Passing of an MG legend – Dick Knudson
A legend in the MG world, the Reverend, Dr Richard (Dick) L. Knudson, passed away on September 1st. He leaves behind a legacy of caring, fostering, honouring, challenging and leading MG enthusiasts around the world. He will be dearly missed and remembered for his many contributions to fostering the love for the MG automobile and among MG enthusiasts. No doubt he is already busy organizing a “Gathering of the Faithful” in heaven and I can’t wait to attend!
The following was written by Bob & Chris Vitrikas. I was privileged to have known Dick for the past 40 years and am proud to say he was my mentor, colleague and friend. I first met Dick at his home in Oneonta, NY where he generously mentored me for the better part of a day on how to fulfil my dream of writing a book on the MGA. I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor. Dick held a doctorate in English, was an English professor at Oneonta State University and has written over 30 books and hundreds of articles on the MG, including “M.G.: The Sportscar America Loved First”.
Dick immersed himself in all things MG, including a sabbatical, spent in Abingdon, the home of MG, where Dick met and really got know the men and women that were MG. Dick passed that enthusiasm and learning on to thousands of MG enthusiasts around the world. With Frank Churchill, in 1964 he co-founded the New England MG T Register (NEMGTR) and led that group on so many MG adventures. The T Register’s annual national and regional “Gatherings of the Faithful” were legendary.
Dick used his connections with MG greats by hosting them as honoured guests at these gatherings, thus enabling others to meet and share MG experiences with them first hand. Dick and Frank challenged the T Register to get out and drive their cars. It’s hard to imagine that in 1976 the NEMGTR held a rally that ran from the U.S. east coast to the west coast and back again! What a way to celebrate our bicentennial. Teams competed from as far away as South Africa. That was followed by a rally to Alaska starting in Michigan. Some T owners even pushed on to travel above the Arctic Circle! Dick was an enthusiastic supporter of the MG Vintage Racers, sponsoring races and helping his son Erik get into vintage racing with their MG TD. Ever the scholar, in 1988 Dick established a series of seminars called “Kimber Festivals” that featured scholarly presentations on subjects related to MGs. These continue to this day.
That was followed by a rally to Alaska starting in Michigan. Some T owners even pushed on to travel above the Arctic Circle! Dick was an enthusiastic supporter of the MG Vintage Racers, sponsoring races and helping his son Erik get into vintage racing with their MG TD. Ever the scholar, in 1988 Dick established a series of seminars called “Kimber Festivals” that featured scholarly presentations on subjects related to MGs. These continue to this day.
Dick retired from teaching in 1991 and in 2004 he began a new life path when he was ordained as an Anglican priest. Dick served as vicar at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Schenevus, New York. Most recently on June 2nd, Dick was inducted into the British Sports Car Hall of Fame along with other greats such as Donald Healey, Cecil Kimber, Sir William Lyons, John Thornley and Sir Stirling Moss. I was delighted to be in attendance to see Dick, and others, receive this distinction.
In lieu of flowers, his loving family requests donations be sent to the Knudson Churchill Scholarship Trust, 8 Woodston Lane, Palm Coast, FL 32164 or to the Church of the Holy Spirit, Arch Street, Schenevus, New York 12155. Services will be held at the Church of the Holy Spirit at 11 AM, Friday, September 8th. A reception will follow.
June 4, 1930 – September 1, 2017