To compliment the roll-out of the 2007 Shelby Hertz GT350H, Ford also drove out the original Rent-a-Racer - a '66 Shelby GT350H. Somehow, the driver resisted the urge to rap the throttle and fill the Javits Center with the roar of a glass-packed small-block Ford. We would have not exhibited the same level of self control.
The Shelby GT350 was created to increase the presence of the Mustang in Group B SCCA racing, and as such included a substantial number of high-performance upgrades. 11.3" disc brakes (huge for the day) were placed up front, along with a 1" sway bar (also quite a substantial piece of technology four decades ago). A longer Pitman arm and idler arm were fitted to quicken the steering ratio, and Koni shocks were installed at all four corners. A fiberglass hood covered the warmed-over 289, which saw output increased to 306 HP via a set of headers and big four-barrel sitting on a high-rise intake manifold. This was backed by an aluminum-cased T-10 Borg-Warner four-speed crunchbox. Finally, the rear seats were tossed in favor of a fiberglass package shelf, as class rules did not allow for four-seaters.
Shelby's marketing guru Payton Cramer suggested the classic Detroit fall-back sales tool to increase GT350 production - fleet sales. Hertz agreed to take some of the pony cars as long as they carried the company's signature black and gold livery. With less than 1000 examples produced in 1966, the original Hertz Shelby is one of the more collectable classic Mustangs. While early examples had a manual transmission, the fact that the car was often returned with a trashed clutch (not to mention remnants of stick-on racing numbers and unusual amounts of tread wear) led to the use of an automatic in later examples.
Click on through to see some more of our high-res shots of this gorgeous example of classic Detroit muscle that Ford displayed in New York.