September 20, 1919 - August 31, 2000
Robert Joseph "Bob" Knight is an outstanding engineer and the developer of the chassis of cars. Bob Knight was born in 1920 and attended Bablake School in Coventry before graduating from the University of Birmingham with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. He joined SS Cars Ltd. in 1944, as a technical assistant in the chassis development department, directly invited by chief engineer William "Bill" Haynes, who was impressed by the young "Bob's" training, intelligence, and analytical skills. "Bob" Knight proved to be extremely capable of improving the car's dynamics. He was a brilliant engineer and in 1951 was appointed chief vehicle engineer for Jaguar Cars Ltd. In tandem with Malcolm Sawyer, they created the beautiful Jaguar C-type, D-type, and when development of the Jaguar E-type began, he developed a completely new rear suspension. It is known that this work took him only 27 days, and the impetus was a dispute between him and William Lyons for 5 pounds that this work could not be done in a month. By 1960, "Bob" Knight was in charge of all Jaguar development, and three years later took over from William Haynes as chief engineer. In 1978, he was appointed Managing Director of Jaguar and spent some time building the organization that was to become the backbone of the independent Jaguar company in later years. After leaving Jaguar in 1980, John Egan replaced him, and "Bob" Knight did not give up his engineering career. He has worked for a number of major companies including Dunlop and Rolls-Royce. In 1975, for achievements in the development of the British automotive industry, "Bob" Knight became a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) and was awarded The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. "Bob" Knight died on August 31, 2000 at the age of 81.