1917 Stanley Model 728 and Rev. Stanley Ellis

1917 Stanley Model 728 when owned by Rev. Stanley Ellis

This image from Dad's collection is of the Rev. Stanley Ellis' 1917 Stanley Model 728 Touring (chassis 17225). In the post-war days of the VMCCA, the "steamer guys" always included Stanley Ellis, Earle Eckel, and Dad's good friend Frank Gardner. Rev. Ellis owned many Stanleys over the years, including a 1908 model H5, a 1908 model EX, a 1914 model 607, a 1918 model 735, a 1922 model 740, and a 1925 model SV252A. According to The Stanley Register (fantastic website: http://www.stanleyregister.net), Ellis purchased this car from George Hildreth, a Stanley dealer from Maine, who had stored the car 18 years - Ellis would own the car for 12 years.

The Stanley Motor Carriage Company of Newton, MA (yup, they still called themselves a "motor carriage" company) produced two models in 1917 - the model 728 and model 730. They made 998 cars that year and prices ranged from $2200 to $2800. 1917 was also a import year in the history of the company as the founders, F.E and F.O. Stanley sold their interest in the business. The Automobile Trade Journal of July 1, 1917 reported that the company was re-incorporated under the same name with the brothers selling to the officers of the company, "Messrs. Warren, Hallett and C.F. Stanley joined the concern in 1906 and became officers and directors in 1912". Interestingly, Carlton Fairfield Stanley was a nephew who shared an interest in violin making with his uncle F.O. Stanley. F.O. taught C.F. Stanley violin making and Carlton would produce an estimated 600 violins between 1920 and 1942 (the year F.O. Stanley died) for commercial consumption - they are well regarded instruments today. Unfortunately, it appears Carlton was more focused on violin's than automobiles as the Stanley Motor Carriage Company suffered from a lack innovation and new designs after the founders left the company. The last Stanley steamer rolled off the Newton line in 1926 - the company would produce some 16,000 vehicles over it's lifetime.

F.E. Stanley died soon after the sale of the company from injuries sustain in an automobile accident (he was driving a model 730) on July 31, 1918. F.O. would live to be 92, spending his days in Estes Park, Colorado (he sold his interest in the Stanley Hotel around the same time as he left the motor carriage company). Rev. Ellis received a master's degree in theology from Harvard in 1930 and followed his passion for steam cars right up until his passing in 1989.

Rev. Stanley Ellis in his 1914 Stanley Model 607 circa 1948 (photo credit: The Marshall Collection)

Frank Gardner and his 1912 Stanley Model 74

Automobile Trade Journal, July 1, 1917

F.O. Stanley


  1. Stanley Ellis was my godfather and Frank Gardner was my father. thanks for sharing the great photos

  2. Nancy - Thanks again for your comments. You can email me directly at: vintagemotoring@gmail.com - I'm sure my father would like to say hello.