Dan Knott: Chrysler Executive Passes

In the most recent issue of Autoweek magazine there was a brief note about the passing of Chrysler executive Dan Knott.  I did not know Dan very well, but I recall competing against him at Targa Newfoundland, when he was there as the head of Chrysler’s SRT group.  The notice below was in the Autoweek magazine.

Dan Knott Passes at a Young Age

My clearest memory of Dan Knott is something that did not turn out so well for him.  I was competing as the co-driver for Rick MacLeod in a powerful Mustang at Targa Newfoundland.  I believe that we were in the Open Class that year.  On the last day, Rick & I were in fourth place behind Dan Knott and his co-driver who were in a well-prepared Dodge Charger.  When we got to the start of the last stage, we realized that Dan in his Charger were missing and were not in position to start the last stage.  Rick & I ran the stage and then went to the staging location for the parade convoy return to St. John’s.  After some time, Dan showed up with the Charger no worse for wear.  It turned out that they had made a wrong turn and had gotten lost on the way to the last stage.  When they finally arrived at the start of the last stage, the stage road had been opened to the public again, so they were not able to run the final stage.

When we got back to St. John’s for the champagne spray awards on George Street, Rick & I were surprised and disappointed when Dan & his co-driver were called up as finishing in third place and were celebrating with the campaign spray.  Rick  & I lodged an inquiry, eventually justice prevailed, and the next night at the formal awards dinner, Rick & I were awarded third place ahead of Dan Knott and his co-driver (whose name I am not mentioning).  I remember glancing a look at Dan that night and seeing a disappointed look on his face when our eyes met.  For a moment or two, I almost felt sorry for him as I’m sure that he thought that we had taken away the final podium position from him, especially after the big celebration on George Street the previous day.  In the final analysis, Rick & I really did finish third in the Open Class and we only got what we deserved, so I was comfortable with that.

As you can see from the notice in Autoweek, Dan Knott was only 51 years old when he died.  It is always sad when a motorsport enthusiast like Dan Knott, who accomplished so much, passes.

Rest in peace Dan.

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