I spent a day at the Hennessey Performance, an aftermarket late-model performance company that prides itself on making “fast cars go faster”. I got a full tour of their facility, met some of the technicians, checked out Tuner School, and drove an 850 horsepower Mustang GT350; not a bad way to spend a day if you’re a gearhead. I quickly noticed a theme among all of the cars on the property: they all looked bone stock. From the from the 600 hp Lincoln Navigator to the 1200 hp Dodge Demon, all are totally badass, and most people would be none the wiser. Hell, these cars even come with a three-year, 36,000-mile warrantee.
The notion of ludicrous speed in a nonchalant package has been an integral part of Hennessey’s program from day one. John Hennessey’s first car was a Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4, which for the ‘90s, packed a serious punch. Twin turbos and all-wheel-drive made for a fast machine, but he turned to early Japanese companies for more power. Once he hit the race course, there was no telling that this car was modified, and instead of spilling the beans, John let the car, and his driving, speak for itself.
Today, all of Hennessey’s vehicles appear stock. There’s something so satisfying about having a street car that no one thinks is fast until you put your foot down. No matter if we are talking about blacked-out intercoolers, quiet exhaust, or stock body panels, or an entirely ugly car, keeping the performance a secret is a riot. Plus, if it’s a street car, chances are you won’t draw too much unwanted attention.
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