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July 11, 2022

24 Vintage Hertz Rent-a-Car Ads From the 1950s

In 1918, an ambitious pioneer of auto renting named Walter Jacobs began what is now known as The Hertz Corporation. At the age of 22, Jacobs founded a car rental company with a mere 12 Model-Ts and set up shop just south of Chicago’s loop. He sold the company to John D. Hertz in 1923 but remained a prominent figure in the company until his retirement in 1960. Together, Jacobs and Hertz swiftly turned the small “Rent-a-Ford” company into a well-known brand. In fact, by 1925, Hertz was generating annual revenues of about $1 million.

From the start, Hertz embodied the customer-comes-first mindset. By 1925, the company set up a coast-to-coast rental network to accommodate for the expanding boundaries of travel in the U.S. The next year, Hertz offered the first advanced reservations and a new program called Rail-Drive – a service in which Hertz provided a rental vehicle for vacationers right when they stepped off the train.

Travelers began to see that there were no limits with Hertz, both geographically and economically. In 1926, Hertz rolled out the National Credential Card, which served as the industry’s first identification card and a precursor to the credit card. However, dedication to customer convenience didn’t end there. Hertz soon began accommodating air travelers, opening the first airport rent-a-car facility at Chicago’s Midway Airport in 1932 and introducing Fly-Drive rental car program.

Hertz’s dedication to customer service allowed the company to branch out beyond the previous U.S.-only rental car services. In 1950, Hertz opened its first European location in France. Just five years later, Hertz became the first rental company with 1,000 locations. Today, The Hertz Corporation has corporate, licensee and franchise locations in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and New Zealand.

1 comment:

  1. And of course, today NO ONE treats a rental car like it is their own!
    They treat it more like they just stole it!!




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