Hogslayer Reanimated: Dragstalgia 2024 Awaits Revival

Hogslayer Reanimated - Dragstalgia 2024
Hogslayer is expected to be brought back to life at the Dragstalgia 2024 event in England.

From 1972 to 1975, the Top Fuel class of motorcycle drag racing was turned upside down when Harley-Davidson’s utter domination of the world championship was ended by a radical machine built in Wisconsin. Despite the Dairyland birthplace of Hogslayer, the machine that would capture four consecutive NHRA class titles was not powered by a V-twin.

Instead, Hogslayer was powered by British Norton Commando engines, mounted in tandem in a radical, stretched frame. Built by John Gregory and T. C. Christenson, and operating out of Sunset Motors in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the Christenson-piloted double-engine machine outran the dominant Harley-Davidson dragsters of the day. Its domination of Milwaukee’s V-twins in the Top Fuel class earned it the Hogslayer nickname. Christenson’s hair-trigger reflexes and all-or-nothing riding style enabled the Norton to break records and secure titles.

The story of the Hogslayer was chronicled in the 2013 documentary Hogslayer: The Unapproachable Legend. Directed by James Cutting, Hogslayer was re-released in 2023.

Hogslayer has been displayed at the National Motorcycle Museum in England since 2004.

Recently, a group of motorcycle drag racing devotees approached Chris Illman, a friend of the Museum, with the idea of borrowing Hogslayer to put it on display at Dragstalgia 2024 on July 5-7 weekend as a tribute to Gregory and Christenson. Dragstalgia is held at Wellington’s Santa Pod Raceway, about 50 miles northwest of London. Built in 1966, Santa Pod Raceway was the first permanent dragstrip in England.

Much to the surprise of the Dragstalgia organizers, National Motorcycle Museum Director James Hewing went even further. Hewing offered to let them get Hogslayer running and ridden at the legendary British drag racing venue.

The idea caught on. With the assistance of Gregory, now 90 years old, and his long-time friend and photojournalist, Keith Lee, there is an effort to prepare Hogslayer for a running appearance at Dragstalgia 2024.

Gregory said of the effort to revive Hogslayer, “It is great that you guys are doing this. I just wish I was there to see it run again.”