Back in 1966, Ford and Carroll Shelby joined forces to bring enthusiasts the unprecedented ability to rent an actual Ford Shelby GT350 through select Hertz rental car locations. Through the “Rent-A-Racer” program, enthusiasts could rent the gorgeous black and gold Shelby GT350-H for $17 per day ($70 per week) and 17 cents per mile. Hertz only had 1,001 Shelby GT350-H muscle cars available to rent with 85 models coming with a four-speed manual transmission. For the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, the comedian gets behind the wheel of an original Shelby GT350-H and also gets up close and personal with the 2016 Ford Shelby GT-H.
While Ford has teamed up with Hertz a couple more times since 1966, the original model is the most notable and is something that outshines the new Shelby GT-H. Unlike the latest iteration of the partnership, the only thing that set the ’66 Shelby GT350-H apart from the original Shelby GT350 was the black and gold paint job. It was really a track-oriented muscle car that enthusiasts – 25 year-olds and up – could get behind.
The 2016 Shelby GT-H may have the same paint-scheme as the original, but doesn’t uphold the “Rent-A-Racer” program like the original. In fact, the 2016 Shelby GT-H has the 5.0-liter V8 from the Ford Mustang GT and isn’t even based off of the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350. And, as Leno points out, while it does have some performance parts, it lacks the charisma and sense of occasion that the original had.