1969 SHELBY G.T. 350H


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dur­ing a restora­tion, the goal changes and veers off in an­other di­rec­tion. After the pur­chase of a Deluxe Marti Re­port it was dis­cov­ered that this par­tic­u­lar G.T. 350 was a lit­tle more spe­cial than most G.T. 350 Shel­bys. This Sports Roof was one of only 152 such ex­am­ples from 1969 pro­duced for the Hertz Rent-A-Racer pro­gram. In fact, ac­cord­ing to the Shelby Amer­i­can Au­to­mo­bile Club it was the tenth Hertz car built in 1969.

The Black Jade Shelby was orig­i­nally shipped to Horn-Wil­liams Ford in Dal­las, Texas, be­fore be­ing put into ser­vice by Hertz.

Dan had good friend and SAAC/ Mus­tang Club of Amer­ica judge

Jeff Spee­gle give it a thor­ough look. Jeff felt that such a solid car with its unique Hertz his­tory de­served a con­cours restora­tion. Fur­ther­more,

1969 G.T. 350s don’t nor­mally re­ceive top-flight con­cours restos like their G.T. 500 brethren, so it would make it a unique piece on the show field. After much thought, Dan and Jose­fina de­cided this would be the route they would take their Shelby. But this would be un­charted ter­ri­tory for Dan, since he is an old hot rod­der deep in­side. Find­ing N.O.S. parts and re­search­ing minute de­tails like batch paint isn’t how Dan grew up as a car en­thu­si­ast. Jeff would have to take the reins and ed­u­cate him as they went along. Dan en­thu­si­as­ti­cally was will­ing to learn and get in­volved.

The Shelby was shipped to Terry Simp­son and his crew at The Resto­mod Shop in nearby Stock­ton, Cal­i­for­nia, for its res­ur­rec­tion. Though known for cre­at­ing some wild resto­mods, their crafts­man­ship would work well in a con­cours restora­tion with Mr. Spee­gle’s in­flu­ence and guid­ance. The gang at The Resto­mod Shop, along with Jeff, Dan, and Mark Vasquez, spent the next two years restor­ing the Shelby for com­pe­ti­tion in the SAAC Divi­sion II class and MCA Con­cours Trail­ered class.

No de­tails were over­looked in the restora­tion. Jeff made sure that the batch paint that cov­ered the floor­pan was cor­rect for the time pe­riod this Shelby rolled off the Dear­born assem­bly line. The proper amount of over­spray was shot; the cor­rect ap­pli­ca­tion of un­der­coat­ing, sound dead­ener, and seam sealer was also ap­plied. Once the shell was com­pleted the driv­e­train was re­in­stalled. The Wind­sor had been pre­vi­ously re­built so just de­tail­ing was needed in this area. Dan was able to score the cor­rect and hard-to-find Au­to­lite ad­justable shocks. Even an N.O.S. trans­verse muf­fler and Au­to­lite FA-50 air fil­ter were pro­cured for the restora­tion.

In­side, the Shelby didn’t need too much work. Jeff, Dan, and Mark were able to re­fur­bish many of the orig­i­nal com­po­nents. The high-back bucket seats were sent over to Fowler’s Auto Up­hol­stery for new white Com­fort weave skins and a new head­liner as well. The orig­i­nal Faria oil and am­per­age gauges were known to fail and many were con­verted to Ste­wart Warner units. Dan had the orig­i­nal amp gauge, but the oil pres­sure gauge was pre­vi­ously swapped. A visit over to the eBay auc­tion site yielded an N.O.S. unit after Dan con­vinced the seller to end his auc­tion early. Un­for­tu­nately, even though it was new, it was

found to be de­fec­tive. Not to be de­terred, Dan had it sent out to be re­stored— an­other chal­lenge had been over­come.

Again, no de­tail was glossed over. Jeff and Dan took the time to make a new rear li­cense bracket us­ing gal­va­nized steel plat­ing and restamp­ing it with the Armco Zinc Grip im­print. A small bag sits in the spare tire with stan­dard lug nuts. Dan said Ford sent this bag to the orig­i­nal own­ers after dis­cov­er­ing that the chrome lug nuts on the ex­te­rior wheels would not prop­erly se­cure the space-saver spare tire when it was in use. They even du­pli­cated the old-school Dymo la­bel that Hertz had ap­plied back in ’69 on the driver’s door­jamb with its iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­ber and in-ser­vice date.

Dan and Jose­fina’s snake-bit­ten Mus­tang was com­pleted just in time to make its de­but at the Mus­tang Club of Amer­ica Grand Na­tional in Belle­vue, Wash­ing­ton, in July 2010. But even when they ar­rived at the show, the cou­ple spent hours de­tail­ing the Shelby the day prior to plac­ing it on the show field. Their ef­forts were re­warded with a Gold Award in the Shelby Con­cours Trail­ered cat­e­gory. One month later at SAAC-35 at In­fi­neon Race­way in Sonoma, the pair grabbed Gold in the Divi­sion II class. Their Shelby had just cap­tured two highly cov­eted awards in less than two months. They were ec­static.

The fol­low­ing year the awards kept com­ing, in­clud­ing Best of Show at the Grand Open­ing of the Mus­cle Car Ex­hibit at the Cal­i­for­nia Au­to­mo­bile Mu­seum and an Award of Ex­cel­lence and Best Paint at the Mus­tangs Plus Spring Dis­play. Since then there have been two more MCA Gold Awards to dis­play in the tro­phy room. Though Jose­fina isn’t driv­ing around in her Shelby to shows with Dan, they are hav­ing a blast tak­ing it to all the shows. “She is very proud of it,” Dan says. “She loves meet­ing all the peo­ple at the shows.”

Look­ing back at it now, Dan ad­mits it may have been wish­ful think­ing that his pe­tite wife could drive the Shelby on a fre­quent ba­sis. He says she had to use a pil­low in the Mach 1 the few times she had to drive it when they were younger. No mat­ter how they ar­rived there, Dan and Jose­fina Collins now have a show-stop­ping Hertz Shelby to go with their Mach 1, and they will have the plea­sure of dis­play­ing it through­out the coun­try for years to come. As a cou­ple.

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