To Be OFFERED AT AUCTION WITHOUT RESERVE at RM Sothebys' The
Elkhart Collection event, 23 - 24 October 2020.
- The legendary Hertz "Rent-A-Racer"
- One of 85 early examples delivered with a four-speed manual
- Delivered with AM radio, fold-down rear seat, and
Hertz-specific chrome Magnum 500 wheels
- Well-maintained, very attractive, and correct restoration
- Wonderful period details, including correct Impact lap
The original Shelby GT350 proved such a success that in September
1965 Shelby made a deal with the Hertz rental car company to offer
his hopped-up Mustang as part of Hertz's new Sports Car Club,
cleverly promoting the new Shelby through what amounted to paid
test drives by potential buyers. A total of 1,000 of the GT350 H
models, most of which were finished in black with distinctive gold
Le Mans stripes, were supplied to Hertz in 1966. It was not
uncommon for the cars to be returned after a weekend rental with
signs of racing numbers still on the doors.
Of the initial order of 150 cars, the most desirable GT350 Hs are
the 85 examples that were originally delivered with a four-speed
manual transmission. Hertz quickly notified Shelby that not
everyone could drive a stick, and so the remaining 850 cars after
the initial delivery batch all featured automatic
Chassis no. SFM 6S590 is confirmed by the 1966 Shelby Registry to
have been born a four-speed example and likely finished in black.
It was ordered by Hertz on 15 November 1965 and fitted with a radio
by Shelby's Hi-Performance Motors of El Segundo. The car was
shipped to Eger Motors of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, on 20 January
1966 for dealer prep, then delivered to Hertz in Washington, DC.
The rental firm was invoiced $3,514, plus additional cost for the
radio, Mico master brake cylinder, and chrome Magnum 500 wheels.
Amusingly, by 11 April, the car had been driven only ten miles but
would already not pass Washington, DC's, inspection, necessitating
replacement of the proportioning valve, rear wheel cylinders, and
brake shoes-indicating someone probably covered those ten miles a
quarter mile at a time.
The GT350 was eventually sold by Hertz to Jan Price of nearby Falls
Church, Virginia, then passed to Terry Epperly of Salem, and
finally, in 1986, to John P. Richards of Roanoke. Mr. Richards
stored the Shelby in his garage until the spring of 1999,
completing the work in 2002. Eventually it was inherited by his
wife following his passing and joined the Elkhart Collection.
Today the GT350 H still presents beautifully, finished as original
with correct overspray and usage of red oxide primer. Inspection
reveals that beneath the fender tag is the original confidential
VIN as confirmed by the Shelby American Automobile Club; the engine
is a 1967 289 Hi-Performance block, likely a replacement following
its storied original Hertz usage, while the aluminum T-10
transmission is dated 25 August 1965, and the rear axle, the
correct nine-inch unit, is also fitted with correct axle straps.
The interior features period Impact lap belts. The glass is largely
Ford script, while the windshield is a later replacement.
Replacement coil springs are included along with a correct,
full-size spare in the trunk. Naturally, the glove box is signed by
Carroll Shelby, while NASCAR legend Bill Elliott signed the
A fine surviving "Rent-A-Racer," this very rare four-speed GT350 H
would be the ideal mount for any number of vintage rallies and
Shelby club events.To view this car and others currently consigned
to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/el20