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Ford, Shelby, and Hertz pay homage to the Rent-a-Racer program with a commemorative Mustang

Fifty years ago, renowned American tuner Shelby teamed up with Ford and Hertz to put car renters behind the wheel of a Mustang GT350. Ford is paying homage to the program, which was cleverly called Rent-a-Racer, by releasing a limited-edition Mustang called GT-H that’s inspired by the original GT350-H.

Based on the 2016 Ford Mustang GT, the GT-H features a heritage-laced black paint job that’s accented by a pair of gold racing stripes and gold accents right above the rocker panels. The two-tone look helps the GT-H stand out from the regular Mustang GT, and it brings the coupe in line with the GT-350H that was found on Hertz lots nationwide half a century ago.

The GT-H isn’t all retro. It also wears a front splitter made out of carbon fiber, side skirts with carbon fiber inserts, a Shelby-specific grille, and a spoiler on the trunk lid. It rides on 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped by sticky Michelin Pilot Sport tires.

A metal plaque engraved with the car’s serial number and attached to the dashboard lets the passengers know they’re not riding in a run-of-the-mill Mustang GT. The cabin has been spruced up with new sill plates, redesigned headrests, and custom floor mats.

Mechanically, the GT-H is powered by a Mustang GT-sourced, 5.0-liter V8 engine that sends a solid 435 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. Transmission options haven’t been revealed yet. The eight-cylinder exhales through a new exhaust system, and Shelby has added a performance-tuned suspension to improve handling.

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Just like the original GT350-H, the 2016 Ford Shelby Mustang GT-H will exclusively be available through Hertz branches at select airports scattered across the continental United States; in other words, you’re out of luck if you want to soak up the Hawaiian sun or discover the vastness of Alaska behind the wheel of the GT-H. The GT-H is scheduled to join Hertz’s fleet starting on Memorial Day weekend, though finding one might be easier said than done because only 140 examples will be built by Shelby in Las Vegas, Nevada.