It’s been 50 years since Shelby first gave aspiring racers a chance to rent a race-ready Shelby GT350-H from the Hertz rent a car company, and the relationship between Shelby and Hertz has just gotten stronger over the decades. The partnership is celebrating its 50th anniversary with the release of the new Shelby GT-H.
Pieces of History
The first Hertz partnership model was released in 1966, but of the 1,001 models produced and shipped to Hertz rental locations across the country, only 100 had manual transmissions! Originally only available as rentals, once the promotion ended they were offered up for sale at Ford dealerships.
40 years later, in 2006, Shelby released the Shelby GT to Hertz locations across the country, with the same distinctive black and gold paintjob that had marked the original Rent-a-Racers from 1966. Only 500 of these were released to Hertz locations, and all were equipped with a 5 speed automatic transmission.
All the Details
The new Shelby GT-H is based on the 2016 Mustang GT, with a few delightful customizations that will set it apart from its stock compatriots. Most noticeably is the paint job – the GT-H is sporting the same black with gold racing stripes as its Hertz ancestors. It’s also got a load of little details, like carbon accent plates and a vented hood that set it apart from the standard Mustang models. And of course, there’s also the plaque with the car’s unique serial number on the dashboard, letting you know that this is no ordinary car.
The 5.0L V8 engine does not disappoint, and the cat-back exhaust system that is installed exclusively on this GT-H model let’s that beautiful engine purr.
Where to Look
Ford is only planning on making 140 of these beauties, and they will only be released to Hertz locations in the continental United States, meaning you’re a little bit out of luck if you’re looking to rent a racer in Hawaii or Alaska.
The car will be showcased first at the New York International Auto Show and then released to Hertz airport locations around the country starting Memorial Day weekend.
As of right now, there’s no way to track where the GT-H’s are going to end up, but it won’t be long before pony car enthusiasts find all of the locations and list them online, so you’ll be able to drive these stunning cars as long as they are available.
There is no word yet on whether or not these models will be available for sale after the Hertz promo period is over. Previous incarnations of this promotion ended with the cars being sold to the public or auctioned off for charity, so if you’re keen on owning a piece of Shelby history, it might pay to keep your ear to the ground.
The New York Auto Show starts tomorrow so if you’re dying for a glimpse of the new GT-H before it’s released to the nationwide Hertz location, that’s the place to be! If you can’t make it to New York, check out the show’s site for video and streaming options.