Ever heard the term, “rent-a-racer”? This is exactly what the Shelby GT-H has its history based on. Hertz and Ford Teamed up in 1966 and produced 1,001 Shelby GT350-H Mustangs that were available with a manual transmission (100 of the 1,001 to be exact) or an Automatic Transmission and were equipped with the iconic Gold Le Mans Stripes! The interior was black as well as the exterior and when Hertz ended the promotion, the cars were sold back to Ford and were available to be purchased.
40 Years Later, the Shelby name was back in Ford’s possession and the Black and Gold Pony Car was Back in action!
Ford and Hertz kept the 3v 4.6L V8 from its GT sister but Ford Racing’s Power Pack was installed to up the power to 325 vs. the 300 horsepower in the standard GT. This Power Pack is called “FR1” and it is straight from the Ford Racing (now Ford Performance) Catalog. It includes a 90mm Cold Air Intake, more aggressive Mufflers, and a computer reflash that requires Premium Octane fuel. Also, a High Flow X-Pipe was installed over the factory H-Pipe.
In the Suspension department, Ford Racing’s catalog was opened back up and the FR-3 Package was used that included 1.5” lower springs that stiffened the ride, Anti-roll bars, new dampers, and all of it was tuned by Multimatic. The finishing touch was a twin-bar strut tower brace to minimize Camber Changes during “spirited” cornering.
All of these Black and Bronze beauties were set up with the 5R55S five speed Transmission since they are intended for the Rental World. To help get this pony off the line, the standard 3.31:1 Rear End Gears were replaced with the same 3.55:1 ratio from the 2003/04 Mach 1 and Cobra.
We have to start with the Black and Gold! Matching the ol’ Rent-a-racer of yesteryear in color was at the top of the list. Hertz badging replaced the “GT” fender emblems and across the rear of the decklid is big, visible letters spelling out “S H E L B Y” just like Carol’s 1968 GT350 and GT500 cars. The exterior is enhanced with a Unique and aggressive Hood, new Front Fascia, and faux Side Scoops. The grill mounted fog lights are kicked to the curb for an in-your-face brushed aluminum grill with a Running Pony Tribar emblem on the Driverside. To top off the Retro look, hood pins were also installed. Wheels were reminiscent to the 2001 Bullitt with a 5-spoke Torque Thrust style option that complemented the car quite well!
The interior basically remained untouched with the exception of an Aluminum ID Plate for the dash once the car ended its rental life approximately 12 months and or 18,000 miles after its beginning of service.
The 5.0L Coyote Engine is the same powerplant as the Mustang GT. Nothing special there… wink, wink. So, 435 Horsepower and 400 lb/ft. of torque flows through the 6R80 Six-Speed Automatic Transmission. To get this Pony to roar (wait, ponies don’t roar…) a Ford Performance Cat-Back was installed to help the car sound the part!
With Wheels and suspension, Ford’s Performance Pack 19” Black wheels were used being wrapped in Michelin tires. The Suspension is similar to the GT Performance Pack with Ford Performance’s Handling Pack including Improved Front and Rear Shocks, Stiffer Front and Rear Springs to reduce body roll, as well as larger Front and Rear Sway Bars. All coupled well with the Michelin Tire to keep this Trusty Steed planted to the ground.
With the Shelby GT350 coming back to life, the Shelby GT-H may not garner as much attention but with its Back and Gold coming back, it is hard to want this unique piece of history. Not only were the Gold Strips back, but the Team also put a gold rocker strip with a “SHELBY GT-H” logo on the bottom edge of the door that stands out! “Shelby American” emblems were added under the good with unique serial numbers per car along with a “GT-H’ Emblem on the rear decklid in place of the Standard GT logo.
The Front of the Car took design ques from the 2006/07 car with an aluminum grill with the GT-H logo in the lower left corner. This modern Rent-a-racer sets itself apart from the Standard GT with a bigger front splitter, unique rear spoiler, and carbon-fiber accents throughout. The Hood was modified with a larger buldge in the middle with 4 total hood vents. Even the rocker moldings were not left untouched with aggressive side-splitters in front of the rear wheels!
Similar to the 2006/07 version, the interior was mainly the same as the Standard Mustang GT. However, in 2016, the Sport Seats had “GT-H” logos in the headrests and the sill plates also had “Hertz Shelby GT-H” visible when the driver would open the door. To cap it off, an ID plaque was on the dash like the 2006/07 Variant.
Overall, Shelby and Ford made a pretty special car with tons of History and brought it back to life… twice! How often can you rent a car that was designed with performance in mind like the Shelby GT-H?
Homerun, Ford. Homerun.