In 1964, Ford Motor Company produced one of the most successful cars in history – the Mustang. It sold 22,000 cars the first day! At that same time, Ford had Texan racecar driver Carroll Shelby under contract. They were already selling his AC Cobra in Ford dealerships. Ford decided to have Shelby experiment with the Mustang 2-plus-2 fastback to see if he could make it a potential Group B SCCA racer. The result was called the Shelby GT-350. It was a bear of a car; noisy, exciting and fast – and very successful in racing.
Among the changes were Koni adjustable shocks, 11.3in diameter front disc brakes, aluminum cased Borg-Warner T-10 4-speed, and Goodyear 130mph Blue Dot tires. The steel hood was replaced by a fiberglass one with a hood scoop. The front suspension got a one-inch thick anti roll bar. The idler and Pitman arms were replaced by longer ones which gave it a faster steering ratio. The 289 V8 came from Ford with a rating of 271 bhp but Shelby raised this to 306 bhp by changing the exhaust pipes, intake manifold and carburetion.
Peyton Cramer, a brilliant marketing man, was Shelby’s General Manager at this time. He was told to try to get some fleet sales. He called upon Hertz and came back with an order for 936 cars. The catch was that they had to be painted Hertz colors – black with gold, a paint scheme used far earlier in Hertz history. Thus was born the GT-350H. While many of the earliest 350Hs had manual gearboxes, weekend racers would often return their cars with burned and slipping clutches (and bits of SCCA racing numbers still stuck to the doors, legend has it) so most of the later cars were fitted with automatics.
This particular GT350H is fitted with the desirable 4-speed manual transmission and is listed with its history in the Shelby Registry. It comes complete with its original owner’s manual. It has undergone a complete restoration by Glazier’s Mustang Barn, the well-known Mustang workshop, and there are receipts available for inspection in excess of $40,000.