1966 saw the introduction of non-white colors—including blue, red, green and black. Other changes include special rear quarter-panel windows replacing the factory extractor vents, functional brake scoops on each side and optional automatic transmissions, as well as the addition of an optional Paxton supercharger.
The 1966 Shelby GT350H, based on the 1966 GT350, featured a Cobra 289 High Performance V8 engine outputting 306 hp and 329 lb-ft of torque. Although most of the cars did not feature power brakes, a power brake booster was added to some of the vehicles per Hertz’s request. It seems many drivers found the braking to be too difficult and complained to the company. A unique feature of the Shelby GT350H is wheel-center caps featuring the Hertz Sports Car Cub logo as well as Goodyear Blue streak tires. Other special features include functional fiberglass scoops used to cool the rear brakes, a red, white, and blue cobra gas cap featuring the Shelby emblem, a tachometer mounted on the dash, and Plexiglas rear quarter windows. Of note, about 100 of the 1966 Shelby GT350Hs did not feature the fiberglass hood found on regular GT350s. They featured an all-steel hood.
In all, only 1,001 of these fastbacks were built for Hertz in 1966. The makeup consisted of 999 units of the following colors: A majority in Raven Black with Gold (Bronze Powder) side and Le Mans racing stripes, 50 Candy Apple Red with side stripes, 50 Wimbledon White with side stripes (as well as several models with both side and Le Mans stripes), 50 Sapphire Blue models with side stripes, and 50 Ivy Green with side stripes. Two of the GT350H Mustangs were prototype models. Each of the cars was built in Los Angeles at the Shelby American Los Angeles airport facility.
The first 100 GT350H models were ordered with 4-speed transmissions. According to an article about the car in Mustang Monthly magazine, a San Francisco Hertz dealer complained that drivers were burning out the clutches. Hertz and Ford rethought the program after 85 of the cars were delivered and decided to run with automatic transmissions for the remainder of the build cycle. All of the 4-speed cars sported a Raven black exterior.
As with other Shelby Mustangs of the time, the GT350H was quick. According to a 1966 issue of Car and Driver magazine, the 1966 Shelby GT350H Mustang could do 0-60 mph in 6.6 seconds. It could do a standing quarter mile in 15.2 seconds at 93 mph. The top speed was 117 mph. Bottom line: this car was a serious machine both on and off the track.
Over the years the 1966 Shelby GT350H Mustang has become highly sought after by collectors. Due to the harsh driving conditions they were subjected too by rental car drivers, many of the cars were taken out of commission years ago. In fact, there was a time when no one wanted to touch one with a 10 foot pole. After all, buying a used rental car wasn’t the thing to do. Well, years later the ones that are left are extremely valuable and easily net $150,000 or more in auctions each year. In fact, those lucky enough to own one own a coveted piece of Mustang history.
In all, the car has grown in popularity over the years. In fact, it grew so popular the powers that be decided to bring it back for a new generation of drivers. Forty years after its initial introduction in 1966, Shelby got together once again with Hertz to offer up the 2006 Shelby GT-H Mustang. The car once again featured a black exterior with gold stripes. Keeping with tradition, the cars were fast both on and off the track.