1966 Shelby GT 350 Hertz
When Carroll Shelby assigned Peyton Cramer to talk
to Hertz Corporation about setting up rental program he had no idea what he was
getting into. To coin an old saying; “I have good news and bad news.”
The “good news” was Hertz ended up buying 999 cars from Shelby. The “bad news” was that they ended up buying 999 cars from Shelby. Shelby had only built a total of 562 GT 350’s in 1965 including three 1966 Prototypes. How in the world was he going to do this? Somehow, he figured it out and as they say the “rest is history”!
There are numerous stories about cars being raced on the weekend and then taken back to Hertz on Monday or late Sunday. And of course, there was some stories of a Shelby or Cobra blowing their motors and pulling the motor out of the Hertz car and continuing the race that weekend. There were a number of problems associated with renting what was basically a race car to almost who came to the counter if they could prove they were 25-year-old.
There were two big problems at the beginning of the rental program. The first problem was racing brakes which did not work until they were hot, unlike street brakes that would stop a car when cold. The second issue was that the first 84 cars were 4 speeds. Most customers renting these cars did not know how to drive a 4-speed. Consequently, putting those two factors together made for a very interesting trip through the parking lot!!
Shelby solved the 4-speed problem easily. They began building only Automatic cars for Hertz. The brakes were another matter however; and Shelby’s men tried numerous cures. By the time the program with Hertz was just about finished they decided to go with regular brake pads and the problem was solved.
This particular car was completely restored several years ago by a gentleman from Canada. Two magazine articles were done on the car. One of the articles has this car on the cover of the magazine. As you can see by the pictures, it is a beautiful car that runs as nice as it looks. It has also had Factory A/C added so that it could be driven in warm climates. As with a great number of Hertz Cars, it does not have its original motor although it is a K Code motor. As usual, please do not hesitate to call me or make an appointment to have someone come by to look for you.
Steve - 281-531-9090 or email@example.com