“The 1966 Ford Shelby GT350-H became a legend from the moment it was introduced.”
Over 50 years ago, in September of 1965, the General Manager of Shelby American, Peyton Cramer, and the Hertz Corporation came to a brilliant business agreement: They would offer the 1966 GT350-H as a rental car through the now-famous Hertz “Rent-a-Racer” Program. This deal created 1,000 Shelby Mustang GT350-Hs for use in the Hertz rental fleet, allowing customers to do more than just rent a standard rental vehicle for their needs.
A brochure from 1966 introduced the cars to eager renters, “These cars are available to business travelers who want a change of pace in motoring, by sports car owners away from home and by vacations who consider driving an enjoyable sport.”
The “Rent-a-Racer” Program inspired more customers to rent with Hertz (who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to rent their dream car for the weekend?), while also creating more potential buyers for Shelby Mustang – talk about a genius business idea.
Members of the Hertz Sports Car Club in 1966 who were 25 years of age or older would simply pay $17 per day and 17 cents per mile (a pretty great deal for the time) and get to drive away from the Hertz lot in a performance 306 horsepower Mustang fastback. For most drivers, this was a chance to sit in the driver’s seat of a luxurious and powerful vehicle for a great deal—when purchasing that model may have been out of their price range.