The Highwayman’s retro-futuristic semi-truck can now be yours
The 1980s and early 1990s were a bonanza of weird, car-themed television dramas. Many were inspired by the success that was “Knight Rider,” but few had the staying power. Among them was 1987’s “The Highwayman,” whose KITT analogue was a pair of tech-laden semi trucks from which smaller vehicles could deploy. Now, one of those rigs is being offered for sale.
“The Highwayman” lasted only nine episodes before getting the axe, so the trucks won’t have the instant recognition of, say, B.A. Baracus’ GMC Van or Bo and Luke’s General Lee. Nevertheless, the vision of these crime-fighting futuristic tractor-trailers charging across a dystopian American southwest was seared into my brain at childhood and has endured for 35 years. The truck driven by the main character had a dome-shaped cab that transformed into a helicopter. The container housed a Series 3 Lotus Esprit, a very cool car for its day.
The protagonist’s sidekick had his own truck, and that is the one on Craigslist. The ad claims it’s a 1982 Peterbilt and has a pink slip to corroborate, but it looks to have been inspired by a German concept called the Steinwinter Supercargo. The ultra-low cab sat under the trailer, and in the show it could detach and become its own low-slung car. Because the show took place in a lawless future world, like a cyberpunk Western, the truck was outfitted with a battering-ram like front bumper and Ferrari Testarossa-style side strakes. Such were visions of the future in the 80s.
According to the listing, it cost $500,000 to build in 1982. It currently is said to have a new 700-horsepower Detroit Diesel engine with only 5,000 miles on it. While the steel body has seen better days, the seller offers the idea that you could turn it into the ultimate mobile home or restore it and rent it out to movie productions to the tune of $100,000 a year. While the truck did re-surface in “Power Rangers Time Force,” we feel the utility of such a massive vehicle would be limited in the age of CG’ed images.
In any case, the truck is being offered for $65,000. It’s no DeLorean but you would be the king of Radwood if you showed up in this baby.