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Hennessey claims record speed for a station wagon topped by a Christmas tree

183 mph achieved by his Mrs. Hennessey’s souped-up Audi RS 6


John Hennessey apparently was in a big hurry to get the family Christmas tree home, because in the process his Hennessey Performance team claimed a world record for the fastest station wagon drive with a tree on the roof.

Hennessey had Spencer Geswein, senior instructor at the Ford Performance Driving School, behind the wheel of Hennessey’s wife’s Audi RS 6 for the record run. By the way, her station wagon is no mere grocery getter; Hennessey Performance of Sealy, Texas, has tweaked its engine to pump out 800 horsepower.

The previous station wagon-with-tree record was 181 mph, also held by Hennessey Performance, and achieved in 2019 by its 1,000-horsepower Jeep Trackhawk. This year, the team upped that mark to 183 mph with the Audi.

For the record, Hennessey adds that the tree on the Audi’s roof was a 6-foot Douglas Fir. 

Christmas tree, Hennessey claims record speed for a station wagon topped by a Christmas tree, ClassicCars.com Journal
The Audi, the driver and the car-owner’s husband

The record run was staged at the conclusion of high-speed validation testing for Hennessey Performance’s new Venom F5 hypercar, which the team says has exceeded 250 mph, and which it hopes will exceed 300 mph early in 2022.

“The Hennessey engineers love a challenge, and they love Christmas too, so taking time to enjoy some festive fun as part of the intense F5 testing program provided some welcome light relief,” the news release notes.

“We wanted to see what my wife’s Audi station wagon would run without the tree,” John Hennessey added, “and we managed 205 mph. Then, the real holiday fun began when we mounted a real Christmas tree on the roof. To our surprise, her wagon ran a very respectable 183 mph.

“This was a fun way to end our most recent high speed testing session with our Venom F5. After all, who needs reindeer when your wife has an 800-horsepower sleigh?” 

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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