Ford, Shelby American Re-introduce ‘Rent-A-Racer’ Program


As a throwback to the Shelby GT350-H “Rent-A-Racer” program of the 1960s, Ford Motor Co. and Shelby American Inc. have unveiled a special run of performance-modified 2016 Ford Mustang GTs that will be available to rent at select Hertz U.S. airport locations, including Detroit, beginning Memorial Day weekend.

The original “Rent-A-Racer” program was a collaboration between the late custom performance vehicle manufacturer Carroll Shelby and Hertz. At the time, Ford supplied a set number of 1966 Mustangs with V8 engines and mostly automatic transmissions, while Shelby added extra performance and style components. The companies repeated the program in 2006.

“The 1966 Ford Shelby GT350-H became a legend from the moment it was introduced,” says Joe Conway, co-CEO of Carroll Shelby International and CEO of Shelby American. “Ten years ago, the 2006 Ford Shelby GT-H earned the same ‘rock star’ status when it was introduced at the New York Auto Show.”

Doug White, manager of Ford performance parts, says the latest version, the 2016 Ford Shelby GT-H, offers a classic, muscular look with additional performance capabilities. The cars are black with gold dual racing stripes. Ford Performance is supplying a cat-back performance exhaust for a more “throaty sound.” The Ford Shelby GT-H has a 5-liter V8 engine with 19-inch aluminum wheels, along with a Shelby-designed vented hood, carbon fiber front splitter, and rear spoiler.

Shelby American will modify 140 of the vehicles at its assembly facility in Las Vegas. Besides Detroit, the vehicles will be available at airports in Chicago, Miami, Las Vegas, and San Diego, among others. ​

“Our goal was to give everyone a chance to add some fun to their travel with a distinctive American pony car,” White says. “So Ford Performance and Shelby American sharpened the handling, improved the performance, sweetened the exhaust note, and added distinctive Hertz styling to the Mustang.”