The Road Knights
I am submitting this picture in hopes that my club, the Road Knights, will gain their moment in the sun, so to speak. The Road Knights were all from the very small town of Ontarioville, Illinois (pop 250), which is about 40 miles due west of Chicago. After reading Wally Parks’ call every month in HOT ROD magazine to start a club, some of us guys said, Why not? So we met one night in the railroad depot and started the Road Knights. This was in the late fall of 1953. Plaques we purchased from J.C. Whitney Co. in Chicago, and our club jackets from a shop on the famous Maxwell Street in Chicago. We also had 500 courtesy cards printed up with, “You’ve been helped by…” which gave us a lot of exposure and gratitude from all the overheated, brokedown, or flat-tire folks that we helped.
In mid-1955, word was going around that other clubs from Dupage County (the county we were in) wanted to start a Hot Rod Association. This happened, and I am proud to say I was voted President. The Association didn’t last more than a year at best. But the group did do one great thing, and the enclosed picture is the proof. The really shocking thing was that the paper (the Elgin Courier News) had this photo on the front page!
The Road Knights never had more than 12 members, and though we tried hard, never made much of a splash in the hot rod world. But we were very proud that we were there in the beginning.
Of the six guys in the photo, just four remain as of six years ago.