Uvalde, Texas - Okay, we get it. Everything in Texas has to be bigger, wider, louder and faster. Texas is, after all, the only state in the union that has a road signposted with an 85mph (136km/h) speed limit, where everybody else is limited to 75 (120km/h).
So it comes as no surprise to hear that John Hennessey’s idea of Christmas spirit is high-octane petrol - and the world’s fastest Christmas tree.
First he got hold of the nice guys at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and borrowed a Dodge Challenger Hellcat Widebody - a red one, of course - to see just how fast he could go with a three-metre fir tree strapped to the roof.
Sea Sucker put its reputation where its suckers were with a suction cup-mount roof rack and Lowe’s provided a real Christmas tree (they don’t do plastic in the Lone Star State). Continental Tyre offered the use of the egg-shaped 13.4 kilometre main circuit at its proving ground 130km west of San Antonio, and it was Game On!
As you’d expect, the Hellcat’s 520kW supercharged 6.2-litre V8 powered the Red Sled up to the equivalent of 260km/h very quickly - but it took a long, nerve-wracking, foot flat run to squeeze out the last 18km/h.
And then comes the most astonishing moment of the whole five-and-a-half-minute video. Hennessey takes his foot off the loud pedal, and then takes both hands off the wheel while the Challenger is still doing way over 250km/h, to move the mike closer to his face and record the top speed: “One seventy-four!"
The car, to Dodge’s eternal credit, runs straight and true hands-off, and then effortlessly lights up the rear tyres in a celebratory burnout. Which is Hennessey’s way of reminding us 'tis the season to be jolly. Enjoy.