One of the biggest knocks against the younger generation, the so-called Millennials, is that they do not have any interest in classic cars and often times don’t even care about cars at all. Millennials are all about biking, walking, and taking public transportation, right? Well, not all of them. There is a growing number of younger people that falling in love with the same car as previous generations — the Ford Mustang.
For those of you that do not know, a Millennial is generally defined roughly as anyone born between the years of 1980 and 2000. So we are talking about folks that are between the ages of 18 and 38. Keep in mind, when people throw out the “M” word, are usually referring to people under 30.
I was always told how cool it was that someone my age was into these cars. — Bradley Belcher, Millennial Mustang Registry
When we discovered the Millennial Mustang Registry, we got in touch with its organizers to learn more, as anything that fosters the love of cars in younger people is a wonderful. We spoke with Bradley Belcher of Jonesboro, Indiana, the founder and president of Millennial Mustang Registry, and he filled us in on all of the reasons why they started this registry and what it was about the Mustang that made them all fall in love withthe pony car.
This is Bradley Belcher’s 1965 Mustang GT fastback. It is powered by a 289 cubic-inch small-block engine backed by a four-speed manual transmission. Bradley is MMR member number 001 and he is the president of the fledgling registry. (Photo Credit: Isaac Ireland)
“There are lots of registries for the Mustangs,” Bradley explained. There are registries for all different colors and options and just about anything you can think of, except age. I found that when I went to car shows, I was the youngest owner there. I was always told how cool it was that someone my age was into these cars.”
After talking to his dad and wanting to form a community of people his age that also loved Mustangs, Bradley and his dad came up with the concept for the MMR.
MMR Number 16: Autumn Schwalbe of Ypsilanti, Michigan, and her 1993 Mustang Hatchback that drives on the street and dominates with on the track. She is a student at Northwood University in Michigan and an intern at Ford Performance. This is summer will be her second year interning with Ford Performance.
Like many of us who love cars, Bradley’s passion blossomed at a young age.
“For me, I grew up in the back seat of my dad’s red 1969 Mustang convertible. I got into the love of Mustangs from a young age,” he said. “At 13 I asked him what my Mustang would be, and that’s when we decided to build one together.”
Along with his own personal experience and passion for the iconic pony car, Bradley explained that it is some of the lore around the Mustang that draws in other millennials.
“As a whole, there is just something about it,” he said.“Mustang has been in production for 54-years continuously without a break.”
“The Mustang is one of those cars you can look at it and just know it is a Mustang,” Bradley continued. “It has that look, that attitude. It’s a car that all generations can enjoy for many different reasons. One of the big attractions for those in the Millennial generation is the look. It’s badass and customizable. They are all different, every Mustang is different.There are enough aftermarket parts that you can make the Mustang into anything you want, but underneath it all, it’s still a Mustang.”
This 1966 Mustang convertible (left) belongs to MMR number 096, Michael Heinz of Houston, Texas. He is restoring this car while going to college. The 2007 Tungsten Gray Mustang convertible (center) is owned by MMR number 090, Kathleen MacLeod Burlington, Ontario, Canada. She is the registry’s first member outside of the United States. The 2014 Deep Impact Blue V6 Mustang (right) is owned by MMR number 002, Lauren Belcher, who is none other than Bradley Belcher's 16-year-old sister.
“The whole purpose of the club is to try to bring Millennials together, just trying to bring everyone together because we all share a love for Mustangs and we’re part of the Mustang family,” Bradley elaborated. “It’s nice to have a club that is for Millennials and by Millennials.”
This is Paige Paulsell, MMR Member Number 003, from Crockett, California, standing with her 1965 Rangoon Red Mustang Coupe.
MMR has only been around officially since February 1, 2018, and its website has only been live since March 7, and the registry already racked up over 105 MMR members in 28 different states and three countries, including the United States, Canada, and Italy.
It’s really great to see the younger generation expressing a genuine interest in classic cars and working to keep the tradition alive. These guys and gals are doing a great job to honor the legacy of the Ford Mustang and they are doing an equally great job ensuring that the classic Mustangs stay on the road and more new Mustangs remain in production.
If you are a millennial and are interested in getting involved, check out their website here. Even if you’re not a millennial, it’s still worth checking out, there are a lot of cool cars and a lot of cool people involved in this organization.