Alf Hagon; Born 1932.
Before becoming involved in Drag Racing Alf Hagon had much success in  a 12 year Speedway career and was British Grasstrack Champion eleven times. He began Grasstrack racing in 1947 on a New Imperial Rudge followed by a Matchless before switching to BSA Specials fitted with JAP 350cc and 500cc engines. Hagon, a talented engineer, was convinced that his BSA machines were too heavy and supported by a Hornchurch dealer, Tom Kirby, who later became famous as a road racing sponsor, he developed a fully sprung but lightweight machine to house his JAP engines. Called Kirby Specials, Hagon and his machines recorded a staggering list of victories, including no fewer than eleven National titles. The 350cc class title was retained by Alf for six successive years, and it was no surprise that Hagon insisted on retaining the riding number 350 wherever he raced. In addition to these National titles Alf dominated Centre Championship battles for many years in the Eastern, South Midland, and South Eastern Centres. He also rode at the 1953 TT Races on the Isle of Man, competed in trials meetings, sprints , motocross, hill-climbing and road races.
May 29th 1950 Alf competed in his first ever sprint meeting on his 350 Rudge at North Londons Trent Park.
In 1958 Alf began his own buisness in his Mothers 6'x10' garden shed building speedway and grasstrack frames. He was selected to tour Australia with the English speedway team in the same year and, on return to the UK, married his fiancee Jean and in 1960 set up Hagon Products at 350-352 High Road in Leyton East London, living above the shop. His frames won many world championships. His products have been exported to more than twenty nations, and German ace Egon Muller held the 1000 metre sand track speed record at one time, established on a Hagon machine.
October 1962 Alf is guest of honour at the opening night of the legendary 59 Club, a  london motorcycle club formed by Rev. Bill Shergold
In 1964 Alf retired from the ever increasing demands of professional speedway riding and became interested in the up and coming new sport of Drag Racing. He had already competed in sprint meetings on his Rudge and his grasstrack machines, with particular success at the Ramsgate venue. His grasstrack framed 750 Triumph set a new national standing quarter mile record at 11.79 seconds at a Wellesbourne National Sprint Association records event. His first move into drag racing proper was at the first UK Drag Fests where he and George Brown (Super Nero, Supercharged 1000cc Vincent) raced with, it has to be said, little success, against the Americans Bill Woods (Harley Davidson) and Don Hyland (Triumph).
October 3rd 1964 RAF Kemble Dragfest. During the motorcycle time trials Alf Hagon managed a 10.70/120 and went on to win the 751-1500cc Class Elimination.
4th October 1964 Blackbushe Dragfest. Alf Hagon and George Brown were both soundly beaten by the American motorcycles in under 11 seconds. Alf won a trophy and £20 for the third best aggregate performance at the Festival. Shortly after this Alf rounded off his grass track career with a British 350cc Championship title.
Hagon Products acquired the Pentonville Wheel Works and begin building and repairing wheels.
March 14th 1965 Graveley. BDRA Closed Practice Meeting. The track was open from 11.00am until 4.30pm and despite the cold weather nearly 400 members and friends attended the Cambridgeshire venue.  Alf Hagon ran under 12 seconds on his JAP bike with a terminal speed of 117mph. He was trying out a new set of cams and an attempt to pump the fuel directly into the induction ports under pressure failed.
March 21st 1965 Duxford. National Sprint Association Meeting. Alf became the class leader in the new 1300cc division with a run of 12.19. The time was not a true reflection of the bikes capability as the blower belt had broken so Alf was running in unsupercharged form.
Thursday May 20th 1965 A Committee from the BDRA visited South Marston Airfield near Swindon, at the invitation of owners Vickers Supermarine, to vet the main runway for a BDRA Meeting to take place in July as part of the Vickers Gala Day. Among the group was Alf Hagon and his JAP bike which had now been fitted with a Shorrock supercharger. After some practice runs that produced 300 yards of violent wheelspin on a wet track it was agreed that there were great things to come from the Hagon JAP.
May 23rd Duxford. NSA Meeting. Alf Hagon bettered George Browns long standing national record time of 10.29 seconds with a 10.24.
June 27th 1965 NSA Meeting. Gala Of Motorsport at RAF Debden, Essex. After several runs by competitors the hunt began for tapes to measure the course as the times being clocked were quicker than expected. In the meantime Alf Hagon came out for his first run and hopes were high that with his recent progress today would be the day that Alf would crack the ten second barrier. The first run netted a 10.06. The second saw Alf leave a black line on the strip for the whole 1/4 mile from the spinning rear slick apart from a few 1 foot breaks where the bike had been airbourne over the bumps and a 35 foot stretch where he had shifted into high gear. He destroyed his clutch in the process and clocked a 9.96/148. While the celebrations were going on two officials measured the course and found to evryones horror that it was 26 yards short! The correct end of strip mark had been on the part of the strip that crossed the racing car circuit and it had been worn away by a car race meet earlier in the day. The person responsible for marking out the strip had accidently picked up another mark as the finish line.
July 3rd 1965 South Marston nr. Swindon. BDRA Vickers Drag Meet. Alf Hagon ran  a best of 10.39/144 on his JAP motorcycle
Alf Hagon accepted an invitation from the British Drag Racing Association to join their committee.
3rd October 1965 RAF Woodvale Dragfest.  Alf Hagon wins the motorcycle elimination and runs the quickest motorcycle time of the meeting,. He was the only English rider to beat the Americans. To see all the results from this meeting click here

