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Is the Ford Mustang GT-H the world’s best rental car?
Stiffer, louder Hertz Shelby 'Stang pays tribute to Sixties ‘rent-a-racer’
Apparently there’s a well-worn cliché in LA, Vegas and other sunnier parts of the US . It says “how do you spot a tourist on the West Coast? They’re driving the Mustang.”
‘Stangs appear to be the quintessential American hire car treat, and cottoning onto the idea, this is Ford’s latest special edition to take advantage of that.
The story dates back to 1965, when the Hertz car rental company cottoned onto a plot from Peyton Cramer, Shelby’s general manager. He wanted Hertz to offer his new Shelby Mustangs as halo hire cars, upping publicity for the rental outfit and cycling oodles of prospective buyers through Ford’s new performance pony car.
The cars were painted black with gold stripes, and dubbed GT350-H. Yup, for $17 a day and 17 cents per mile, anyone over the age of 25 could help themselves to Shelby’s 306bhp icon. And the plan worked, just a bit too well; stories of black’n’gold ‘Stangs showing up at drag strips (both official and, er, not so legitimate) were rife.
So, to the new car. Ford has offered Hertz-inspired versions of the reborn Mustang before, back in 2006 and 2011. This is the new 2016 GT-H model, based on the current Mustang GT model. So there’s a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 up front, but it breathes out via a new Ford Performance exhaust. Meanwhile, the handling’s been toned up with a lower ride height, stiffer dampers, new anti-roll bars and a carbon aero pack.
Oddly, the new-gen GT-H is only available as an automatic. Sure, it stops ham-fisted tourists cooking the clutch and grinding gears, but is it just us thinking that’ll make life a lot easier for amateur drag racers..?
Just 140 examples of the GT-H will be produced, and you’ll be able to rent one for your very own via Hertz’s ‘Adrenaline Collection’. Which sounds like tourist catnip if ever there was some…