Just like the Studebaker brothers, Willard Velie also started out building carriages and in 1909 he also attempted to build his first motorcar. The first motorcar that left the factory in Moline, Illinois was powered by a four cylinder, Lycoming engine. The car was available as a five or two-seater. The models were called the Velie A and B. In 1911, Velie built his own four-cylinder engine. Howard Hall finished seventeenth in the first Indianapolis 500 in 1911 with one of these engines. In 1914, six-cylinder engines appeared which delivered 34 bhp to the large rear wheels. During the First World War, Velie was awarded countless government contracts which made him a wealthy man.
The 1920, Velie 34 was powered by such a six-cylinder engine. The model was only available with five-seater bodywork.
Velie manufactured a large number of different models, which were always of exceptional quality. The 1928 range also featured a Velie with an eight-cylinder Lycoming engine. In that same year, the 66 and 77 (with six-cylinder engines) and the 88 (with an eight-in-line engine) were launched. In total, there were some thirteen different bodies available that year. Willard Velie died on 24 October 1928. He was succeeded by his son Willard Lamb Velie Junior. When he died shortly afterwards on 20 March 1929 of a heart attack the factory closed down for good.
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