By 1934 Harley sales had nose dived badly and the Motor Company turned to flashy paint jobs and art deco graphics to try and get some action in its showroom floors.

The V series was Harley's 74-cubic-inch (1,200cc) V-twin, side-valve motorcycle, first released in mid-1929 to replace the JD model and is the largest capacity Flathead ever made. The new bike was designed to take on Indian's powerful Chief but the early V models suffered from several problems, including a weak clutch and flywheel, poor lubrication and bad valve springs. The factory remedied these problems in subsequent production batches but the damage of bad press had been done and an even bigger problem was just around the corner.

Also, the VD series of bikes were an unfortunate victim of bad timing; they were released just months before the stock market crash that triggered the Great Depression. Times were tough indeed.

That's where the story of this VD begins. Mailman John Meyer of Bloomington, Illinois, bought the bike new. But after a couple of years and a couple of stacks, Meyer decided he should take a break from riding. He took his VD which had less than 1,800 miles on it, dismantled it, wrapped the pieces in newspaper, boxed up everything and put it all in his basement.

There the bike remained for almost 35 years.

In 1970 Meyer off-handedly mentioned to his friend Bob Davis that he had a 1934 Harley in his basement and needed to get rid of it. Davis bought the machine for a paltry $300, put it back together and rode it occasionally. When he died it was passed along to his friend and the bike's current owner, Terry Adreon of Downs, Illinois.

Adreon considered doing a full-blown restoration, but contacts within the Antique Motorcycle Club of America gave him one piece of advice regarding his original-condition relic: "Don't touch a thing."

He hasn't.

If you'd like to see this amazing bike in the flesh, its now giving visitors a look at the past as part of the "Heroes of Harley-Davidson" exhibit presented by Progressive Motorcycle Insurance in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum at AMA headquarters in Pickerington, Ohio

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