Paying homage to the famous Shelby GT350-H Mustang hire cars first offered by Hertz in 1966, Hertz Australia has announced the release of new, Shelby GT350-H-inspired Mustangs as part of their ‘Adrenaline Collection’.
“We are excited to offer our customers a unique experience with these new Mustangs,” explained Damien Shaw, Hertz Australia Country Manager. “They will have the chance to drive a bespoke sports car, renowned for its powerful engine and timeless design, from Hertz’s Adrenaline Collection.”
Limited to just six units Australia-wide, the rentals are all based on the current Mustang GT coupe with the 5.0 litre V8 and new 10-speed automatic transmission.
Hertz approached Tickford to enhance the Mustangs, to make their appearance and performance true to the original GT350-H.
Tickford’s modifications started with fitting their own coilover suspension package that improves handling while lowering the Mustang’s ride height by 25mm. Race-inspired matte bronze 20-inch alloy wheels also feature and are fitted with Michelin Sport 4S tyres as standard.
Finished in black, with gold dual racing stripes and lower sill stripes in the style of the original GT350-H, each unit carries ‘HTZ-66 Tickford’ identification on the sills.
Under the bonnet, there’s a unique build number plaque on the engine, while ‘Tickford Enhanced’ badging features inside. The steering wheel gets thicker padding, Alcantara trim and a race-style ‘12 o’clock’ marker in gold.
“The 1966 Shelby GT350-H created for Hertz was an instant hit with Hertz customers, and we’re thrilled to bring it back as a limited edition Tickford enhancement package,” said Tickford Managing Director, Rod Nash.
“Tickford enhanced Mustangs are designed for Australian roads, using Tickford suspension which provides superior handling with a sporty drive. The wheels match the gold side stripes and, under the bonnet, all vehicles are identified by a Tickford enhanced build plate. It’s the perfect tribute to the classic Shelby but with modern performance technology.”
The enhanced HTZ-66 Mustangs aren’t limited to the Hertz rental fleet, with Tickford offering the same suspension upgrades, wheels, body striping and interior enhancements as a ‘Tickford-Hertz Pack’ for Mustang owners to enhance and personalise their own vehicles.
For more details on the HTZ-66 Mustangs in the Hertz Adrenaline Collection, go to: hertz.com.au.
For details on the Tickford-Hertz Pack for your own Mustang, go to: tickford.com.au.
GT350-H – the ‘Rent A Racer’
The original GT350-H was the brainchild of Shelby American’s General Manager, Peyton Cramer, who approached Hertz in 1965 with the idea of offering Shelby GT350 Mustangs through the ‘Hertz Sports Car Club’ in the US.
The hire cars would be virtually the same as the GT350 street cars Shelby were building, with a 289 V8, functional rear brake scoops, fibreglass bonnet and plastic rear quarter windows.
After two prototypes were built, 999 production models followed, of which the first 100 were fitted with 4-speed manual transmissions. After complaints from Hertz franchisees of customers burning out clutches, the remainder were fitted with 3-speed automatics.
Raven Black with gold stripes has been seen as the default GT350-H colour, but around 200 were offered in other colours.
The ‘Rent-A-Racer’ nickname for the GT350-H came about due to some customers racing their hire cars in both quarter mile and circuit competition, or pulling out the hot – 306hp and 329lb/ft (228kW and 446Nm) – Cobra V8 to run in other vehicles.
Hertz reinstated the programme in 1968 but ended it later that year. While it generated good publicity, the GT350-H initiative proved costly for Hertz in terms of vehicle repair and maintenance.
Since then, Hertz revived the programme in both 2006 and 2016 on contemporary Mustangs, while the famous black and gold GT350-H livery has been replicated countless times on non-Hertz Mustangs both new and old.