“Please hold,” the woman with the handheld Hertz pc said, as if the lady and I were upon opposite sides of a WATS call instead of position twenty-four inches apart, “for any manager.” I didn’capital t have to hold long. The manager would be a short Hispanic man with an all-business disposition.
“You have fun?” he inquired, kneeling to pay close attention to among the odd little carbon-fiber winglets between your rear wheelwell and the doorways. His tone suggested that I could be in trouble for having fun, but also, perhaps, that I could have been equally remiss in having fun. After all, this was a rental car that cost a staggering $343?per diem. In a country where the SNAP program supplies a struggling family just $14/day?for meals, what sort of bloodless, Zuckerberg-esque Asperger’s alien in the posthuman investor class would spend that kind of money to not enjoy this sullen-faced snorting Mustang?
“I had … ” and here I did some rough privilege calculus of the sort familiar to all college-educated German-Americans in the year 2016, balancing my Chester Barrie sport coat and the dull glitter glue of my platinum AMEX against my personal coarse features, Allman Brothers haircut, and visibly crippled left lower-leg, just trying to figure out things i was allowed to state without committing the microaggression.
“… a bit of fun, yeah. But really, I went it to the hotel and back. Mostly.”
“Is that so,” he said, like a pint-sized Torquemada, and with a quick, knowledgeable motion he or she swiped his hand across the gap in between two spokes of the remaining front wheel. “Is that so.”
It took Hertz Forty?years to fee a second and 3rd run of the legendary Shelby GT350-H, the race-car-for-rent that created innumerable tales of derring-do and surreptitiously installed rollcages, but simply 10?years to consider another shot thinking.
As with the 2006 Shelby GT-H as well as 2007 Shelby GT-H convertible, this 2016 coupe is an “authentic” Shelby, eligible for entry in the various clubs and registries dedicated to Ol’ Shel and his eponymous automobiles once it leaves Hertz possession and finds it’s way to a private proprietor. It is not a variant of the superbly appealing and competent Shelby GT350. Instead, the GT-H is simply a fully loaded 2016 Mustang GT treated to a brief tour of the Shelby aftermarket catalog. With the exception of the cat-back exhaust, a Ford Racing suspension package, and a staggered set of Michelin-Pilot-shod 19-inch tires, all the changes are beauty.
This is not to say that they’re not hugely effective. Few among us wanted any more power from the current Mustang Five.0 liter anyway. I guarantee my Millennial readers that your yet-to-be-born children will one day aggressively question you regarding why you did not possess a Coyote-powered Mustang in $THE_CURRENT_YEAR, exactly the same way my 10-year-old self couldn’capital t understand why my father purchased a Camaro RS 307 in 68 and not a COPO, Yenko, or slick-shod Z/28.
The 2016 Mustang truly is among the all-time great American vehicles, and if anything it’s a bit understated-looking in manufacturing plant trim. The multiple Shelby changes – starting with the outrageous fiberglass hood that continually wobbles when the automobile is in operation and many badges, spoiler, splitters, and whatnot – communicate the essential nature of this overpowered pony car very effectively.
If the method of FRPP suspension, outside aero, and black paint with Hertz stripes seems even more familiar than?earlier Shelby Mustangs would suggest, that’s because Ford do a “Hertz Penske GT” a few years ago. We misused one by running it about MSR Houston and found this?a supremely satisfying muscle car for the racetrack. I had similar plans for this Hertz GT-H, which I picked up from the San Jose airport terminal last Friday. The thing is, Mrs. Baruth was attending the Skip Barber school from Laguna Seca, and I thought I would be able to cajole my way onto the track for a few hot runs around.
The problems started when I picked up the car. It had just 37?miles on the odometer. The young lady at the exit gate told me that I was the first GT-H renter they’d ever had. This particular made me profoundly nervous about holding it at redline for half an hour immediately afterwards. Don’t get me wrong – I understand which modern engines appear the line ready with regard to anything, and I have a low opinion of people that think you need to thoroughly break-in a car. With that said, absolutely no factory is perfect and when this Shelby decided to place a window in its prevent from full-throttle usage I wanted that to happen upon US-101, not the Rahal Directly.
Not that I got a chance to let the Ford mustang run free upon 101. A series of accidents and general Cali-traffic crisis made my 70-minute visit to Laguna Seca a three-hour ordeal. When I got into the paddock, the actual track was booked for the remaining 3 hours of the day. In addition I needed to take some pictures of Danger Woman in the Corkscrew, which successfully postponed any potential hooliganism to the evening.
As quickly as the class was complete and the degrees and diplomas were handed out, I set out to drive some of the coastal roads about Monterey – and the faster, the better. I’d are saying that I’m in support of all the changes made by Shelby to the GT-H. The suspension will go a long way to cut your body float that comes as standard equipment within plain-Jane GTs. The exhaust seems absolutely blood-curdling when the shifter is actually moved from “D” in order to “S”. Everywhere you go, people are going to be looking you before they can look you, because the GT-H can be as noisy like a Ferrari 488 when all the buttons and switches are deployed correctly ,and it will herald your impending presence like a 32-valve version of John the Baptist.
