It started off as one of those days. Three hot leads on some rides to feature for this issue, but each time I stopped by; the car owner either had the car up on stands for repairs, or was out of town hitting the last of the year’s show-n-shines. But then, lo and behold, on my empty-handed, aimless drive through town a glimmery shine just pierced my peripheral. There sat a truly amazing ‘66 Shelby Mustang GT-350H. Freshly manicured. Black as night with the meanest Gold racing stripes. This is it! This is one sexy beast of a machine. Let’s go!
His name is Cameron Cook, and he has the “passion” for the mighty muscle car. He also has the pleasure of owning one. A rare, limited manufacture run, of a beautiful historic Shelby Classic, a 1966 Shelby GT-350H Mustang Fastback – Hertz Rent-A-Racer edition.
Cameron had his heart set on a Mustang. He knew with all of his being that a classic Mustang would be the fi rst muscle car to make it on his roster. On his search to fi nd that perfect special four wheeled machine Cameron and his dad patientlylooked long and hard for a suitable fi t. Arriving to Fresno’s Mustang Ranch, Cameron caught sight of a heaping shell of a sad Shelby. He just couldn’t shake it. It was calling him, much like the ghost of Christmas past was probably calling Ebenezer Scrooge. “This is it! That’s the one!”
The Mustang Ranch was quickly enlisted to nurture this very special Shelby back to it’s original tip-top shape and then some. Rebuilt 289 Cu. In. V8 engine. Holley four barrel carburetor. Cobra valve covers and air cleaner. Full Flowmaster exhaust. C-4 automatic transmission. Eight inch rear differential. Lazer straight, all steel body panels. Shelby scooped hood and side fresh air scoops. I mean really… What more could a seventeen year old with the coolestdad- ever ask for.
So yes, It was another cliché tale of love at first sight, but it’s not hard to see why, when you experience the raw, awesome power of a classic Shelby.
HERTZ RENT-A- RACER: In September of 1965 Shelby American General Manager Peyton Cramer struck up a deal with Hertz to offer the 1966 GT350H Mustang as a rental car. The program was a clever one for Ford and Shelby as it worked to promote the Shelby Mustang to potential buyers. As Ford puts it, “The idea was to put high-performance, specialedition Shelby Mustang coupes into the hands of racing enthusiast-minded rental customers.”
That’s right, if you were a Hertz Sports Car Club member back in 1966 (and 25 years of age), you could drive off the rental car lot in a performance 306 hp Mustang fastback. Total cost: $17 a day and 17 cents a mile. Not a bad deal by today’s standards and not a bad deal back then.