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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Legends of the GT350H: Fact, fiction, and Hertz's "Rent-A-Racer"

Legends often contain, at their root, some kernel of truth. Take the GT350H-the Hertz rental special based on Shelby's high-performance Mustang. To this day, people pass around wild stories of cars that were rented and had roll bars tack welded in for a day's racing or had their potent HiPo 289s pulled and replaced with low-compression V-8s.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/automotive-history/legends-of-the-gt350h-fact-fiction-and-hertzs-rent-...
61 REPLIES 61
audiobycarmine
Technician

GREAT article, Greg!
So much good info, on a truly fascinating subject.

Damn, but I miss my '71 fastback with the 351 Cleveland!
I still have dreams about it.
audiobycarmine
Technician

OK, another posting...

I actually had to do a "Find" on this page to try to see if "Window" was mentioned.
Why?

Because the cars **bleep** a new Shelby/Mustang "something or other" very-high-performance model, today; for around $400 per day.
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

Cars do **bleep** a new Shelby/Mustang. Indeed!

The bleeps are kind of funny sometimes.
Sajeev
Community Manager

Glad to see you are making bleep out of lemons. 

audiobycarmine
Technician

One more...

Something really strange is going on with our postings.

A form of crazy automated censorship.

Can you; HAGERTY, please look into this and remedy?
Sajeev
Community Manager

We are on the case @audiobycarmine so in the meantime I am gonna bleep all I bleep want and I will do my bleep to make this entertaining for everyone because bleep can be funny too. 

MrBill-1943
Detailer

Agreed, happened to mine "bleep" **bleep** too failed.
Sajeev
Community Manager

Sorry about the bleeps and the slashing of your response, we are working on a bleeping fix for this bleep, @MrBill-1943 so please bear with us. 

audiobycarmine
Technician

Dear Snailish;

your “Likes” are much appreciated.
I really enjoy your own postings, filled with intelligence and humour.
I’d have given many “Likes” to pretty much all of them, but...

Unfortunately, my computer’s operating system is no longer compatible with Hagerty's new "Like" & "Reply" buttons configuration, from a few months ago.
None other than Sajeev Mehta has tried to assist me in this, but no remedy exists. I’m obsolete.

Now it appears that Hagerty has adopted, (or been taken over by) an automated censor which simply deletes entire sentences.
A certain cable TV station has been doing similar things with its Closed Captioning, rendering words such as su////ion, //// and ///// totally unreadable — (they were suspicion, mick and spade. Many more, too.)

A recent posting by me included the word ////////.
See?
Kidding aside, it was por - no - graph - y.
Meaning: “of no redeeming value” by the U.S. Congress, (or great value, to Messrs Hefner and Flynt, et al.)

When we had the ability to post comments at the bottom of NPR’s articles, I circumvented some of their gatekeepers by drawing inspiration from Warner Brothers’ cartoons, using faux scientific Latin phrases such as Assus Belligerus and Rectus Ignitus.
I even got away with the actual German Scheiss-Kopf!
God bless NPR!

Small victories bring much joy.
Lots of fun, too.

Best regards, and keep on posting;
- Carmine
Sajeev
Community Manager

@audiobycarmine adopted? No. Taken over by? Yes!  

I am planning on bleeping all over the place while the tech team works on this behind the scenes. May the bleep be with you and your mega awesome bleep OS bleep, bleep, bleep. 

Swamibob
Technician

Bleep on brother Sajeev! Bleep on. 🙂
Azul
New Driver

Only sometimes with me.
hyperv6
Racer

Well here is what I know about rental cars and working in the racing industry.

Everything claimed on the Shelby's does happen to the regular rental cars. 

 

We travel to events and while we are not always driving a performance car it has not stopped us from Laps at Atlanta Speedway, Runs on the quarter mile at NHRA weekends, and yes Auto crossing at some events that have it available. 

 

Not to mention the dounuts and burnouts in parking lots and other areas. 

 

Also parts swaps are very common. I have seen on the web many telling the tale. I saw one where a guy hat a GTP GP and he wanted the softer rear seat GM upgraded in later models. The dealer would not do it. So he went to another dealer took a test drive and he and his buddy swapped the seat and took the car back. I have seen similar things happen with engine parts too. 

 

In fact one guy rented Ford Fairmonts at each NHRA stop for his stock class and he would race the car. He never drove the same car twice and ended up national champion. No crew no towing just rent the car and bring a helmet. 

 

So while the stories on the  I can say many of the claims of the Shelby do happen in the rental fleets. 

 

I went to one event and my rental was a new Mustang. I can say the temptation is there. 

Sajeev
Community Manager

You can't but you bleeping will soon, sorry about this. 

