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By Roadtrip Nation

John Hennessey

Highlight

Milestones

My road in life has been direct.
Says that his interest in the auto industry started as “a hobby that got out of control.”
In his mid-20s, using money he made from his construction business, he bought a Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 and decided he wanted to start racing.
He first raced in the Silver State Classic in Nevada; ended up coming in 4th place and was immediately hooked.
Was inspired by C. Van Tune, editor of Motor Trend Magazine, to race in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado—saw him as an “average guy” and if he could do it, why not him.
To keep racing, he knew he had to find a way to make money doing it—he is not a mechanic by trade and knew that he lacked some of the skills needed to do what he wanted to do.
He decided to hire a skilled mechanic who could help make the alterations to his car a reality and they eventually began offering that service to customers as well; from there his business was born.
He has been running Hennessey Performance Engineering for the past 25 years—“making fast cars faster.”
Has become most well known for his work customizing and upgrading Dodge Vipers.
Keep following my journey

Career

Founder

I own an American tuning house specializing in modifying sports and super cars.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Action Sports
Engineering
Learning / Being Challenged

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

You need passion, drive, intelligence, good character, and to apply yourself.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

Take the industry seriously and don't waste people's time. If you ask, you can learn a lot from more senior technicians and mechanics that have been in the business a long time, but they won't waste their time on you if they think that you aren't serious.

Interviewed By

Changing Gears

Changing Gears

Technicians Roadtrip