Miles Cook
August 21, 2006
Photos By: Courtesy of Shelby American

Make no mistake, the '06 GT-H isn't just a decal-and-emblem job. Several bits are added that easily make them the quickest automatic-transmission Mustangs in a long time; likely faster, in fact, than the '03-'04 Mach 1s equipped with automatics.

The main player in the mix here is Ford Racing's Power Pack (PN M-2005-FR1). It includes a 90mm cold-air kit, a flash tuner for the Spanish Oak electronics, a pair of T409 stainless-steel mufflers with 4-inch-diameter tips, and a Ford Racing oil filter. Shelby is on record saying the setup is good for another 25 hp on top of a regular Mustang GT's 300hp output.

Another example of having less bark but more bite is the use of performance gearing. This is easily achieved by swapping in 8.8-inch rearends with 3.55 gears originally destined for manual-transmission cars in place of the 3.31-geared 8.8s that come with the automatic cars. Along with the rearend swaps, the entire construction of these cars is set for Shelby's world headquarters facility just outside Las Vegas, Nevada.

These days, cars that go fast only in a straight line don't cut it. As such, the Hertz GT-Hs have an effective suspension upgrade in the form of the Ford Racing Handling Pack (PN M-2005-FR3). It includes a pair of front struts, a set of springs that lower the car about 1.5 inches, a set of larger antisway bars, and an underhood strut-tower brace. The package provides the car with the ideal road-race stance, and the ride is only a little firmer than a stock Mustang GT.

So the question remains: Where can you get one? For now, you can't buy one. You'll have to wait a year or so until Hertz is done with them as rentals, and the odometers are in the 16,000-18,000-mile range. Then the buying frenzy will commence, and sources tell us that Ford dealers will have first crack at the cars.

All new automatic Mustang GTs come with 3.31 gears, while the manual-trans cars come with 3.55s. Shelby swaps the 3.55-geared 8.8-inch axles into the five-speed automatic GT-Hs to make for a lively combination.

But the good news is you can rent one right now for somewhere in the range of $70-$100 a day. And where can you rent one? Check out the cities we've listed to have your own little slice of Hertz Shelby rent-a-car legend for a day or a week. You'll then discover that a rental car from a mainstream agency doesn't have to be boring. It is, in fact, more fun than ever--at least since 1966.

Where You Can Rent
Not every city will have the Shelby GT-H available at the local airport Hertz counter, but some of the larger hubs and resort destinations in nine states will be receiving fleets. If you have to drive (or fly) some distance to get seat time in one of these future collectibles, we assure you, the effort will be worth it. Here's where to go:
Arizona: Phoenix
California: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco
Colorado: Denver
Florida: Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, West Palm Beach
Hawaii: Honolulu, Maui
Massachusetts: Boston
Nevada: Las Vegas
Oregon: Portland
Washington: Seattle