Edwardsg
Intermediate Driver

Great article!
From the number of cars, to colors and stripes, down to much of the rent a racer and motor swapping finally seeing some daylight.
Amazing how little was true.
It is like race hemi’s with a vin and plates.
Or ‘factory’ installed x ram, headers, cowl plenum induction on a first gen Z/28. Possible to have the dealer install, but usually came in the trunk. The cowl plenum induction came with a template to cut the hole in the firewall. Talking to the original owner, this explained the crude looking hole in the firewall.
bblhed
Instructor

Reality, no one has ever done anything **bleep**.
bblhed
Instructor

Reality, no one has ever done anything s-h-a-d-y with a rental car, yeah right.
This is aggravating
Sajeev
Community Manager

Aggravating for all of us, and I am sorry its happening to you @bblhed. We are working hard to fix the software issue. 

Spider
New Driver

Remember the CSX-T Thrifty Car Rental Shelbys in 89?
JimboB
New Driver

Great article. I have owned three 1966 GT350's along the way. And all three had stories. I wish I had been more of an expert. But all were part of an interesting journey.
I started with 6S043. Turned out that it no longer had the original engine.
Next was 6S1289. A Hertz car in black and gold. I had it restored and confirmed that the Ford vin was a proper match. Turned out that there was another 6S1289.
Finally 6S2073. Another Hertz, but it had been rebodied along the way.
If each of mine had such issues, it seems unlikely that so many are presented as original.
In any case, I am a huge fan and would love to have all three back, despite the issues.
Bbutler787
New Driver

I had the honor of driving the first of these cars to arrive in Phoenix, Arizona in 1966. I worked as a mechanic at Bob Montana’s Chrysler/Plymouth on Camelback Road after high school. As part of our job, we were tasked with picking up new cars from the rail yard on E. Van Buren Road. Usually it was new Plymouths or Chryslers. A round trip took 45 minutes to be dropped off, sign for the new car, and drive back to the dealership. Several times we drivers were dropped off and picked up Black w/Gold stripe 1966 Mustang 350H’s. That trip usually took well over an hour and, sometimes, “due to heavy traffic”, two hours. I remember delivering at least two of these cars.
JBBearcat
Detailer

Can you tell us about the black/gold car driven by James Garner in the film Grand Prix?Prix
RallyeRalph
Detailer

I have no way of proving this is not a "Choking Doberman"-type urban legend. But in the late 60's I owned at my used car dealership a Mustang fastback that I purchased from Ed Valley and Bill Seeley of Seeley and Valley Imported Cars in Yellow Springs, Ohio when they were a little **bleep**.
Sajeev
Community Manager

@RallyeRalph sorry about the bleep in your response, we are working on a bleeping fix for this bleep. Please bear with us. 

RallyeRalph
Detailer

Where's the rest of the story Paul Harvey? My post is mostly missing and would not post at all the first five tries. There is nothing offensive, off-color or untrue in the post so why is it 3/4 bleeped?
Sajeev
Community Manager

Its happening because the software has gone berserk, nothing you wrote was problematic. I am sorry about the bleeping and missing text. 

RallyeRalph
Detailer

Skynet is starting its takeover and the Terminator is out in my garden.
Sajeev
Community Manager

I believe it. 

Tsaxman
Advanced Driver

He'll be back.
Oldroad1
Technician

Don't feel bad, a good many of my posts don't post at all.
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

I love the GT350's with or without the H. Very cool history here.
Tsaxman
Advanced Driver

Excellent and well-written article. The SAAC is a great organization. I owned a Wimbledon white KR convertible, which was quite rare enough, but it also was equipped with a 4-speed and air conditioning. I reluctantly parted with it when my third kid started college.
Davidb
Intermediate Driver

Some myths are best left to speculation. How many tales of folk lore were fueled by inaccuracy? Egos and reputations are at risk when repeated and unsubstantiated tales emerge. This, also carries hairs from the "**bleep**.
Sajeev
Community Manager

@Davidb sorry about the bleeps in your response, we are working on a bleeping fix for this bleep. Please bear with us. 

Smilodon
Detailer

He's trying
Sajeev
Community Manager

I am re-posting what @RallyeRalph was trying to post, before our software went mental and cut him off. Sorry about that, here's the full text: 

 

I have no way of proving this is not a "Choking Doberman"-type urban legend. But in the late 60's I owned at my used car dealership a Mustang fastback that I purchased from Ed Valley and Bill Seeley of Seeley and Valley Imported Cars in Yellow Springs, Ohio when they were a little short of cash (a common occurrence for them). They said they had raced the car in various sports car races including Daytona. They said (and I believed them at the time) that they blew the engine in practice, so they went over to Hertz Daytona and rented a GT-350H. They swapped the engine into the fastback and ran the race. On Monday they swapped the engine back and returned the GT-350H to Hertz. The agent noted they had only put 10 miles on the car so he only charged the economy car rate. Fact? I can't prove it  but it seemed true at the time. 
 
