Dear All, yes the VLDD was the first production 80 cubic inch Harley, with 176 built in late 1935 of which a number seem to have gone to California Highway Patrol. Did you see my restored 35VLDD at Davenport 2008 done up as a CHP pursuit bike? There is a late 1935 newsreel showing a gaggle of CHP bikes caning down the road to show they can do 100 mph, and of course I like to believe my bike is one of them. They were probably rated at 37 bhp, same as the 36VLH, but had the option of the factory hot cams on the inlet valves - which would be the hook cams with no more lift but lots of duration. My bike is being shipped to the UK, so I'll put it on the dyno and let you know the rear wheel horsepower.
The bike has stroker flywheels with spacer plates under the cylinders, but uses one-year 7-bolt cylinders with relieving/gas flow channels like the VLH - how cool is that. It also has the 1 1/8" venturi in the carb and a polished inlet manifold, explaining all those -35 part numbers for the VLH.
As for the 35VLDJ, 102 of these 'competition special' 74 cubic inch bikes were built and I have yet to see one. The factory description is of a specially selected fast motor, so perhaps these were regular 35VLD engines breathed on but without the J in the engine number. I speculate they were stripped of lights and accessories for professional or semi-pro racing, but have yet to see one. Any contacts appreciated.