Developed in 1903, Knight Engines provided greater power through the elimination of poppet valves - this also made the Knight engine more quiet than standard engines. The engines also allowed for Hemi-spherical chambers. Knight received backing from L.B. Kilbourne with whom he established Knight and Kilbourne in Chicago which licensed the engine to various companies and receive a royalty payment on each vehicle produced using the engine.
The engine was used by several United States automakers, many of which included "Knight" in their brand names to denote the relationship to the engine. However the expense of manufacturing the engine limited its application to high end model cars.
From 1905 to 1907, Knight manufactured the Silent-Knight automobile both as showcase for the technology and as an attempt to enter the U.S. automobile market (who wouldn't bear the high premium at first.)
John North Willys of WillysOverland was a strong promoter of the Knight Engine as was Frank Ballou Streans of F.B. Streans Company. Willys produced the greatest number of Knight powered vehicles and in 1925 purchased Stearn’s company which brought Stearns-Knight under WillysOverland control.
Knight Engine Powered Automobiles
- Falcon-Knight 1927-1929
- Minerva automobile
- Moline-Knight (1914-1919)
- Panhard et Levassor
- Peugeot and Mors
- R&V Knight (1920-1924)
- Silent-Knight 1905-1907
- Stearns-Knight 1911-1929
- Voisin (1919-1938)
- Willys-Knight 1915-1933