This is an extremely large, very fast vehicle, and it has nontrivial inertia. Within real-world terms, it’s on performance par using the 2007 Shelby GT500, not that much behind the current C7 Corvette, and of course it will completely eviscerate any original Shelby Ford mustang you come across – large block or little. I can see why Hertz is nervous about letting individuals rent them. It’s not the fastest car that you can get from them — I think the “Desire Cars” arm of the company will put you driving of a Mercedes-AMG C63 or a 911 Carrera – but it’utes probably unequaled at its ability to get individuals trouble.
I suspect that this review will have two sorts of serious readers. The very first sort will be taking into consideration the rental of a GT-H. For them, I say: . It’s not really faster than the regular 5.0 that you can also rent from Hertz, but it’s really cool, it sounds really frightening, and – when you sign that leasing contract – you’lmost all have a neat tale to tell your grandchildren.
The 2nd sort of reader will discover this on Google 2 or 3 years from right now when they are considering the acquisition of a GT-H either directly from Hertz or in the secondary market. For them, I’ll have to curb my personal enthusiasm a bit. The premium demanded for that Shelby stuff isn’t mirrored in the car’s downright performance. Nor would be the 2006 cars precisely setting the resale world on fire 10?years later. From what I can tell, the 2006 GT-H is worth five to ten grand more than a regular GT, max. Vehicles with high mileage don’t even hold that much premium. The same is true, incidentally, of the “Shelby GT” that followed the GT-H at dealerships. When it comes to recent-production Mustangs, the Shelby name doesn’t carry a lot of weight. Aluminum-block GT500s are worth real money, however so are ’04 Terminator SVTs, but for the same reason: they’lso are intercontinental ballistic missiles without much of the guidance system.
We could close here, however there’s something that bothers me about the GT-H and that i want to get it off my chest. I think it’s highly disingenuous of Hertz in order to simultaneously cash in on the legend of the unique rent-a-racer take significant steps to make sure that nobody does the same thing with the new car. The GT-H shouldn’t end up being an automatic-transmission car. This shouldn’t be white-gloved pre and post each rental. This shouldn’t have additional language in the agreement (or maybe that language is always there, and I just don’t notice it) warning associated with dire penalties with regard to abuse. This should be a present to the racers of the world, not an appearance package wrapped in a healthy dosage of institutional paranoia.
Too a lot of that kind of globe is with us, late and soon. Formula One doesn’capital t let its motorists wear watches, so Lewis Hamilton has a picture of the watch on his glove. We are constantly bombarded with advertising featuring the bold, the uncaring, the bold, and the beautiful – but if you decide to lift the wheel of the ZX-10R down a Florida freeway you’ll be slapped with a criminal offence charge. We purchase products that are adoringly veneered with the promise of adventure and sex as well as gorgeous women — but if you have a threesome in your hotel room and sneak into the closed hotel pool following one in the early morning so you can all begin together then Toyota may ?That’s just a random example I made up.
Ninety-five percent of modern every day life is spent trying to make purchasing a product stand in to have an actual experience. Everything we do has to be curated, limited, measured, reduced within fat, gluten-free. Therefore, the greater I think about it … the actual hell with the Shelby GT-H. It’utes . It has the name of the dead man who was last relevant to the racing world 40?years ago plastered all over it like a discount-store talisman. It’s a meaningless recapitulation of the long-gone era. I recommend that instead of renting the GT-H, you rent a regular Ford mustang GT. Then monitor the shit from it. Roll-race it after night time. Enter it in a local autocross and mow down a line of cones with its precious fascia. Proceed have a story of your, instead of paying three hundred-plus bucks to tamely re-enact something that happened before you were created.
So there were really only 2 important moments in my rental of the GT-H. The first one happened when Danger Girl and I sat in it on Scenic Drive in Carmel. I told her how very pleased I was of the woman’s for her pace in the Skippy open-wheeler. She told me exactly how close it felt to flying an airplane. We rolled on the windows, let the Mustang mumble beneath us, and watched the sun established.
The second moment had been when that Hertz manager wiped his hand across the wheel also it came up clean. Absolutely no brake dust. Was that because I’deb taken perfect proper care of the car, or was it because I’d lent Skip Barber’s steering wheel cleaner after Ten?laps of Laguna Seca prior to carefully driving the GT-H in clockwise and counter-clockwise groups to scrub the blue tread off the tires?
All I’m able to say is this: that’s story, and it’s not for Hertz to book, lease, or sell.
[Images: ? 2016 Jack Baruth/The Truth About Cars]