Thursday, July 7, 2016

The 50th Anniversary Hertz Ford Shelby GT-H

Aaron Shelby, Carroll's grandson discusses this year’s 50th Anniversary Hertz Ford Shelby GT-H.

Carroll Shelby’s Grandson Helps Raise $150,000 for Foundation

Prototype GT-H Auctioned Off to benefit the Carroll Shelby Foundation.

Prototype GT-H Auctioned Off to benefit the Carroll Shelby Foundation.

It is obvious that Aaron Shelby has a close and very personal connection to the 2016 Shelby GT-H Mustang Concept/Prototype that sold at the Northeast Barrett-Jackson auction last month. Aaron is a grandson of the great Carroll Hall Shelby (January 11, 1923 – May 10, 2012), an American Automotive Designer, Racing Driver, Entrepreneur, and Legend.

Aaron, the Executive Vice President of Commercial Lending, also operates as the Subsidiary Manager overseeing LegacyTexas Insurance, LegacyTexas Title and the LegacyTexas Mortgage.

In addition to banking, he works in the Shelby family's timber business, and is on the Board of Directors of the Dallas Children's Theater. He is also the co-president of the Carroll Shelby Foundation; and if that were not enough, Aaron is the official liaison between Shelby and Ford.

The 50th Anniversary Hertz Ford Shelby GT-H (Aaron Shelby with NRM)
Shelby is a very busy man. That is why this race fanatic was thrilled and honored when he took time to allow me to interview him.

Aaron was at the Barrett-Jackson auction to assist with the sale of that Ford Shelby GT-H which raised $150,000. All the proceeds will benefit the Carroll Shelby Foundation.

The Carroll Shelby Foundation: 

  •  Helps kids battle life-threatening illnesses
  • Supports organizations that provide medical assistance
  • Funds scholarships in automotive education
  • Supports educational programs in automotive and related fields

In case you have not heard the exciting news . . . this year, Hertz purchased  Ford Shelby GT-H, V8 powered Mustangs, from Ford Motor Company as a tribute to the original 1966 Rent-A-Racer program. The cars were then shipped to Shelby American. There, Shelby added extra performance and style then returned them to Hertz, who wishes to give the public access to a unique driving experience.

“We rolled the car out in March in New York,” Aaron Shelby explained. “They were at the Hertz Location at the end of May.” We built the original in 1966 and they proved very popular. We then did a 40th Anniversary model in the ’06-time frame. Those went very well also.”

The 2016 Shelby GT-H on the Barrett-Jackson Auction Block
The 2016 Shelby GT-H on the
Barrett-Jackson Auction Block
This year’s 50th Anniversary Ford Shelby GT-H has a powerful 5.0L V8 engine with 435 horsepower and 400 lb.-foot of torque, equipped with a Ford Performance cat-back touring exhaust with chrome tips for a deeper muscle car sound. To put all of the horsepower to the ground, the Ford Shelby GT-H also comes with the Ford Racing Handling Pack, including special-tuned dampers, lowering springs, sway bars and a staggered wheel kit. The Shelby GT-H rides on 19-inch aluminum wheels wearing high-performance Michelin rubber.

It is outfitted in the classic black and gold with black exterior paint, set off with gold racing stripes, a hallmark of Hertz vehicles dating back to the 1920s. Shelby's traditional "Le Mans" dual racing stripes are combined with a set of rocker stripes that include special "Shelby GT-H" nomenclature.

The 2016 Ford Shelby GT-H is also fitted with a unique Shelby-designed vented hood, carbon fiber front splitter and rear spoiler. Special badges appear in the front grille, rear faux gas cap and trunk lid. Inside, logos are on the head restraint, sill plates and floor mats. I can corroborate to the fact that this car is a beauty!

Fortuitously, Aaron Shelby and NASCAR Race Mom did not only talk shop. We had a great discussion as to the distinctive dynamics of working for family.

With a chuckle Aaron remarked, “Getting up late is not me. My grandfather taught me not to be afraid to fail. He probably succeeded in only one of every twenty things he did. He had no problem getting up in the morning and stating I am going to make this blue piece of metal today, if it works it works . . . if not I might make a red one tomorrow. The fact that ‘You have to keep trying’ is the biggest thing that he instilled in me.

My grandfather was an idea guy. He was well read and well rounded. However, he was my grandfather first. He would show up at the house with ice cream or take us all on a boat ride. It was not till the mid-eighties, when he was on the cover of Autoweek and also Car & Driver that I realized who and what he was.”

NASCAR Race Mom can corroborate to the fact that this car is a beauty!

NASCAR Race Mom was very impressed with the genuineness and generosity displayed by the personable Aaron Shelby. I will keep my fingers crossed that the opportunity to rent a 2016 Shelby GT-H Mustang from the Hertz Adrenaline Collection arises soon.

NASCAR Race Mom with Aaron Shelby In Front of The 2016 Shelby GT-H Mustang Concept/Prototype

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