In 1966, Shelby American joined forces with Hertz for its Rent-a-Racer program. Legend has it that the entire thing started as a way for Carroll Shelby to sell 1,001 modified Ford Mustangs, effectively conning the rental agency into paying for the privileges of advertising his products. But the resulting Shelby GT350H has become a bit of a legend, with the surviving examples consistently going for six figures at auction.
In actuality, Hertz was already offering high-performance vehicles years before Shelby got involved and the pair had previously worked together to offer the Cobra in 1962. Their marriage solidified the company’s efforts to occasionally provide customers with the opportunity to drive something truly glorious to drive. While the Mustang (along with the Corvette) remained a staple for North America, Shelby models wouldn’t return until 2006 delivered a second incarnation of the GT350H, to be followed by the 2016 GT-H. Hertz and Shelby American have confirmed a new partnership — one that has resulted in the 900+ horsepower Mustang Shelby GT500-H.
“Hertz and Shelby American have created driving magic again,” said Stephen Scherr, CEO of Hertz. “This partnership has made automotive history many times over the years, and we look forward to future collaborations that will continue to both push limits and delight our customers with exciting cars and experiences.”
The car in question is based on the Shelby GT500 you can buy directly from Ford Motor Co. But, rather than keeping the supercharged 5.2-liter V8 at the stock 760 horsepower, Hertz elected to have the model juiced up to over 900 hp. This required Shelby to make some modifications, with the biggest being a 3.8-liter Whipple supercharger (painted gold for Hertz) and a Borla cat-back exhaust system that’s bound to upset the neighbors. Fortunately, they won’t be yours, since this is a rental car.
Additional modifications include a carbon fiber “deep-draw” hood Shelby said saved about 30 pounds and a unique set of 20-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in Michelin performance rubber. We assume that means whatever sport tire Hertz can source after the previous renter transforms their set into slicks.
You’ll probably never have an opportunity to drive one, however. Despite the three-year commitment, production of the Shelby will be extremely limited and they’ll only be delivered to select locations with the ability to service them. That amounts to just over two-dozen cars spread across eleven North American cities boasting warmer climates.
Each of the 2022 Shelby Mustang Hertz models will be instantly recognizable with unique styling enhancements that celebrate a rich performance heritage. Nineteen of the Shelby GT500-H fastbacks will wear shadow black exterior paint and six, to honor Shelby American’s 60th anniversary, will be clad in oxford white. The Shelby GT-H fastbacks and convertibles will be available in rapid red metallic, oxford white, carbonized gray and shadow black exterior paint. All will be set off with gold “Le Mans” dual racing stripes and set of special rocker stripes, along with Hertz Edition and Shelby 60th anniversary emblems. Inside, Shelby and Hertz logos are on the seats, sill plates and floor mats; a numbered badge will be on the dash and under the hood. The supercharger on the Shelby GT500-H is gold hued for Hertz’s livery.
Customers need to be prepared to spend $399 per day on the GT500-H, assuming they’re fortunate enough to reserve one in the first place. However, the 451-hp Shelby GT-H will still be around to offer broader availability at a substantially lower rate. Though, if you’re serious about renting either, you’ll probably want to join the mailing list for high-performance Hertz vehicles and contact the agency before they start arriving this summer.
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