175 Miles in a Shelby GT-H
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By martybl
March 6, 2007

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Our Z4 M Coupe was due (actually a bit past due) for its 1200 mile service. In addition to the fluid changes, it had a broken cup-holder - I'm not sure BMW really pours its heart and soul into its cup-holders.

Was going to take 4-5 hours to complete servicing - so they gave me a voucher for a rental. North Scottsdale BMW is part of a big United Auto Group collection of dealerships, with a Hertz franchise on site.

Took the courtesy car over to the Hertz dealership, while the driver told me that Roger Penske was the sole owner of UAG. I'm like, "No, it's traded on the NYSE - I could buy some shares - in fact, I HAVE been thinking about buying some."

Up in front of the Hertz dealership, they had a Shelby GT-H sitting out front. My voucher was good for $30 - I'm like, "How much more for the GT-H?" "$100" - sold. Put the baby seat in it, and we drove all over Phoenix/Scottsdale, drove past houses we might want to buy while the kids slept, then went out to dinner, then got up early this morning to put some quality miles on it before I had to turn it back in. REALLY had fun - great car. Specific points:

1) Noise - Just wonderful - mellifluous V8 burble, not muffled, maybe amplified by the exhaust system. Could hear everything the exhaust system was doing - sounds for the ages - some of the most satisfying car noises I've ever heard.

2) Exterior - Pretty cool - Black with gold racing stripes. A little loud for my wife - my four year old informed me that Mommy thought it was "ridiculous."

3) Interior - Also pretty cool - a little plaque with Carroll Shelby's reproduced signature - felt much higher quality than the V6 Mustang of a few months ago.

4) Engine - Lots of torque, felt like a few of the claimed 325 hp might have been AWOL, but, hey, it had almost 10K miles on the odometer.

5) Transmission - Wonderful. Five-speed automatic. I'm a confirmed manual transmission driver, but if anything would push me to an automatic, this would. Incredibly quick downshifts, VERY satisfying, particularly when coupled with the exhaust note.

6) Handling - Not its strong suit, but pretty good. A big car, but predictable understeer. Nothing scary - just point it into the corners, then let the engine rocket you out of them.

Overall - well worth $100. Got up early this morning to put some more miles on it. Overall, like the Z4 M Coupe better, but it wasn't going anywhere, while the Shelby was due to vanish like Cinderella's coach.



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