Velie Motors Corp. of Moline, Illinois, was an automobile company founded in 1902 by Willard Velie to make horse-drawn carriages. Velie was a grandson of John Deere and at the time he started his company was a corporate secretary and member of the board of Deere & Co. In 1927, by which time Velie was an established maker of carriages, engines, touring cars and trucks, it purchased a young aircraft company whose main asset was the gifted designer Donald A. Luscombe (1895-1965). Luscombe designed a small monoplane which went into production as the Velie Monocoupe.
In October 1928 Velie died, followed a year later by his son Williard Velie Jr., who had taken over the business, and as the depression set in, the company began to flounder. The company was acquired by Lambert and its plant moved from Moline to St. Louis, Missouri, by 1931. Luscombe left to found his own company in 1933, and the aircraft division of Lambert, now just named Monocoupe after its first product, was spun off in 1940. It survived into the early 1950s through a series of name and ownership changes before finally disappearing. In its heyday in the 1930s, however, continued to produce advanced developments of Luscombe’s Monocoupe design. These aircraft became progressively sleeker, more powerful, faster and more luxurious, and were some of the most charismatic high-performance sporting aircraft of the 1930s, achieving considerable racing success. Today, the dozens that still fly are among the most highly desired classic airplanes.