Where It All Started—HP Tuners
Written by Ainsley Jacobs
Photography courtesy of the manufacturer
Sometimes, things happen for a reason. In the case of HP Tuners, the company would never have existed without the enterprising minds of two performance enthusiasts across the globe from one another.
In 2003, Keith Prociuk had a V6-powered Pontiac Firebird and sought ways to tune its engine. At the time, the available tuning software didn’t support his particular GM platform, so he started researching some alternative options. Soon, Prociuk — who was located in the Chicago, Illinois, area and worked in a print shop by day — connected with Chris Piastri in Australia. “One thing led to another, and together, Keith and Chris defined that V6 engine,” shared Tony Gonyon who came on board with HP Tuners in 2021 as a technical sales representative but grew into HP Tuners’ Sales Manager for the North America Ford Gasoline Channel.
The men quickly realized they could share their creations and make some money by concentrating on the GM market. At first, though, they were only looking to fund their projects… They never imagined that their company, HP Tuners, would grow to become a worldwide powerhouse offering the most powerful and user-friendly custom flash-tuning solution on the market.
“They started growing the business, added more cars, and continued to expand the product line,” Gonyon added. In the mid-2000s, HP Tuners began offering solutions for the 2005-and-newer Ford Mustang thanks to assistance from Eric “Definition Jesus” Brooks and saw a markedly positive response from end users.
However, it wasn’t until 2013 when Books officially came on board that the company’s growth rose exponentially. “In 2016, we had thirty people,” Gonyon stated. “After focusing on the Mustang and adding Dodge and others, we now have more than 150 on staff.”
Over the last 20 years, HP Tuners has included many other makes such as Toyota and Nissan into its portfolio of supported platforms, as well as powersports offerings and more. When Chevrolet’s C8 Corvette hit the market and was deemed “impossible” to tune, HP Tuners’ engineers were the first to crack the computer and offer full tuning control.
Located in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, since day one, the company has been dedicated to engineering and innovating to create the best tuning and diagnostic solutions for everyone from performance enthusiasts to general mechanics. Although still privately owned, it’s structured as a complete corporate entity with dedicated departments to handle everything from procurement, production, marketing, sales, shipping, and even human resources.
In addition to HP Tuners’ wildly popular VCM Editor engine calibration software, its cutting-edge VCM Scanner brought diagnostic tools to the masses. “You can buy another for $6,000 or get HP Tuners’ MPVI3 OBDII interface device for $400,” Gonyon said. Users can read codes, data logs, and more with its tools. “Plus, we strive to ensure our software stays EPA-compliant. We give the general user a way to enhance what they already have, which is the American way.”
HP Tuners has become well-respected by its customers all over the world not just for the ease of use of its products, but also for its unparalleled support. At each NMRA event, as well as at many other events throughout the year, Gonyon himself can be found pounding the pits offering up his 40+ years of experience with tuning to racers in need. “We are number one in support for trackside calibrations,” he noted proudly. HP Tuners has also been a long-time sponsor of the NMRA HP Tuners Super Stang category, as the organization is committed to giving back to its racers as much as possible.
Recently, HP Tuners leveled up even further by launching its new “CORE ECU” standalone EFI system at the 2023 SEMA Show. “It’s positioned between FuelTech and MoTeC, competitively priced, and available starting in the first quarter of 2024,” Gonyon added. Initially, HP Tuners’ CORE ECU will be offered for GM’s LS engines, followed shortly by Ford’s Coyote and Dodge’s Gen III Hemi.