Proton is pretty chuffed about the fact that it coined the term Aeroback that adorned the rear of the first-generation Saga hatchbacks. Later on in 1989; and probably hoping to ride on the turbo-boosted wave of popularity for the iconic Knight Rider television series, Proton knighted the notched-rear Saga as the Saga Knight.
As the name suggests, it made no attempt at hiding its inspiration from the popular television series, Knight Rider, staring David Hasselhoff and the iconic Knight Industries Two Thousand; or KITT, his super sidekick on wheels.
The Proton Knight was essentialy a Saga Aeroback with a new, larger 1.5-litre engine and a livery to match KITT. Sure it wasn’t a Pontac Trans Am by a long shot, but for a 15 year-old fantasising of living the life of a suave spy, this was as close at it gets.
They don’t come across often but this Proton Knight here’s in pristine, almost mint condition. Equipped with the updated Magma 8V engine, it replaced the Mitsubishi-sourced Orion engines found in the first generation Saga’s, and was the precussor to the now famous Megavalve 12V. Mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox, this 31-year old icon is still going strong on the road and in the hearts of petrolheads.
This Knight retains the factory original mechanical components like drivetrain, suspension and air conditoning that are still running well. The seller has indicated that the mountings and bushings have been replaced, but that is to be expected from an old Proton. The tan interior is in amazing condition given its age, right down to the knife-handle style gear shifter. Ahh, good old 80’s styling.
The true highlight of this Proton Knight, or any Proton Knight for that matter, is the exterior paint work and decals. This is what distinguished the Knight from the garden variety Saga Aeroback. Finished in dark grey paint job with decals along the side and rear, the paint on this Knight is in immaculate condition, albeit needing of a good polish to bring it back to showroom condition.
The seller has indicated that he has removed the Knight badging for fear of the car being stolen, although he still has the original badges kept separately. He also has a spare set of Knight decals, just incase any future resprays are needed.
The body on the car is as straight as the day it rolled of the production line, with no rust mind you. This particular Knight comes fitted with the optional rubber duck tail spoiler and a rare rubber front lip by Eontech, the premier Proton delearship at that time.
At 31 years of age, the Proton Knight is truly a rare sight on today’s roads, with examples in any condition few and far between. With classic status just on the horizon for this national gem, we certainly belive this is one of, if not the best condition of any Proton Knight on the road.
With an asking price of just RM9,500, this is a bargain considering the rarity and near-mint condition of this beaut. So, if you are truly interested in the history of our nations motoring, we suggest you forgo that new iPhone, postpone that family vacation, and get a hold of this piece of history, before Proton themselves get a wiff and make an offer the seller can’t refuse.