Many classic car enthusiasts ascribe to the belief that the younger generations — such as Millennials (born from 1981 to 1996) and Gen Z (born from 1997 to 2015)— just aren’t that into cars.
It’s an easy assumption to make. After all, these generations tend to be very environmentally conscious, having grown up with a strong focus on reducing carbon emissions and greenhouse gases, and that doesn’t always lend itself to vintage autos, neither do concerns over finances which have grown with every generation along with the cost of living.
But as it turns out, kids these days are actually… really into collector cars. In fact, a recent study indicates that those born after 1981 have more interest in vintage autos than Generation X, Boomers or the Silent Generation.
Here are 5 collector cars millennials just can’t get enough of.
Ford Mustang: 1994-2004
Many classic car collectors have a soft spot for the cars they — or their family members — drove when they were teens. This trend makes it easy to see why 1994-2004 Ford Mustangs are so popular among Millennials and Gen Z.
While older Mustangs have long been sought-after by collectors, the fourth-generation Mustangs weren’t always considered “classic” material. But after the new edge styling hit in 1999, followed by the Cobra models, this powerful Ford became much more desirable, not least to this demographic.
Ford Bronco: 1966-1977
The fourth generation Mustang isn’t the only Ford on the Millennial wish list. The first generation of Ford Broncos is one of the hottest collector cars out there.
Prices for these solid 4x4s have skyrocketed in recent years. A quick search of Instagram makes it clear that demand for these collector cars isn’t dropping anytime soon. And the fact that it’s Instagram being searched lends itself to the fact that interest lies with Millennials.
Also high on the list? The 1978-1979 Bronco. Production of this full-sized, second-generation model may have been short-lived, but its rugged look and short wheelbase really appeals to younger car collectors.
Nissan Skyline R32-GTR: 1989-1993
The Skyline may have debuted in the 1960s, but it didn’t really hit its stride until the eighth generation. Perhaps it’s because this Japanese-manufactured auto was modelled on the Porsche 959. The Skyline offered a powerful engine that it’s said offered over 300 horsepower, as well as all-wheel drive and steering.
On the race circuit, the R32-GTR dominated, winning every race it entered in the Japanese Touring Car Championship from 1989 to 1993. Perhaps that’s why Millennials love the Skyline, which still boasts the nickname “Godzilla.”
Volkswagen Beetle: 1968-1980
Given that generations of kids grew up watching shows featuring iconic cars like ‘Herbie the Love Bug’, it’s no surprise that Millennials and Gen Z alike adore the VW Beetle. This cute classic auto offers that retro shape, as well as a relatively low cost of ownership.
Parts are cheap and plentiful. Plus, there’s no end of online owner groups to join, making the VW Beetle a great gateway collector car.
Chevrolet C/K Series Truck: 1973-1987
If you drove during the 1970s and 1980s, it probably seemed like you passed a Chevy truck (or two) on every street. Indeed, the slab-sided Chevy pickups were ubiquitous during this era, thanks to their cheap price and low-maintenance simple mechanics.
Today, the C/K is among the most sought-after classic cars among Millennials — although they’re also popular with Gen X and Boomers, too. And due to the ever-growing demand for these vintage trucks, prices are on the rise.
Any of these autos have a lasting place in the hearts of Millennials everywhere, searching for their own brand of nostalgia, which is well served by these motor vehicle models and monoliths of the era.