Hennessey Performance is celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Texas-based tuner announced and marked the occasion by ranking its 10 best cars.
The company was founded in 1991 when John Hennessey modified his 3000GT VR4 daily driver and competed in the Pike’s Peak Hill Climb and Nevada Open Road Challenge races. The year continued with Hennessey setting a class record at the Bonneville Salt Flats and winning the Unlimited Class at the Silver State Classic open road race in Nevada. Alongside modifying his car and racing, 1991 also saw Hennessey marry his now-wife, Hope, who founded the business with John that same year after returning from their honeymoon.
“At the end of 1991, looking back at that year of motorsport, I realized I’d learned the first rule of auto racing – if you want to make a small fortune in racing, start with a larger one,” Hennessy said. “To continue my passion, I knew I’d have to find a way to pay for it. So, I thought, if Carroll Shelby and Alois Ruf could make a living by building and modifying cars, then maybe I could too. That’s how our company began.”
“Hennessey Performance is like one big family to me, and our fantastic customers are a big part of that,” Hennessey said. “As we celebrate 30 years of business, I’m thankful for every customer and my whole team who’ve all contributed to us becoming a hypercar manufacturer and world-renowned high-performance vehicle tuning business.”
Shortly after founding the company, Hennessey turned his attention to boosting the performance of the Dodge Viper. By 1997 he achieved an important accolade with his 650hp Hennessey Viper Venom GTS as the first to break 200 mph. Since 2006, the company’s 51,000 sq-ft HQ has been located next to its own test track, enabling the acceleration of its research and development, engineering and tuning business with cars like the twin-turbo, 1,000-hp Ford GT and 200-mph HPE 600 Corvette C7.
By 2010, the business had built its own hypercar, the Hennessey Venom GT, which is based on the chassis of a Lotus Exige and is powered by a 1,244-hp turbocharged Hennessey V8. Truck tuning emerged as a new customer-led trend in 2012 with the 600-hp Hennessey Velociraptor.
Today, alongside producing upwards of 500 customer cars a year, the Hennessey team is focused on the all-new 100% bespoke Hennessey Venom F5 hypercar, which boasts a 1-817-hp, Hennessey-built 6.6-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine and targets a top speed of 311mph.
Hennessey’s Top 10 Cars of All Time
1. Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4
2. ‘Fly Navy’ Venom 1000 Twin Turbo
4. HPE600 Corvette C7
5. Hennessey Venom GT
6. VelociRaptor 600
7. The Exorcist
8. VelociRaptor 6X6
9. Hennessey Heritage Edition Mustang
10. Hennessey Venom F5