1966 Shelby GT350 H

Ford revolutionized the automotive landscape with the sudden unveiling of the Mustang Sports Coupe midway through the 1964 season, catching competitors off-guard. Conceived by Lee Iacocca, later credited with rescuing Chrysler Corporation, the Mustang stands as a testament to his illustrious tenure at Ford.

Renowned Texan racer Carroll Shelby had already achieved significant victories with Ford’s Mustang ‘pony car’, clinching the SCCA’s B-Production title multiple times. Leveraging this success, Shelby embarked on crafting the Shelby GT, a modified version of the Mustang, officially endorsed and distributed through select Ford dealerships.

The debut of the GT350 in 1965 marked a milestone, featuring a tweaked Ford 289ci V8 engine delivering 306bhp, with options for more potent units in competition guise. Transmission options included a 4-speed manual or a heavy-duty 3-speed automatic. Mechanically enhanced to match its heightened performance, the GT350 outwardly resembled its standard counterpart, save for distinctive racing stripes.

In a savvy move in 1966, Shelby struck a deal with Hertz to offer high-performance rental versions of the GT350 to the public for the first time. This democratized access to the legendary GT350, allowing enthusiasts to experience its prowess for a mere $17 a day and 17 cents per mile. A thousand GT350s, predominantly adorned in Hertz’s signature black and gold, were dispatched nationwide for rental use, extending the reach of this iconic machine.

Photo Source: RM Sotheby’s