300,000 ($450,000) at an auction in Arizona.

The most exciting thing is that cars from television continue to emerge onto the market. A revamped version of Starsky & Hutch's 1974 Grand Torino recently appeared on auction site eBay with a reserve price of £52,000 ($80,000).

A '74 Ford Torino from Starsky and Hutch resides at
The Imperial Palace Auto Collections, Las Vegas,

Meanwhile, the Ferrari 308 GTS Cars used in Magnum PI are currently privately owned. Each one used in the series, starring Tom Selleck, was sold at auction at the end of every one of the show's eight seasons.

These could reach record sums for a piece of television memorabilia, if one were to come onto the market today.

And the demand for such classics isn't limited to private collectors either. One of the six A Team 1983 GMC Vandura vans in existence was purchased for display by the Cars of the Stars Motor Museum in Keswick, England. The same museum also possesses one of the Knight Rider Pontiac Trans Ams.

More than likely, A Team hero Mr T would "pity the fool" who missed out on the great investments on offer, not only in classic automobiles, but also among these classic pieces of rolling television nostalgia.



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