William “Bill” Stanley Sr. has had an interest in vintage automobiles since his childhood, an interest that began with his father, who drove a V-16 Cadillac for his job as a chauffeur. As a teen, Bill found a 1920’s Chevrolet, added an extra transmission, and enjoyed driving it around the “camp” his parents owned in Becket, MA. After serving in World War II, he purchased and restored a 1939 Indian Chief motorcycle for his commute to college. (The motorcycle was sold a few years later to purchase his wife’s engagement ring.) In the years following school, raising a family took priority and left Bill little time to tinker, though he continued to hone his skills working as a mechanical engineer. As his sons got older, he passed his automotive interests on to them. Bill Jr. remembers rebuilding the engine and converting a ’67 Mustang convertible from automatic to three-speed standard when he was in high school—a major undertaking. There was also the complete but not running 1937 Dodge business coupe purchased by number-three son Dave, quickly brought back to life and restored over time—a car Bill still has today. With each project, Bill has taught his sons the patience and problem solving needed for antique automobiles and for life. And the legacy continues—two of his grandsons recently restored 1964 Mustang.
Bill Stanley Sr. was honored at the 2016 Klingberg Vintage Motorcar Festival by his four sons: Bill, Tom, David, and Doug. He pass away in November 2016.