Back in the freewheeling 1960s, the suits at Hertz Car Rental decided to rev up the company's sleepy image. The famed "Rent-a-Racer" program was born in 1966, offering Shelby GT350 race cars to the public slathered in Hertz's signature black-and-gold corporate colors.
Too many instances of those muscled-up rental Shelbys returning with holes drilled where racing roll bars and safety harness had been installed for a weekend of on-track competition led to Hertz discontinuing the risky program the very next year.
Come Memorial Day weekend, Hertz will offer 140 examples of the GT-H to customers through its Hertz Adrenaline Collection at select airport rental desks.
The cars enjoy a louder high-performance exhaust, fatter rear tires to lend the appropriate stance, along with lower springs, stiffer shocks and sway bars. In addition to the distinctive paint, the cars are dressed with Shelby parts such as the hood, front splitter, custom grille and rear spoiler.
Naturally there is also special badging identifying the GT-H to drivers. "Our goal was to give everyone a chance to add some fun to their travel with a distinctive American pony car," explained Doug White, Ford Performance Parts manager. "Anyone who rents a limited edition Ford Shelby GT-H will enjoy a very special driving experience," he promised.
A decade ago Ford, Shelby, and Hertz all partnered for a 40th-anniversary edition of the car, too. This summer, you just might get a chance to rent one of these beauties at the vacation or business destination of your choice. Good luck.