Absolute fact: The fastback had been raced. It had a roll bar, a seemingly full race engine that sounded like a current cigarette boat at idle, side pipes, a close-ratio 4-speed, and a locker differential. It was a handful to drive around town. It was a bit worn appearing but looked all original outside. A teenage boy said he wanted it but I replied there was no way his father would buy it for him. The lad responded his dad told to just pick out whatever he wanted. The next day he returned with his old man just after I was reparking it. The dad walked around it and commented it looked a little racy. Little did he know! Dad aked me to start it up and I replied it ran great. He repeated the request to start it. I knew there was no shot at a sale so I fired it up and since the car was warm goosed it to about 4000 rpm a couple of times to hear the "whap-whap" echo off of the building next door. When last seen the boy was being dragged down the street by his elbow. My car and all of this is true but can I prove its story? No, but it I've always believed it.
Smilodon
Detailer

That would be be sweet, I grew into cars in the mid '60's/early '70's. Indianapolis born and bred, Dad, Uncles, stepdad raced; street drags, dirt, sprints (I met Steve Kinser when I was in 6th grade, a gentleman and the reason I learned how fuel injection works).
I have pics, but how to prove it's me? Can't. Don't care. I was there, been and done. The legends that shook my hand, let me sit in the cars, partied with my Dad and Unk? Worship. In 1966, on the Raymond Street Expressway in Indianapolis, Indiana, when you watched the Aztec Bronze '57 Nomad run away from your Mopar, that was my Dad.
The angry, orangy/red S-55 427 2x4, 4spd Mercury Marauder? Paternal Grandfather. That thing was "overstyled", and a full sized heavy car, but seldom beat. I always loved the taillights. I'd sell my soul to have one now. Mom hated that car, but the throw-back, slam first, twin stripe launch? As a seven year old lil dude, all I could say was "More! Grampa, more!"
It's why cars are loved.
Davidb
Intermediate Driver

This site is now "censored." My post was cut off after 1/3 of it was printed.
Sajeev
Community Manager

@Davidb sorry about the bleeps and deletion of text in your response, we are working on a bleeping fix for this bleep. Please bear with us, this isn't intentional. 

 
HighwayStarr
New Driver

Always coveted a '66 GT350H in the early 80s, but as a recent college graduate, I couldn't afford one and thus settled on a vintage burgundy '66 couple, which I held onto for 30 years. With the passage of time, the affordability gap between me and the elusive black & gold dream is even wider now. <Sigh>. Just the same, it was a great read and I did learn a few things. 😀
MustangJim
Instructor

Great article!
Of course I have heard the stories and mostly I belive them. Its nice to hear real stories that are true. And most important, it is about racers with a moral compass! I enjoyed the article
Tim
Technician

Like many people, I presume, my GT350H information was a mix of fact and legend. This is the best article I've read that explains the whole story.

I was entertained by the .17c per mile part of the story. Before I could read on, my first thought was, "disconnect that speedo." It seems Hertz had anticipated that and had a counter-move of its own by locking it down. Only to be countered by the most intrepid customer willing to do what it took to disconnect it at the other end. True tales like that are better than urban legend. 😄

Hopefully I don't get bleeped. It's not like I typed crap or anything. 🙃
Sajeev
Community Manager

Lucky you!  You bleepin' made it work! 

js100
Detailer

GM made it even easier, they put the cruise control transducer box right on top of the left fender of late 70, early 80 cars. The darn cable from the box to the speedo would often fall off right after I rented the car. Even better, the cruise control still worked for the weekend trips from AZ to the Pomona swap meet, loaded with stuff to sell. Ah, the old days, paying by the mile.
TG
Technician

There was a story going around the interwebs that Mr. (Fred) Rogers was a former sniper in the military, and he did the children's **bleep** there
TG
Technician

very unfortunate bleep there - moral is sometimes a good bull*bleep* story has a life of its own
avideo
Detailer

Very interesting article. Way back in 2007 when I was looking for a **bleep**'s now in my garage!
LugNut
Pit Crew

Well, I was an eye witness to what may have been an engine change from a Hertz **bleep** on track.
wrede
New Driver

Fond memories. As a young development engineer at Union Carbide Plastics in NJ, I was part of a team that went to the Cartersville, GA plant to test out our prototype new designs. On one trip, I arrived at Atlanta Airport and was offered a Hertz GT350 at corporate standard rates, and off I went. The first noticeable issue was the fact the brakes were nearly useless until I figured out it to ride them until they got hot, and then they would stop the car. Being a corporate NJ Yankee visiting in northern Georgia, I was in hot water when I arrived at the plant in this fancy rental car. I tried to explain to the plant manager that I was offered the car at the normal corporate rate, but he wouldn't have it. He called my boss in NJ and read him the riot act about corporate excess expenses. It didn't help me in my annual performance review, but it was an exhilarating experience. As I recall, the Hertz program was **bleep**, and I was careful of special deals in the future.