In 1966 Shelby American produced 2,378 GT 350s. Of those, 100 were made exclusively for Hertz Rent-A-Car and Lemans stripes. The only difference between the rental cars and production cars was the beefed-up three-speed transmissions in the former.
The cars were shipped to major cities and rented. There were many stories - some true - that these cars were rented for the weekend, raced on the track and returned on Monday morning - they were known as 'Rent-a-Racers.'
Among the special features built into the cars were high rise intake manifold, headers, functioning cooling ducts, solid high lifter revving engine, finned aluminum oil pan, oversize rear brakes, shocks and sway bars.
The national car rental company, Hertz, once manufactured its own cars and painted them in their corporate colors - black with gold trim. Shelby American executive Peyton Cramer remembered this and in 1966 suggested to Hertz management that they offer a Shelby as a sports car rental.
Hertz agreed and an order was placed for 1,000 cars; 999 were actually produced. The car was designated as the Shelby GT350H (for Hertz) and was advertised as 'Rent a Racer.' Most featured gold LeMans stripes and rocker panel stripe; a few were delivered with blue and white stripes. It was rumored that some were returned to Hertz with evidence that roll bars had been welded in.
Once Hertz was finished with these high-performance cars they were returned to the Ford factory, refurbished and sold to the public as GT350H models.
Sold for $137,500 at 2007 RM Auctions. This 1966 Shelby Mustang GT350-H Fastback has chassis number SFM6S1571. It is fitted with a four-speed manual transmission but left the factory with an automatic, as was the case with most of these Hertz cars. Factory options include the 'Hertz special wheels' and an optional radio which brought the total to $3,792.25. It has been treated to a restoration since new.
This car left Shelby's factory on April 17th of 1966 and sent to Dallas, Texas where it was sold new by Norm Williams Ford to Hertz. It passed through a few owners since that time, landing in its current ownership where it has been stored and well cared for since its arrival. The restoration included a complete engine rebuilt, with transmission and suspension also receiving attention. Since that time it has traveled a mere 1,500 miles.
This vehicle was brought to the 2007 Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction presented by RM Auctions, where it was estimated to sell for $150,000 - $175,000. It was offered without reserve with the winning bid reaching $137,000 including buyer's premium. The lot was sold. By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2007
Sold for $214,500 at 2006 RM Auctions. The examples shown here is equipped with the manual gearbox and over-rider rear traction bar. It was sold to the Hertz Car Company on March 7th, 1966 for a price of $3,786.76. It carries chassis number SFM 6S 673. By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2007
This GT350H is one of 47 models built in this color combination, of which there are only 17 left according to the SAAC registry. It is featured in Colin Comer's new book Shelby and has also appeared in various magazines and calendars. It was given a complete restoration in the late 2000s.
Sold for $137,500 at 2015 Gooding & Company. Shelby GT350 production for 1965 amounted to 512 cars. The following year, they built 2,369 examples. This increase in production was in large part due to a contract with Hertz, who ordered 1,001 GT350 models that were to be badged GT350H. These cars could be rented for $17 a day and 17 cents a mile. Just 85 of these examples were given a four speed transmission, and the majority were painted Raven Black, shades of Candy Apple Red, Ivy Green, Sapphire Blue, and Wimbledon White.
This particular example is one of only 50 cars originally finished in Wimbledon White. It was converted to a four-speed manual gearbox early in its life and was given a comprehensive restoration in the early 2010s.
This is one of approximately 100 GT350H examples fitted with a steel hood and riding on correct Hertz logo wheels with Goodyear Blue Streak tires. The engine is a 289 cubic-inch overhead valve V8 engine fitted with a 4-barrel Holley carburetor. There are disc brakes in the front and hydraulic drums in the rear. By Daniel Vaughan | May 2015
Forty years ago, Carroll Shelby and The Hertz Corporation built these high-performance, special-edition Shelby Mustangs especially for Hertz rental customers who also happened to be car enthusiasts. Ford supplied the new cars and Shelby added extra performance and style, giving the public access to the kind of driving experience normally found only on a racetrack all for $17 a day. Mechanically, the GT350H is identical to any other GT350 but with Hertz's gold and black colors in place of Shelby American's white with blue stripes. Hertz ordered 85 'Rent-a-Racer' cars with 4-speed manual transmissions and 800 models with automatic transmissions and some even had superchargers as in this example. This car was restored several years ago by Lord Anthony Bamford in the UK and was bought by its current owner in 2008.
High bid of $100,000 at 2015 Mecum. (did not sell) The Mustang rented by the Hertz Company in 1966 (a one year program) was not simply a dress-up package, but an actual Shelby American constructed fastback ponycar powered by a Shelby-tuned 289 CID V8 engine.
This example, chassis SFM6S828, was invoiced to the Hertz Corporation in February of 1966. It was refreshed in 1990 and is set-up as an authentic racecar. The body welds were reinforced during this reconstruction, and a full roll cage was added. Instrumentation, racing seats with full harnesses, fuel cell, LeMans endurance lights, and fire extinguishing system were also added at that time. It rides on 15x7 inch American Racing wheels. It has Kelsey-Hayes front disc brakes, special rear drum linings and drums, dual brake boosters with proportioning valve, recirculating brake fluid system, and race-type brake fluid. It has Adjustable Koni shocks, 3.89:1 Detroit locker differential with forged half-shafts, watts bar link rear suspension, and competition front suspension with lowered A-arms and quick-ratio steering. It has a fiberglass hood, lightweight doors and windows, front apron, and R-model rear window and fender treatments.
The 289 CID V8 produces 415 horsepower, and has a steel crank, Crower rods, forged pistons, 750 CFM Holley, and Aviat oil pump. The engine is mated to a T10 close-ratio 4-speed gearbox. By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2016
The first year of sales for the GT350 models were good but they weren't great. In an effort to stimulate even more sales for 1966, Carroll Shelby asked Peyton Cramer, his marketing man and general manager, to try some fleet sales. To everybody's amazement, the Hertz Rental Car Company purchased 1000 cars. The Hertz Company had founded 'The Hertz Sports Car Club' which provided a limited number of high performance rental cars to customers. The cars could be rented by virtually anyone, as long as they were over the age of 25 and were capable of operating and controlling these machines. Most of the cars were adorned in black paint with gold stripes. The first batch of cars were equipped with manual transmission but the company quickly changed that policy to automatics after many cars were returned in less-than-perfect condition. It was not uncommon to see these cars raced on the tracks during the weekend and returned a few days latter with a little less rubber on the tires and the owners grinning from cheek-to-cheek.
For 1969 the Mustang was given a makeover. The hood was constructed of fiberglass and was fitted with five NACA style hood scoops and locking hood pins. Under the hood was a Cleveland 351 cubic-inch V8 that was rated at 300 horsepower. In the front was a black recessed grille with two fitted headlights. The wheels were five-spoke aluminum and fitted to Goodyear Polyglas GT radial tires.
In 1969 for only $12 a day, an individual could rent one of these cars from the Hertz rental store as part of their 'Rent-A-Racer' program. Or they could get the car for $60 a week plus 11 cents a mile.
In 1969 a total of 150 examples were produced. By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2006
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