For 1966, traveling businesspeople, vacationing thrill-seekers, or anyone over the age of 25, really, could rent a brand-new Shelby GT350H from Hertz through its “Rent-a-Racer” program. Of course, the H in GT350H stands for Hertz, not to be confused with the many Hurst-edition muscle cars that were branded with the shifter company’s emblem.
The idea was cooked up between the rental car company and Shelby American’s general manager, Peyton Cramer. Hertz got to rent each GT350H for $17 per day and $0.17 per mile, drivers got a taste of a track-tuned, 306-horsepower lightning bolt, and Shelby got to sell an extra 1001 cars: win-win-win.
The bulk of the 350H models were painted black with gold stripes, and after the initial order shipped exclusively with a four-speed manual transmission, the majority of the remainder were equipped with automatics, since that was easier than dealing with abused clutches.
The cars were a success for Hertz and Shelby, increasing brand recognition for both companies and creating an entirely new niche-within-a-niche for collectors of vintage Shelby Mustangs. Their legacy resulted in Ford producing 500 limited-edition Shelby GT-H models in 2006 and 2007 with a 325-horsepower 4.6-liter V-8, and Hertz continues to offer such performance models to this day.
The 1966 Shelby GT350H currently up for bid on Bring a Trailer is a veteran of historic racing events in Monterey. Depending on condition, these cars on average range from $98,900 in #4 (Fair) condition to $235,000 for the best Concours examples in the world (#1 condition). With two weeks left, bidding sits at $75,000. That price could go up quite a bit to reflect its valuation, or it could fall a bit under as the car doesn’t have its original engine and features. However, it does have some period-correct B-production race modifications with modern safety equipment including a roll cage, fire suppression system, race seat, and five-point harness.
For the track rat seeking a real Shelby experience, this turnkey Rent-a-Racer is ready to rock.