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Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale August 13th – 15th, 2015 at Russo and Steele’s 15th Annual Monterey, California Auction. Please contact us for more information.
Purpose-built to homologate Fords wildly successful new Mustang for SCCA road-racing competition, Carroll Shelbys original GT350 exemplified Fords Total Performance attitude and endowed the trendsetting new ponycar with an unbeatable high-performance image. On the track, the GT350 utterly dominated the opposition, particularly Chevrolets Corvette, to secure three straight SCCA B-Production National Championships in 1965, 1966, and 1967.
On the street, the GT350 was quite a challenging race-bred drive, thanks to its stiffly tuned chassis, high-effort competition brakes, cop-baiting dual exhaust, and squealing rear tires protesting at the mercy of the hard-core Detroit Locker rear end. Several revisions for 1966 successfully maintained the basic character of the GT350 while making it somewhat less demanding on its drivers and passengers.
Taking advantage of the greater production capacity offered by Shelby Americans move to larger production facilities, General Manager Peyton Cramer targeted the Hertz rental-car company as a potential fleet buyer for the GT350. Cramer rightly figured Hertz would be receptive, since it had just switched its rental fleet from Chevrolet to Ford. Knowing that Hertz had built its own cars until 1927 and finished them in black and gold livery, Cramer suggested a special GT350 for Hertz in similar colors. An initial order for 200 cars quickly grew to 1,000 units, representing nearly 40 per cent of total GT350 production for 1966.
The Hertz program generated massive and free publicity for Shelby American and drew thousands of potential Ford buyers to new-car showrooms. In 1967, Hertz advertised its 1966 Shelby fleet for sale, with some sold directly from Hertz and a number sold via Ford dealers. Shelby continued to supply Hertz through 1969 and the cars remain highly collectible and famous perhaps infamous as Rent-A-Racers.
This rare Shelby GT350H brilliantly represents one of the very few Wimbledon White on gold colored cars ever sold to the Hertz Rental Corporation. A formidable race-bred performer, the GT350 was recommended in period by Motor Trend testers as a sure cure for all strains of boredom.
Well known and fully documented in the Shelby American Automobile Club Registry, it has been in the care of serious Shelby collectors for decades, all of which resided in California. Delivered brand new to Hi-Performance Motors (the preeminent west coast dealer) in El Segundo California and featuring numerous “early” elements, such as the over-ride traction bar rear suspension, SFM6S496 is presented with a very recent cosmetic restoration by marque experts. All aspects have been attended to including mechanical tune, all brightwork, interior, etc.