It’s not every day that you can blaze out of the airport rental lot in a 435-horsepower muscle car. But Hertz, teaming with performance car outfitter Shelby American, is bringing back its hopped-up Ford Mustang, the Shelby GT-H. Some 140 of the cars, which are pretty much instantly recognizable in black with a pair of gold racing stripes, will be distributed at 17 Hertz airport rental locations.
The cars, which become available for rent on Memorial Day weekend, are only the latest GTs stretching back 50 years. In 1966, performance pioneer Carroll Shelby modified Mustangs into the 306-horsepower GT350-H.
It became known as the “rent a racer,” indicating what customers did with them on weekends. While questionable as a lucrative car-rental business, the GT-H proved to be a public-relations gold mine — hence the latest version.
Shelby American, the performance company that bears Shelby’s name, also did the GT-H program 10 years ago, introducing the model at the New York Auto Show.
Now, “we worked closely with Ford Performance to make the 2016 Shelby GT-H the most exciting Mustang ever to wear the iconic Hertz black-and-gold livery,” says Joe Conway, CEO of Shelby American, in a statement.
Besides awesome horsepower from its 5-liter V-8, the new GT-H will come with a fancy Shelby hood with functional air intakes and air extractors designed to add to engine cooling. There’s a carbon-fiber splitter, fancy rocker panels and a rear spoiler. A Ford Performance handling pack lowers the car by an inch.
The fun won’t come cheap, though: Rental rates start at $399 a day. There will be between five and 15 GT-Hs available at any single location, and the cars will shift to locations in warmer-weather states in the fall when snow comes to the North.