“Kids these days don’t care about cars,” Grist said. While USA Today states “Today’s teens are in no rush to start driving.” There are various other titles like this and even statistics to prove that the driving rate among the younger generation is decreasing.
According to various sources, Generation Z prefers scooters, electric bikes and car-sharing models, but this trend is not surprising if we consider that Gen Z is the most environmentally conscious generation in history. But it’s not just growing environmental awareness that is driving these teens toward scooters and e-bikes.
“One of the main characteristics of Gen Z is the desire to have the freedom to decide where they want to work, study or relax,” Trafi said. “Owning a car doesn’t fit into the typically transient lifestyle of Gen Z, which is often defined by traveling or having the ability to move elsewhere relatively spontaneously.”
In the UK, the number of driver’s licenses obtained by young adults has decreased by 40 per cent. Meanwhile, data compiled from the Federal Highway Administration and analyzed by the Green Car Congress shows that in 2018 about 61 percent of 18-year-olds in the US obtained a driver’s license, compared to 80 percent in 1983.
On the plus side, not all children and youth are against driving or owning a car. In fact, during one of his appearances on “Jay Leno’s Garage,” the popular American television host featured a teenager’s 1965 Ford Mustang. Now 17 years old, Jack Mintz is our “young Jay Leno,” and he met the television personality on the car and coffee show at 16, where he classic car caught Leno’s attention.
1965 Ford Mustang
The legendary car was introduced at the World’s Fair on April 17, 1964, and soon after, became a sporty dream car that conquered the American market. In fact, dealers sold more than 22,000 Mustangs on the first day and 559,451 units were produced for the 1965 model year.
The famous pony car attracts the younger generation thanks to its stylish exterior, unique cabin features, versatile body style, and lots of cool options. Of course, there is nothing wrong if the iconic vehicle is featured in James Bond.
Let’s not forget that Britain’s most famous spy, Mr. Bond, captured by a 1965 Mustang in the Bahamas in Thunderball. In the end, marketers know that there is no better (and more expensive) ad campaign than a feature in a blockbuster film. Recently, a new wave of starlets and starlets have reinvented the iconic 1965 Mustang. Apart from our favorite auto lover and neurosurgeon at Grey’s Anatomy, Patrick Dempsey, the younger generation is falling for the Mustang’s charm. Take, for example, teen idol Zac Efron and actor Cameron Mathison, who drive a 1965 Ford Mustang.
Jay Leno Meets Young Mustang Fans
At this point, it’s evident that not all teens and young adults don’t care about cars. Some like Zac Efron and Jack Mintz have proven to be true car connoisseurs. And while Efron might be the more popular figure, it was Mintz who caught Leno’s attention thanks to the cars he drove.
According to Motor Authority, Mintz got the legendary car when he was 14 years old because he always wanted classic cars. Mintz’s love of classic cars seems to stem from his grandparents, who owned a 1971 DeTomaso Pantera and a 1968 Chevrolet Camaro.
After buying the car, Mintz took on the task of restructuring it. The youngster spent about $12,000 to upgrade the Mustang. According to him, the pony didn’t need too much power, but he still replaced the speedometer, radiator, air cleaner, and radio. Mintz kept the beautiful exterior color, but he fixed the rust first. The teenager also did his own ignition system; this shows that the child is not only a connoisseur of cars, but also a natural talent.
The Mustang has been upgraded thanks to a “sport” steering wheel and air conditioning, which is especially useful given the heatwave of recent years.
Strong Enough Machine For Teenagers
Under the hood, the Mustang Mintz has a 200 cc inline 6 cylinder engine that during its prime made 120 horsepower and 190 lb-ft (257 Nm) of torque. The car came with a 3-speed automatic transmission.
120 horsepower can give Mintz some thrill while driving, but let’s hope he’s a responsible driver.
Perhaps many older Americans can understand Mintz’s story and his passion for the iconic car. Jay Leno certainly could as he pointed out that he got his very own 1934 Ford pickup when he was just 14 years old.
It should be noted that in the past, Jay Leno featured other young car enthusiasts. Brandon Fay, the young man who renovated the 1927 Ford Model T, also caught the attention of the presenters. Fay found the car in a Wisconsin field, where it had been abandoned for two or three decades, and she acquired and refurbished it.