There was a time in the late 1960s when $17/day would put you behind the wheel of a genuine Shelby GT350H. The folks at Hertz likely envisioned the cars leisurely cruising down coastal highways but, with 306hp on tap, enthusiasts found more creative uses for them. There are endless tales of GT350H’s returning to the lot with worn tires, roll bar mounts - even entirely different engines. It’s hard to say how many of those stories are true but the Rent-A-Racer name stuck and the cars that survived their rental duties intact are worth a mint. To commemorate these legendary cars, Shelby created the 2006 GT-H. One of just 500 produced, this retired rent-a-rarity racked up just 13,232 before being treated to over $8k worth of fresh Shelby parts to ensure it’s the finest example on the road today. A blast to drive and clean in every way, this GT-H is sure to follow in the footsteps of the GT350H. If you missed out on the first Hertz cars, don’t miss your chance at redemption!
The fifth generation of Mustang is widely considered some of Ford’s best line work in decades. With its bulging fenders and crisp lines, the look plays well into the current trend of nostalgic design and appeals to just about everyone who sees one. This GT-H takes those crowd-pleasing traits and wraps them in an immediately recognizable color scheme - black and gold. The combination served the original GT350H well and looks killer across late-model lines. The car survived its rental car days and has been treated to fresh paint on the front and rear bumpers while color sanding brought the rest of the body back to showroom condition. The paintwork is glossy and free of any major issues. Accented by thick gold stripes along the top and a matching strip along the rocker panel, the package hearkens back to the Shelby’s of yore. As a practically brand new car, panel fitment and overall finish is excellent thanks to modern production methods.
While the black and gold combo is enough to tip off most enthusiasts, the GT-H further reveals its pedigree through a combination of Ford Racing and Shelby pieces. At the front, the factory grille was scrapped in favor of a brushed-aluminum replacement sporting a classic pony badge. Below, a Shelby lower front fascia combines with an aggressive hood to change the entire demeanor of the car. Classic ‘60s-style hood pins were also added for some retro flair. Along the side, “Hertz” badges replace the factory “GT” markings while side scoops play up a classic Mustang design cue. At the rear, “Shelby” is spelled out across the decklid, just under the stock Ford spoiler. Four-inch exhaust tips fit underneath cutouts in the rear fascia, hinting that this is more than a regular GT. The total package is respectfully reminiscent of the original GT350-H’s while still retaining a completely modern look.
Lift the hood and you’ll find one Ford’s venerable 4.6L mod motors. As a 2006 model, this is one the 24V SOHC variants equipped with variable camshaft timing. These engines turned out a respectable 300hp in stock trim but, of course, nothing leaves Shelby without some kind of upgrade. For the GT-H, that upgrade comes in the form of a Ford Racing Power Pack. First, the ECU is reflashed for a more aggressive timing curve. Next up, breathing is made easy through a 90mm cold air intake, freer-flowing mufflers and an X-pipe that replaces the more restrictive H-pipe. The upgrades add roughly 25hp and 10lb. ft. of torque. Given the approximate 35hp difference between a GT350H and the Hi-Po Mustangs of the day, even gains remain true to Shelby history. The engine fires up with ease and sounds killer through the revised exhaust system. Authenticity is provided by a Shelby ID on the core support which identifies this GT-H as #06H0009.
Peek underneath and you’ll find a solid modern chassis with numerous Shelby upgrades. These cars were actually shipped out to rental duty so a five-speed automatic was chosen to please the masses. Behind that transmission, a rugged Ford 8.8-inch rearend houses 3.55 gears instead of the stock 3.31’s. Interestingly, the Shelby team found that opening up the diff and changing the ring and pinion wasn’t exactly cost-effective, so the GT-H’s all received entirely new rearends. Around the drivetrain, Ford’s FR-3 suspension includes new dampers, new roll bars, and stiffer springs which lower ride height by approximately 1.5-inches compared to stock. Being a late model car, it has all the features modern drivers including four-wheel disc brakes and power steering aided by a twin-bar strut tower brace. At the corners, 18-inch Ford five-spokes wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero rubber connect the chassis to the road. Combined, these elements make for a livelier take on the Mustang with plenty of bite off the line and handling that is crisp and predictable.
Open the doors and you’ll find a standard GT interior. Of course, standard isn’t a bad thing in this case. The high-back black leather bucket seats are firm and supportive, divided by a center console that houses the shifter, cup holders and adequate storage. Behind the three-spoke steering wheel, instrumentation keeps tabs on speed, revs, fuel, temperature, oil pressure and alternator output from chrome trimmed gauges. The dash is an attractive piece with silver trim and chrome accents around the vents with a Shelby ID plate in the center, once again verifying this as #06H0009. Below, the awesome Shaker 500 audio system has been equipped with an external Sirius controller while just below controls for the air conditioning and heater add some extra creature comforts. Every soft surface looks showroom fresh, making the cabin a pleasant place to spend time. An interesting note – the car’s original door sills were sent back to Shelby upon sale of the car. While the new door sills look great, it’s an interesting look into how closely Shelby protects their brand.
Documentation for this Shelby includes the original bill of sale, certificate of authenticity plus all related booklets and manuals. To verify the work performed on the car, there are both photos and receipts which total over $12k in parts and labor. The car also carries a clean Carfax report.
With a legendary look, plenty of power and a daily driver-friendly interior, there’s isn’t much to dislike about the car. Factor in its rarity, excellent presentation and inevitable future value climb and it just keeps looking better. If you’re ready to park your money in something fun and easy to own, this 2006 Shelby GT-H is just the ticket. Don’t miss out!