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Hennessey Christmas tradition, takes Christmas tree to needle-stripping velocities

Texas based hypercar manufacturer and high-performance vehicle creator, Hennessey have attained a new unofficial holiday record. Under the watchful and of course impartial eye of jolly old Saint Nick, they drove their Venom 1000 Mustang GT500 to a velocity of 192 mph with an illuminated Christmas tree strapped to the roof.

Based on the most powerful factory produced Mustang of all time, the stock Ford mustang Shelby GT500 features a hand built supercharged 5.2 liter V8 with a 2.65 liter Roots type supercharger on top. The Hennessey Texas team upgraded the iconic car with a high flow induction system, new fuel rails and injectors and an air/oil separation system. Other upgrades include fittings, linings, belts, tensioners and a dual clutch transmission that has been recalibrated for its high output role. All of this has resulted in the Venom 1000 Mustang GT500 which boasts 1,000 bhp and 850 lb-ft of torque on 93 octane pump gas, backed of course by a Hennessey 3-year/36,000 mile warranty.

With professional race car driver Spencer Geswein behind the wheel and under clear blue Texas skies with temperature in the mid-50s, the road legal Venom 1000 Mustang GT500, which was finished in a very rare and seasonally appropriate Eruption Green paint, achieved the record speed without drama. The additional drag from the festively adorned evergreen, posed no problem. With the exception of the factory under hood ‘rain tray’ being removed for improved airflow, the car wasn’t altered explicitly for the run.

Company Founder and CEO, John Hennessey, had this to say, “Our annual ‘Christmas Tree Run’ serves two roles for our growing company. First, testing our performance at a proving ground is a great opportunity to validate our engineering – the Venom 1000 delivers impressive numbers. Second, adding the seasonal twist allows our hard-working team to end the year with some high-speed fun before they slow down and enjoy their families for the holidays.”

The ‘Christmas Tree Run’ has become a Hennessey tradition. The team must carefully choose the proper pairing between vehicle and evergreen to ensure needle stripping speeds. In 2017, they used a 2018 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Widebody and took a tree to 174 mph, establishing a benchmark. That number was broken in 2019 when their HPE1000 Jeep Trackhawk hit 181 mph with a hapless Douglas Fir strapped on its roof rails. Last year though, they stepped it up hitting 183 mph with a tuned Audi RS 6 Avant that was borrowed from John Hennessey’s wife and had a fresh Christmas tree tied to its roof.

Each year it gets bigger and better and the car world can’t wait to see what they do next year.


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