Hertz Rent-A-Racer: 1966 Shelby GT350-H

In a move to bolster the image of its newly created Mustang as a performance car, Ford contracted with Carroll Shelby to build some limited-production editions. The first of these was the 1965-67 GT350 which started with a 289 V8 that was beefed up by Shelby. As part of a marketing move, Ford partnered with Hertz Corporation to offer 1,000 of the GT350s as rentals during the 1966 model year. This example is said to be one of those cars, which were all supposed to have been returned to Ford before being resold to the public. Located in Las Vegas, Nevada at part of a national auction, this car is available here on Barrett-Jackson where the current price is $137,500. Our thanks to Larry D. for this tip!

Total Shelby GT350 production, based on a 1966 Mustang fastback, was 2,378 cars, which included 1,003 cars to be delivered to Hertz as part of their “Rent-A-Racer” program. Nearly 85% of the cars were equipped with automatic transmission as per Hertz’s specs. Most of the GT350s came in black with gold stripes, like the seller’s car. Once the cars completed their rental duties, they were to be returned to Ford for “refurbishing” which we understand also meant losing many of their high-performance parts. These resold cars were known as GT350-H’s to separate them from the rest of the Shelby pool.

The seller’s car is being made available from a private collection and has the customary 289 cubic inch Ford motor, adjusted to 306 Hp in Hi-Po trim, with the Hertz automatic. We’re told the engine is painted in correct Ford blue colors, which suggests it may have been rebuilt, but has the proper Shelby-spec high-rise intake and 4-barrel carburetor are present (I guess this one wasn’t “refurbished” by Ford?).

Regarding its appearance, the body and interior of this GT350-H look to be in top shape, including the wood-rimmed steering wheel, wooden handle stick shifter, and dash-mounted tachometer. There is no indication of the mileage on this car which might be high given those most rental cars saw a lot of use. But there’s no data on how much use the Hertz cars saw. Perhaps they were priced beyond the typical rental customer as the cars were only offered as Rent-A-Racers for a single year.

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Comments

  1. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Both rare and impressive IMO. I remember seeing them for rental but being too young without a credit card to my name, no way could I rent one at that time and it’s too rich for my wallet now.

    Like 9
  2. fran

    Can someone answer this? Does BJ sell cars outright with out going to auction? Am I to understand that I can call them and buy it for 137K?

    • Howie Mueler

      This does say auction in Vegas, but when? I would call them for full info.

      Like 1
    • Nate

      Yes, they will sell cars outright. Call them. They have a showroom in Scottsdale expressly for this purpose.

      Like 2
  3. Barney

    All the cars Hurst cars were call a 350H. Not just cars returned to Ford. That was apparent in the gold stripping along the rocker panels. I used to 6S1624 and that car was not missing any of its original parts with the possible exception of the master cylinder. The original master cylinder was a wired looking one that I was told was sourced from a fork lift

  4. Craigo

    I had one of these pull up next to me when I was driving my 1965 GTO convertible with base 389/325 HP and my open gear 4 speed.

    The guy in a business suit wanted to go so I obliged by smoking him. Cool car but not that fast.

    Like 2
    • Fran

      The Shelby was an auto. If he had the manual your story would be different. Lol

      Like 1
    • Jost

      Understand your point but 289 hipo was fast. I can honestly say that in many years of drag racing I have been beaten by slower cars than mine as we are all out driven sometimes. I have also beaten some cars that could of beaten me. It’s all fun.

      Like 5
  5. Jost

    Understand your point but 289 hipo was fast. I can honestly say that in many years of drag racing I have been beaten by slower cars than mine as we are all out driven sometimes. I have also beaten some cars that could of beaten me. It’s all fun.

    Like 1
  6. Toms Toy Box Member

    Well……….Your info on the GT 350H isn’t exactly correct. Hertz had the cars for 12 months and then they were returned to Shelby who placed them for sale at Ford (Shelby Dealers) Maybe the dealers messed with them but all that I know of including the one that I own are as they left the factory. Mine however was repainted by the dealer White with Gold stripes because the dealer felt there would be too many Black and Gold cars. I have all the original paperwork which verifies my comments. Also Shelby sold cars to Hertz through 1970 and of course again starting several years ago.

  7. V12MECH

    Heard more than once that a guy would rent one, pull the motor, drop in stock one , put his suit back on and return the car. Counter people had no clue.

    Like 2
  8. Dave

    It’s been a while, but I remember a story of a group that would rent one for a few days, yank out the engine and replace it with a standard 289. Hertz couldn’t tell the difference when the car was returned, and by the time it was discovered (when it went in for service), they had no idea when the swap had occurred. I don’t remember if the guys were ever caught or not.

  9. JoeNYWF64

    Those HUGE outline white letters on the tires incline me to beleive that they are from the ’70s.

  10. Marvin Askins

    I picked up some hitch hikers in 1977-78 in my 1967 GT350. They told me about a guy who was about to get married and his fiancee told him to sell either his motorcycle or his Mustang. They gave me the address and I and a friend went to see it only to see a 1966 GT350H in perfect condition, 4Speed with a 302 under the hood and the original motor with the 7 quart oil pan in pieces. My friend bought it for less than $1,000. My friend rebuilt the motor and drove it for less than 6 months and he was offered $4,500for it. I told him not to sell it unless they gave him $6,000, which they did. Several months later I saw it at the Atlantic City Auction/Sale and the asking price was $10,000. Fast forward, to this day my friend regrets selling it, I regret not buying it because I would have it to go with my 1965 -Code 4speed GT fastback and my 1967 GT350. Also , I saw the original owner a few years ago and he regretted selling it and he never married the woman who made him sell it!

    Like 3
  11. Howard A Member

    James Garner drove one in the movie Grand Prix. Btw, it was well known about the “weekend rental transplants”, and on a Monday, was the 1st thing they checked upon returning the car. I think it was more of an urban legend, but many were rented to run at local tracks. I read, in 1966, it cost $17/day and .17/mile to rent one or, $146.00/day and $1.47/mile today, you had to be a “Hertz Sports Car” member, and over 25 years old. Of the 1,001 sold, only the 1st 100 were 4 speeds. Garners was a 4 speed, but clutches were a constant issue ( duh, no foolin’) so the rest were automatics. Obviously, they didn’t rack up a lot of miles and the program was a failure, there was no ’67 350H, again, what were they thinking?

    Like 3
  12. Dennis Zozula

    Another story about these cars was about upgrading your own mustang. Rent it, interchange parts and ta da you have a bargain performance boost. Gotta love it. Legend ? Maybe but I remember reading about some of these coming up for sale with standard mustang bits.

  13. RH FACTOR

    I dont think they removed any parts. Only difference were the tri-Y headers, aluminum high rise and holley carb. And, the correct number was $17 per day, $.17 per mile. Not a particularly fast car. In street trim, high ’14’s. Best looking car ever.

    • Fran

      They probably removed the whole motor as it was a hipo which was a special engine.

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