Remember when … Hertz rented race cars? In 1966, renters could pick up a Carroll Shelby model 1966 Ford Mustang GT 350 H under the "Rent-A-Racer" program. Yes, the "H" stood for Hertz, and Hertz never stopped agents from using the terminology "Rent-A-Racer". Hertz knew then that the cars were going to be used for racing while rented; today, racing is strictly forbidden by rental car contracts.
Hertz apparently didn't understand the legal concept of vicarious liability in the mid-1960s. Anyone over the age of 25, with $17 in their pocket and 17 cents per mile could (and would) channel their inner Ricky Bobby:
Car and Driver spent the cash to experience this ride. Sadly, Hertz and Shelby had to quickly make a major concession to the rental audience. The first 100 cars were supposed to be equipped with manual transmissions but more than 90% of all Hertz GT 350 H's ended up being delivered with automatic transmissions. The rental car drivers in San Francisco weren't quite capable of preserving clutches on these great cars - and that was two years before Steve McQueen's iconic Bullitt chase scene through San Francisco!
Hertz recently celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the "Rent-A-Racer" last year with a fleet of 140 inspired cars. These should be disappearing from the rental fleet soon but are a nostalgic look back at automotive history.