Registration No: PHR 270F
Chassis No: 8T02J149300001099
The Shelby and Hertz Rent-a-Racer story is something of a legend. In 1965, Shelby entered a partnership with Ford, taking the company’s legendary Mustang and making them even more of an aggressive, high-performance machine. The American public was desperate to get behind the wheel - but a high-performance motor, of course, costs money… It’s for this reason that Shelby got together with the Hertz car rental corporation. It was a stroke of genius - any licensed American over the age of 25 could rent these incredible cars for just $17 a day. The result was that thousands, hundreds of thousands of Americans got to experience the Shelby Mustang - and almost every one of them wanted it. Marketing expertise, made tangible. What many don’t realise, however, is that it wasn’t purely a single-batch operation. In 1968, Ford built 224 automatic GT350s for Hertz - one of the rarest of all, and perhaps the most desirable of the Shelbys in history.
This particular GT350 was built for a Hertz Rental Cars branch in Miami, Florida through J.D Ball Ford Ltd in 1968. As with most of the Hertz cars, it is relatively obvious that it was part of the Rent-a-Racer programme until they went out of date in the 1970s and were replaced with, we guess; extremely mundane vehicles in comparison. From what we understand, the car was purchased by a private owner in the 1970's and we have a Virginia State license for 1986, which was the year before this utterly legendary muscle car was laid up. Fast forward to 2023, the current owner (who is a well-respected importer of Mustangs) stumbled across the car and decided to add it to his personal collection. He completely mechanically overhauled the time, but deemed that the originality of the bodywork and interior was far too good to mess around with. In making this decision, he has potentially made this car the most original GT350 H in existence... or possibly just in Europe. The car has done less than 500 miles since the full overhaul and currently shows 77,690 miles on the odometer.
Beautifully appointed, the Rent-a-Racers were developed with an impeccable interior. These pony-car cabins were developed to be both sporting and luxurious - with plenty of grain panels, part-fabric bucket seats and lashings of leather throughout. During the overhaul, the interior has been preserved with fifty-five years of patina all present and correct. Even with that being the case, the bucket seats are clean and well-kept with no rips or tears, and free of any particular faults. There’s plenty of detail, with embossed Cobra branding on the central armrests, and the door cards are in fine fettle. The dashboard is clean and well-kept with only light patina, every instrument still in situ, appearing clear of chips or cracks to the dial glasses, and carrying only slight signs of wear to the brightwork. The black dashboard surround has some light scuffs and marks, which are strictly age-commensurate to the car’s venerable years. We’ve not been informed of any faults or issues, though the vendor does note that the air-conditioning pump has been removed at some stage in the vehicle’s life - a new pump is ready with the car and waiting to be fitted. The car is still carrying its branded, wood-grain ‘tilt-top’ steering wheel, which is in excellent order, while still carrying light patina. The carpets and headlining are clean and well-kept, with no significant rips or tears. The boot has some surface wear, and the odd spot of non-perforating corrosion which the vendor has chosen to keep intact, and sports a spare wheel.
It’s hard to believe that anybody could improve on the Mustang’s legendary design - but with their exceptional body styling, loaded with vents and scoops, Shelby absolutely did. These aggressive-looking cars simply live and breathe a distilled petrol-head pleasing aura. From the front fascia, and the hood, to the sequential taillights - has a couple of small period parking dents and dings, and still painted in an evocative shade of Wimbledon White - which, judging from the car’s VIN plate, is original. The vendor has opted to preserve this, meaning that the occasional bouts of patina - the odd, chip, mark or scratch - is still in situ, which to our eyes only serves to add more character to the car’s styling. The majority of the car's glasswork and lenses are largely in fine condition, although we did notice a large chip in the windscreen during our inspection which the vendor will be replacing prior to auction. The rest of the car’s glasswork is in fine fettle from what we can discern, and the brightwork is carrying strictly-age-commensurate wear throughout, with nothing that’s raising eyebrows. An Old Dominion University sticker from 1984 can be spotted on the rear bumper. All of the branding is present and correct, and the car is sitting proudly on its original wheelset, which is shod in Goodrich tyres. Underneath, the car’s newly fitted components - including a stainless steel dual-exhaust - are shining brightly, sat against original 60’s metalwork that’s completely in line with its age. We can’t spot a single sign of perforating corrosion and to all intents and purposes, it’s an utterly solid car that’s ready and raring to go.
After arriving in the UK, this Mustang was treated to an extensive mechanical overhaul, while maintaining a sense of period patina and originality. This was a huge job, with almost every essential mechanical component being new or refurbished.
The work done included:
The result is that the car is ready and raring to go - while the car carries a gorgeous patina, the mechanics are performing as new - with no leaks, knocks, bangs or smoke, no mechanical faults and all of those horses raring to hit the tarmac.
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Auction: 30th Anniversary Sale at The Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire, 20th Sep, 2023
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Tuesday 19th September 2023 from 1pm to 8pm
Wednesday 20th September 2023 from 9am
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