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Remembering Mark Heffington, Hypertech Founder

By Jason Catullo

Brothers Heffington Kersting
Pictured here is Mark Heffington (middle) during the 2012 SEMA Installation Banquet. He is flanked by Paul “Scooter” Brothers of COMP Performance Group (left) and SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting.

Mark Heffington, founder and president of Hypertech Inc., passed away April 23. He was 74.

After earning a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Tennessee and beginning his career as chief designer for Crane Cams, Heffington sharpened his skills designing camshafts, as well as diagnosing and solving cam-related problems. In 1972, he founded Cam Dynamics, which quickly became a major manufacturer of high-performance and racing camshafts. Heffington sold the company in the early ’80s and began consulting on camshaft design and engineering for United Technologies and General Motors. 

Mark Heffington
Mark Heffington founded Cam Dynamics in 1972, and the company quickly became a major manufacturer of high-performance and racing camshafts.

During the mid-’80s, Heffington witnessed the emergence of computer-controlled engines on race cars. Realizing this could have a major impact on performance tuning and racing, Heffington founded Hypertech Inc. in 1985. He worked with engineers to help with computer programs and reverse engineer codes to develop aftermarket onboard computer reprogramming devices.

Through Hypertech Inc., Heffington pioneered automotive aftermarket tuning with the invention of the “Power Chip,” which was used to recalibrate early automotive computers that used replaceable “chips” in their electronic control modules.

Heffington was recognized for his contributions to the performance tuning market through inductions in the Hot Rod Hall of Fame in 1997, and the SEMA Hall of Fame in 2012.

The family will hold a private service with a memorial service to be held at a later date. Contributions to the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund can be made in memory of Mark Heffington.

To learn more about Heffington, read “Lifetime Achievers” in SEMA News.