How to rent a 600-horsepower Shelby
Borrowing an old idea from Hertz, the SIXT mobility company is going to be renting Shelby Mustangs at three popular vacation destinations in the United States, starting this summer.
Half a century ago, car rental company Hertz had Carroll Shelby make them 100 examples of what it called the Shelby GT350-H to rent to folks looking for something exciting to drive while on vacation. I’m sure some people indeed did that, but the GT350-H (for Hertz) is better known to car enthusiasts as the “rent-a-racer” due to weekend warriors who would rent one on Friday, go racing on the weekend, and then return the car back to Hertz, all the worse for wear.
Hertz, Ford, and Shelby American recycled the idea in 2006 and again in 2016, and now the SIXT luxury car rental and mobility firm has commissioned Shelby American to make 21 examples of what the company is calling the Shelby GT-S, to be available for rental at SIXT locations in Las Vegas, southern California, and the Miami area. The Hertz Shelbys were all painted in an instantly recognizable black with gold stripes, while the SIXT Shelbys will wear the German brand’s signature orange color.
SIXT is calling them “the first V8-powered American cars offered by a national rental chain,” but that’s undoubtedly a typographical error dropping the word “supercharged” as those Hertz Shelbys certainly were not the only V-8 powered domestic models you could rent from Hertz or its competitors
In addition to the 600+ horsepower supercharged 5.0 liter V-8, the SIXT GT-S, like the original rent-a-racers, will have an automatic transmission, though this one will have 10 speeds, not three, and the gearbox is said to be specially calibrated. SIXT says that the brakes are “enhanced”, although it’s not clear if the starting point was the base Mustang GT’s stoppers or one of Shelby’s braking packages.
The orange exterior also features bodywork proprietary to SIXT Shelbys, bespoke wheels, and SIXT badging. Inside there are leather seats, embroidered floor mats, and illuminated door sills.
As with other Mustangs produced by Shelby American (in distinction from the Shelby branded Mustangs made in Ford’s Flat Rock plant) each of the SIXT GT-S Shelbys will have a Shelby American serial number and will be in the official Shelby Registry. They’ll also be potentially collectible as SIXT has already announced that they’ll be sold after completing their rental duties.
The SIXT Shelby GT-S would not be the first example of a Shelby you could rent from a company that wasn’t Hertz. When Carroll Shelby was working with Chrysler in the 1980s, his firm produced 1,000 examples of the Shelby CSX-T, based on the Plymouth Sundance, for Thrifty.