Carroll Shelby brought muscle cars to car renters throughout the US, forming an iconic partnership with The Hertz Corporation, and he will always be remembered as a driving force behind Hertz’s 1966 Rent A Racer program and, more recently, Hertz’s custom-made Shelby GT-H showcase car.
“Hertz has the most diverse driving options in the car rental industry, including a history of offering exciting sports and muscle cars,” commented Hertz Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mark P. Frissora. “The genesis of our focus on driving performance and fun can be traced directly to the partnership formed with Carroll Shelby more than 45 years ago. Carroll partnered with us on the Hertz Rent A Racer program, the forerunner to today’s Adrenaline Collection, with the introduction of the Shelby GT350H, and in 2006 we teamed up to introduce the Shelby GT-H. An automotive visionary and a true gentleman, Carroll had a passion for making high-powered driving performance available to all Americans. We at Hertz will ensure Carroll’s impact on the U.S. automotive industry and legacy lives on and we’re honored to have played a role in bringing Mustang driving excitement to rental customers throughout the US.”
More than 45 years ago, Carroll Shelby and The Hertz Corporation developed an ingenious plan to provide high-performance, special-edition Shelby Mustangs to rental customers who were also serious car enthusiasts. Ford supplied the Mustangs with V-8 engines and mostly automatic transmissions, Shelby added extra performance and style, and Hertz gave the public access to unique driving experiences which would otherwise be confined to a racetrack. Today, the story of the Shelby/Hertz “Rent-A-Racer” is part of automotive history and surviving Shelby GT350H Mustangs are among the most sought-after collector cars in the world.
In a throwback to the famed Shelby GT350H “Rent-A-Racer” program from the 1960s, Hertz, Shelby and Ford partnered to produce a special run of performance-modified Ford Mustang GTs – designated the Shelby GT-H, “H” for “Hertz” – that were available for rent exclusively through Hertz. Approximately 500 units were available at select Hertz airport locations throughout the US.
At the launch in 2006, Carroll Shelby commented:
“Like the original Hertz cars, the Ford Shelby GT-H will be fun to drive. We started with a terrific Mustang and modified it with some Ford go-fast parts and gave it a distinct look for Shelby-style driving. Whoever gets the opportunity to rent one of these unique cars will get an experience of a lifetime.”