Carroll Shelby kick-started a thrilling partnership with Hertz in 1966, when he successfully persuaded the company to order 1,001 Ford Mustangs, finely tweaked by his garage. This laid the foundation for the iconic "Rent-A-Racer" program, which marked the birth of the Shelby G.T.350H. Almost instantaneously, these machines began leaving tire marks on race tracks and dragstrips alike, rapidly expanding the program's legend. After a 40-year hiatus, Hertz rekindled the project, rolling out yet another Shelby Mustang but with stricter terms in the rental agreement. Ever since, the Hertz special editions have been a constant presence in the car world, each model featuring unique tweaks and available in restricted quantities, with the most recent being the 2020 Hertz-Hendrick Motorsports Camaros. Buckle up as we give you a spin through the journey of these speed beasts, all of which donned the distinctive black and yellow livery, plus a special guest.
1966 Ford Shelby G.T. 350H
This trailblazer, infamous for its high-performance in its time, was notorious for tales of renters striping it for parts. Powered by the K-code 289 V-8 engine that was finely tuned in Shelby's Venice, California shop to a roaring 306 horsepower, these rides were virtually identical to the standard G.T. 350 save for the rear side glass. Noteworthy is the elevated price tag, which has rocketed from a humble $17 daily rental fee to a six-figure sum, should you find one of the original 1,001 units.
1985 Ford Mustang SVO
Though not originally a Hertz special, the SVO, an exclusive Mustang edition with a turbocharged four-cylinder, made it to Hertz's "Rent-A-Racer" program in 1985. Interestingly, all 60 copies bought by the rental company had manual transmission, a feature rarely seen in the other cars in this list. The distinct Dark Sage green paint, commissioned by Hertz, adorned ten of these vehicles, making them stand out among the 47 cars that featured this color.
2006 40th Anniversary Ford Shelby GT-H
The flame between Carroll Shelby and Ford was reignited in 2003, leading to the launch of a new Mustang in 2005. A year later, the Shelby name graced the Ford showrooms again, right on time for the 40th anniversary. Sporting parts from the Ford Performance catalog, the GT-H, both standard and rental versions, came with enhancements like a cold air intake, engine tune, and more. A total of 496 GT-H units were built, with only Carroll Shelby and Hertz executives privileged enough to get one with a manual transmission.
2007 Shelby GT-H Convertible
As expected, the GT-H Convertible followed the coupe, sporting similar upgrades and also limited to 500 copies. The initial 2006 prototype model was auctioned in 2012 for a hefty $115,500.
2008 Chevrolet Corvette ZHZ
In 2008, General Motors jumped on the Hertz special bandwagon with the Corvette ZHZ. This model was a part of Hertz's "Fun Club" line of sporty rentals and started with an initial run of 500. The ZHZ boasted an identical 436 horsepower from the LS3 V-8, just like the stock Corvette, but carried special Hertz touches inside and out.
2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZHZ Convertible
The pattern of following a coupe with a convertible continues here as well, with a limited 375 units run, making it one of the most exclusive Corvettes ever made.
2014 Hertz Penske GT
In this iteration, Hertz collaborated with Penske Racing, resulting in the birth of the Hertz Penske GT. The upgraded parts largely came from the Ford Performance catalog, including a new exhaust, air intake, ECU tuning, and more. This special edition maintained the tradition of offering automatic transmission to the rental fleet, with just 10 manual versions going to executives and VIPs.
2016 Ford Shelby Mustang GT-H
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the original "Rent-A-Racer", Hertz and Ford collaborated once more to release another 140 GT-H units. This beast was based on the stock Mustang GT and featured a Ford Performance exhaust along with the Ford Racing Handling Pack.
2018 Hertz 100th Anniversary Edition Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Hertz celebrated its centennial with this special edition. The Z06 was mostly a stock model, but with an impressive 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque paired to an automatic transmission. Only 100 units were manufactured, making this 2018 model rarer than the Corvette 65th-anniversary Carbon 65 Edition cars.
2020 Hertz-Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and SS
Hertz's association with Hendrick Motorsports led to the creation of this pair of Camaros. The Camaro SS features a cold air intake and an exhaust, increasing the output to 480 hp. Meanwhile, the ZL1, limited to just 24 units, came with a bigger supercharger on the LT4 V-8, delivering an impressive 750 hp and an 11.0-second quarter-mile time.
2022 Ford Shelby Mustang GT-H
The latest addition to the line of Hertz special edition cars is the 2022 Shelby Mustang GT-H, which stands out with its unique styling upgrades that honor a rich performance heritage. The Shelby GT-H, available as fastbacks and convertibles, comes in four exterior paint colors: rapid red metallic, oxford white, carbonized gray, and shadow black. All models sport gold “Le Mans” dual racing stripes and special rocker stripes, along with Hertz Edition and Shelby 60th anniversary emblems for a distinctive look.
The interiors are adorned with Shelby and Hertz logos on the seats, sill plates, and floor mats, while a numbered badge is located on the dashboard and under the hood. Performance-wise, the Shelby GT-H features a Borla cat-back performance exhaust for the 5.0L V8 engine and a staggered wheel kit for both convertibles and fastbacks. The GT-H rides on 20-inch aluminum wheels with all-weather Michelin tires and sports a unique Shelby-designed deep-draw hood, upper grille, fascia winglets, and taillight panel.