Disabled Fan's Devotion Slams Brakes on KITT Sale


For immediate release

 

Contact: Brian Grams, director, Volo Auto Museum

(815) 385-3644; brian@volocars.com

 

Invitation to attend

What: Rededication of KITT exhibit

When: 1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20

Where: Volo Auto Museum, 27582 Volo Village Road, Volo

Featuring: Disabled fan who altered auction plans 

RSVP: (815) 385-3644 – Brian Grams

 

Disabled fan’s devotion slams brakes on KITT sale

 

VOLO — KITT, the General Lee and Batmobile comprised the Volo Auto Museum’s original trio of Star Cars. So when KITT, an exhibit model from the ‘80s “Knight Rider” series, was among cars being auctioned earlier this month, it created a stir.

 

In the first couple of days of the weeklong eBay auction, bidding for the car was up to $20,000. Volo Auto Museum Director Brian Grams believed the car would fetch a handsome sum, as bidding always climbs in an online auction’s waning hours. But Grams could not have predicted what transpired on the auction’s third day.

 

“I got a phone call from a Wisconsin mom of a profoundly disabled teen, and she was despondent,” Grams said. “She explained that she and her wheelchair-bound daughter were fans of the museum, and that her daughter had developed this deep attachment to KITT.

 

“She’s a single mom struggling with a lot of medical bills, and she said she really couldn’t afford it, but she wanted to know whether we would pull KITT from the auction and sell it directly to her.”

 

Grams said he was sorry, but that was not likely. He invited the mom and daughter, Naomi and Dawn Kennison of Pardeeville, Wis., to enjoy a day at the museum with a special viewing of the car, which was in storage pending its sale. 

 

“Dawn actually began to weep inconsolably,” Grams said, recalling their visit. “I never realized what some of these cars mean to some people.”

 

Naomi Kennison said her daughter, who cannot walk and struggles to speak, became enamored with “Knight Rider” after spying it on cable about eight years ago.

 

“It’s about so much more than the car to her,” Naomi Kennison said. “She became engrossed with this character who always fights for what is right, and she became a huge fan of actor William Daniels, the voice of KITT.”

 

Grams discussed the Kennisons’ desire to buy the car with relatives at the multi-generational, family-owned business.

 

“I knew they couldn’t afford to pay what the car was worth, and I asked them if they would be just as happy if we kept it and put it back on exhibit,” he said. “I know it might seem surreal to some people, but they were ecstatic at the idea.”

 

After more discussion with family, the Gramses decided not only to withdraw from auction and keep their Knight Industries Two Thousand, but to rededicate a new exhibit in Dawn Kennison’s honor. Dawn and her mother will be at the museum at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20, for the rededication ceremony.

 

Dawn Kennison also will be treated to a ride in her hero-car before it is reinstalled.

 

“The opening narration for the ‘Knight Rider’ series says something about Michael Knight championing the cause of the innocent, the helpless, and the powerless,” Grams said. “We think he would approve.”

 

The press is cordially invited to attend. RSVPs are encouraged to Grams at (815) 385-3644. For other information about the Volo Auto Museum, visit volocars.com, find Volo Auto Museum on Facebook or call the museum at (815) 385-3644.

 

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Suggested caption: Dawn Kennison is an avid fan of “Knight Rider” and especially the modified ’82 Trans Am that starred as the artificially intelligent super car KITT. After withdrawing the car from an online auction earlier this month, Volo Auto Museum will dedicate a new KITT exhibit in Kennison’s honor Nov. 20.