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Summer 2016 15


After fifty years you’d think all of

the questions would be answered

about Shelbys, but that’s just wishful

thinking. For example, we know there

were 1001 GT350 Hertz cars: two pro-

totypes and 999 production models.

We know that the two prototypes were

shown to Hertz executives with 15˝

Shelby Cragar wheels because the

Hertz contract was not yet signed and

the Magnum 500 wheels had not yet

been sourced.

As soon as Hertz executives ap-

proved the GT350H program, Shelby’s

public relations department swung

into action. Photos were needed for

press releases but since no GT350H

models had yet been produced, two

hand-built mock-ups were made using

white Mustang GTs – because ‘65

GT350s did not have a five-dial GT

dash. Shelby American paperwork

with serial numbers identifying these

cars would have been nice, no such

documentation has been found.

A mocked-up 1966 GT350 was

used for photography for press photos


pictured below

]. This car was outfit-

ted with 14˝ cast aluminum wheels,

which would eventually become op-

tional. The plastic “CS” center caps

were not yet available so caps were

fabricated using Cobra nose badges.

The centers of the ten-spoke wheels

were painted black with polished high-

lights. If this was ever considered for

production it was likely rejected as

being too labor-intensive. These

unique wheels were used on the pho-

tography car. The same car was used

for the “bib overalls” ad. One inexpli-

cable feature on this car was the Pony

interior door handles; the rest of the

interior has no Pony features.

When photos were needed of a

Hertz model prior to actual Hertz pro-

duction, the same mocked-up car was

very likely used, identifiable by the

unique wheels. Shelby American had

a department called “Show Car” at

West Imperial Highway, which was

able to change the color of cars used

for Ford PR photos. They utilized spe-

cial paint which could be stripped off

using a high-pressure air gun, so if

Ford wanted a blue car they could

temporarily repaint a red one for a

photo shoot. While it is not known if

this is how a black and gold GT350

Hertz was created for PR photos, it is

a logical explanation. Also of note: all

production Hertz models had radios

and, hence, antennas – which this car