1969 Shelby Mustang GT 350 Coupe: A Timeless Icon of Automotive History


By mid-1969, the automotive landscape was changing. High insurance premiums and rising gas costs posed challenges for high-performance cars, making them less accessible than before. However, Carroll Shelby and the Ford Motor Company were not ready to let go of their iconic creation, the Shelby Mustang GT 350 Coupe.

Creating a Buzz: The Shelby GT350-H for Hertz Rent-A-Car

In 1966, an ingenious idea came to life when Shelby and Ford collaborated to create the Shelby GT350-H for Hertz Rent-A-Car. This innovative move garnered widespread attention and interest in Shelby and Ford’s remarkable achievements.

The Hertz Sports Car Club: Unleashing GT-350’s in Rental Fleets

The success of the GT350-H led to the birth of the Hertz Sports Car Club, where 150 GT-350’s were produced in various eye-catching colors. These cars were placed in rental fleets across the United States, enabling anyone over 25 years old to experience the thrill of driving a Shelby Mustang for just a nominal fee.

1969 Shelby Mustang GT 350

From the Streets to the Racetrack: Tales of the Shelby GT-350 Hertz

Many of the Hertz rental Shelby Mustangs found their way onto racetracks, showcasing their impressive performance capabilities. It was not uncommon for these cars to be returned with a bit less tread on the rear tires, and there were even rumors of engine swaps to maximize the driving experience.

The Rare Gem: Grabber Orange GT-350 Hertz

Among the Hertz rental fleet, there were only seventeen Grabber Orange Shelby GT-350 Hertz cars ever built, with just eight known to exist today. These unique vehicles carry a piece of history that continues to captivate car enthusiasts worldwide.

1969 Shelby Mustang GT 350

The Evolution of the 1969 Shelby Mustang

Major changes were in store for the 1969 Shelby Mustang, which was based on the Ford Mustang platform. This marked the final iteration of the Shelby Mustang and represented the end of Carroll Shelby’s direct involvement in the project.

Radical Restyling for Uniqueness and Performance

The 1969 Shelby Mustang received a radical restyling from its previous year’s raw and edgy race car appearance. With reshaped fiberglass front fenders, an extended hood, and unique front bumper, the 1969 Shelby Mustang boasted a sleek and aggressive appearance that set it apart from its Mustang counterpart.

1969 Shelby Mustang GT 350

Power and Performance Upgrades

The Shelby GT350 and GT500 models were both offered in fastback (Sportsroof) and convertible versions. The GT500 continued with the powerful 428 Cobra Jet engine, while the GT350 received a significant upgrade with Ford’s new 351 Windsor V-8 engine.

1969 Shelby Mustang GT 350

Embracing Changes for Emissions Compliance

Although no new 1970 Shelby GT350 and GT500 models were built, the unsold 1969 models were given 1970 vehicle identification numbers. Some minor cosmetic changes were made to comply with emissions regulations, preserving the legacy of these remarkable vehicles.

1969 Shelby Mustang GT 350

Conclusion

The 1969 Shelby Mustang GT 350 Coupe stands as a timeless icon, symbolizing the passion and innovation of Carroll Shelby and Ford Motor Company. From its inception as a rental car sensation to its legendary status on racetracks, the Shelby GT 350 Coupe remains an unforgettable part of automotive history.

1969 Shelby Mustang GT 350

Frequently Asked Questions

How many Shelby GT350 Hertz cars were built?

There were 150 Shelby GT350 Hertz cars produced for the Hertz Sports Car Club.

What engine does the 1969 Shelby GT350 use?

The 1969 Shelby GT350 is equipped with Ford’s powerful 351 Windsor V-8 engine.

How many 1969 Shelby Mustang Convertibles were sold?

A total of 194 Shelby Mustang Convertibles were sold in 1969.

Did the 1969 Shelby Mustang receive any design changes?

Yes, the 1969 Shelby Mustang underwent radical restyling, setting it apart from previous models.

What was Carroll Shelby’s role in the 1969 Shelby Mustang?

The 1969 Shelby Mustang marked the end of Carroll Shelby’s direct involvement in the project, although his legacy lived on in the cars he created.






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