APRIL 12, 2016
Pennzoil helps Hennessey push the limits of performance in record-setting fashion. 

Hennessey Performance Engineering celebrated their 25th anniversary in the only way they know how, by breaking records and going very, very fast. The Hennessey Venom GT Spyder set a new world record for open-top sports cars with a top speed of 265.6 mph, breaking the previous record-holder, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport Vitesse, by over 11 mph.

World's Fastest Convertible: 265.5 MPH Venom GT Spyder

PENNZOIL Transcript—Canada/Latest/Apr 12, 2016: Hennessey Breaks Convertible Record


[Title] World's Fastest Convertible: 265.6 MPH Venom GT Spyder


Description: Footage of the day in 2016 when the Hennessey Venom GT Spyder set the world record for fastest convertible at Naval Air Station Lemoore in California.


[Background sound] Audio clip of a portion of John F. Kennedy’s inauguration speech


Kennedy: Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.


[In vision]


Yellow Venom GT Spyder convertible moves slowly on an airfield. Driver visible, holding a large American flag that flutters in the breeze.


[Background music] Dramatic violins, then drums, then a chorus vocalizes sounds




[Hennessey logo]


[Hennessey celebration medal]








1991 2016




2016 marks the 25th anniversary of Hennessey Performance.


We decided that a celebration was in order.




The Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse set a


convertible world record in 2013 with a


top speed of 254 mph.


We decided to find out how fast our


Venom GT Spyder would run with the top off…


[Background music] Drums bang; synthesizer sounds mimicking the shuddering of tires on a track. Drums increase in tempo to match shots of the car.




Naval Air Station Lemoore


[In vision]


Overhead shot of the runway; the Venom being readied; Pennzoil added to the engine; John Hennessey and team members; quick shots of the Venom from every angle; overhead shot of the Venom on the runway, driver behind the wheel. Then the car is seen in the distance, engine revving higher and higher as it moves through the gears.


Separate cameras spaced evenly along the runway record the Venom as it shoots past each one.


A camera attached to the rear of the vehicle captures its movement as it goes through each gear, while a superimposed VBOXHD MOTORSPORT tachometer records the mounting speed of the Venom. The VBOX graphic includes a G-meter gauge showing the changes every time the driver shifts gears. Cut to an inside shot of the driver while the tach continues to monitor the speed. The driver pulls off the gas when the car reaches 265 mph.








265.6 MPH


[Background music] As the car slows, the violins and drums intensify again


[In vision]


Brian Smith, driver as well as director of the Ford Performance Driving School, slows the vehicle as the white Hennessey team van approaches it from the opposite direction. They stop, side by side. John Hennessey, founder and owner of Hennessey Performance, steps out of the van, as do other team members. They approach Brian in the Venom. As John leans in…


Brian Smith: 265.


John Hennessey: 265! Wow! Woo!


[In vision]


The team members jump and hug, congratulating Brian and each other on their accomplishment. The camera points at John. He motions to the Venom.


John: This is the world’s fastest convertible.


[In vision]


Photographs of the team members celebrating, Brian on their shoulders. John looking into the car, Brian behind the wheel. Brian, John and Commander Darren Fouts stand together next to the vehicle, holding the official certificate from RACELOGIC VBOX, who certified the speed. Close-up of the certificate. The entire team next to the car, holding up the certificate and the Texas star-and-cannon “COME AND TAKE IT” flag. The camera zooms in on the flag, and its meaning.


[In vision]


Final shot of the Venom making its historic run, the camera following it from the distance, blowing past, and off into the distance again.


Dramatic music resumes as we see the Venom and the driver, holding the American flag.




Special Thanks To:


United States Navy


Naval Air Station Lemoore


Captain Monty Ashliman


Commander Darren Fouts


Ron Stanphill


Pennzoil Synthetics


Shell V-Power


Brian Smith, Driver


The Hennessey Team




Robert Angelo


Drew Phillips


John Heinricy


The Car Culture


Anthony Sanchez


Chris Delgado


RAM Mounts


Frank Morgenstern






Rick Tucker


John Sibal


Delta Motorsport


[Background music] Ends dramatically










[Hennessey logo]




[Pennzoil logo]




[VENOM GT logo]



Pennzoil helped the team at Hennessey push the performance of the Venom GT Spyder’s twin-turbo 7.0L V8 engine to record-breaking levels. With 1,451 bhp at 7,200 rpm and 1,287 lb-ft of torque at 4,200 rpm, the drop-top speedster can achieve 0-60 in less than 2.4 seconds, and it’s also been tested going from 0-200 mph in less than 13 seconds.

“2016 marks the 25th anniversary of Hennessey Performance,” said company founder, John Hennessey. “I thought that this would be a special way to celebrate 25 years of making fast cars faster. I’ve wanted to test the top speed of our Venom GT Spyder, without the roof, ever since our coupe ran 270.4 mph on the Space Shuttle landing runway at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in 2014.“

Hennessey plans to offer three “World Record Edition” Venom GT Spyder’s for purchase to commemorate the record run and as a tribute to the company’s 25th Anniversary. You’ll just have to shell out $1.3 million plus tax to call it your own.

“We are grateful to have the help of so many friends, family, employees, customers and partners over the past 25 years. We look forward to the next chapter of the Venom with the F5 as we keep making fast cars faster for the next 25 years,” said John Hennessey.

We can’t wait to see what that next chapter will look like. Our guess is that it will include a lot of horsepower, blazing speed, and a maybe another world record or two. Until then, enjoy photos below of the Hennessey Performance Venom GT Spyder.