July 17th 1966 SPR. BDRA Bike Drag Race Meeting. This was the first all bike meeting held at the Pod. Overnight rain had soaked the course and it threatened with rain for most of the day. In the over 1000cc class, there were just three entries; Alf Hagon, Peter Gray and Neville Borham. Hagon had the bye and Borham’s unblown JAP took out the Harley of Gray. Hagon won the final in the FTD 10.27 seconds.
July 9th 1967 Alf became the first UK rider to break the ten second barrier with a 9.93 second run at Duxford in Cambridgeshire.
August 20th 1967 SPR. Motorcycle Drag Racing Championships Meeting.Santa Pod was paying out £10 for each sub ten second run and Alf Hagon collected £20. Alf’s first nine was a 9.93, and his second was 9.679 coupled with a terminal speed of 143.88 mph. The ET at the time was the worlds quickest. It came in the final of Top Eliminator against Pete Allen on his twin engined Triumph machine. Allen could only manage 10.91/129. One interesting fact about Hagon’s record breaking run was that his front tyre deflated on the run which didn’t cause any problems under power, but meant quite a hairy time slowing down!
October 21st/22nd1967 Elvington, Yorkshire. The International Sprint Organisation Records Weekend. Alf Hagon made history with the first Motorcycle record in the nines on his monster JAP. Alf was a big hit with the spectators with his trademark slick spinning and smoking up the strip. Even the International Steward stood at the line with a look of stunned disbelief after Alfs first departure. The time was 10.050. On the return run he recorded a time of 9.859 for an average of 9.9545. He is then reported to have put the bike up on its stands, climbed into his van and gone to sleep.
January 3rd-13th 1968 Horticultural Hall, London. The Autospeed 68 exhibition organised by the B.R.S.C.C. Amoungst the exhibits are Tony Denshams Commuter dragster and Alf Hagons JAP dragbike.
April 21st 1968 SPR. Season Opener for bikes. Alf Hagon brought out his re-vamped JAP for demonstration runs, complete with a repainted frame and and multi-coloured anodised alloy fittings. His first run netted a 9.644/148.59, the fastest run ever in the UK but, much to the disappointment of the crowd, very little in the way of his trademark smoking rear slick. Always one to please the fans Alf came out again and smoked the full quarter mile to record a slower 9.718/144.09.

June 2nd/3rd 1968 SPR. BHRA Big Go. Cars only. Three bikes were present to give demo runs. Steve Perry ran a best of 13.6/114 on his V6 Ford powered machine. Dennis Allen took the nitro burning 'Ram Rod' to some ten second runs and Alf Hagon ran quicker every time he came out, culminating in a best of 9.432/153.85.
June 15th/16th 1968 SPR.  Combined car and motorcycle meeting including night racing. Alf Hagon set new et & speed records for Solo Competition Motorcycle B class with a 9.432/153.85 run.
July 28th 1968 SPR. Vagabonds MC Motorcycle Sprint Meeting. The format for this meeting was timed sprints in the morning followed by match races and knock-outs after lunch. The only two UK riders to have broken the ten second barrier, Alf Hagon (1300cc JAP) and John Lloyd (1000cc Vincent) were present to run a best-of-three match race. Amid much excitement both riders lined up for the first round only to both break their drive chains as they left the line. Lloyd quickly repaired his machine but suffered a gearbox failure on his next outing putting him out of action for the rest of the day. Hagon however came back out and laid down his quickest ever performance, a 9.401 with a terminal speed of 155.76mph. Ian Ashwell then brought his Vincent out to challenge Hagon and managed a 10.174 but was no match for Alf who crossed the line with another new personal best of 9.208/154.8. (This was to be the quickest ever time for the bike).
September 23rd 1968 Honington Air Base, Suffolk. Alf Hagon set a new motorcycle speed record over a flying 1/10th mile speed trap set up on the 9000 foot runway. With a much higher gear ratio than used for drag racing a tow start was required for the nitro burning Hagon-Jap twin. His first warm up run at three quarter throttle gave a trap speed of 179mph after the rear tyre broke loose at 170. His second run saw a speed of 189mph after a pushrod dropped out as Alf shifted into top gear. The third run saw the clutch give up before the speed trap and a speed of 180mph. The last, and most successful run saw the manifold let go in the speed trap but still resulted in a 206.54 mph run making Alf the first Englishman to go over 200mph on a motorcycle.
September 15th 1968 SPR. 2nd Annual Motorcycle Championship meeting.The meeting was severely affected by the weather with only the Class Eliminations being completed. There was a strong headwind which meant times were lower than usual. Alf Hagon was making demonstration runs, but the weather meant he could only put in a single pass which was 9.3/157.73.
May 24th-26th 1969 SPR. BDR&HRA Big Go. Alf Hagon, resplendent in a new set of white leathers, runs  a best of 9.55/151 on his JAP bike.
1969 At the end of this year Alf Hagon decided to retire entirely from racing, after a string of 28 consecutive drag racing and sprint victories, and concentrate on his thriving buisness. The famous bike was sold to an Australian promoter, Eddie Crooks, having run a best of 9.208/157. It would be 1974 before anyone beat this mark. Crooks never really got to grips with the machine and eventually Hagon brought it back.
1973 Alf Hagon was back on a grasstrack bike at Iwade, Kent, to test Vic Camp's new 450cc Ducati Maxmade. A few quick laps showed that Hagon had lost little of his old skills.
In 1985 the Hagon brand of shock absorbers is created after one of Hagons suppliers, Girling Shock Absorbers, ceased production and Hagon acquired the tooling operation for the entire product range.
Hagon Products is now run by Alfs son Martin and has moved to a modern, state of the art  factory in Hainault, Essex. Alf and his wife spend their time enjoying life on their Essex farm where they keep a variety of animals. Visit the Hagon Products Website here; www.hagon-shocks.co.uk

Many thanks to Brian Willimont and Alf Hagon for helping to complete this profile

www.trakbytes.co.uk