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MAY 29, 2024 | John Clor


red Mustang on the road

People who are actively involved in the Mustang hobby know that the real “influencers” powering the fan following for Ford’s legendary pony car aren’t found online or on social media. It’s current Mustang owners and Mustang club members who drive interest in these cars – from making childhood dreams, teenage wishes or young-adult goals, those who make up the Mustang owner base are the true brand disciples who help preach the Ford “gospel” better and more directly than any young Tik-Tocker or Instagramer. How do we know? Just read the Mustang story that Joel Wise, president of the Hoosier Mustang Club, has shared with us below, and you’ll hear just how much real-life Mustang influence is at play here. Better still, it’s repeated by the thousands of club members in the hundreds of Mustang clubs you’ll find on FordPerformanceClubConnect.com right now. So check out Joel’s Mustang journey below – then get involved in the Mustang family for the experience of your life!

front of red mustang in driveway“Hello Ford Performance! I’m Hoosier Mustang Club President Joel Wise. Thanks for asking me to share my Mustang story. I always wanted a Mustang from the time I was about 10. The  Foxbody was just starting in production in '79, and I remember the Mustang II's well. But I could never quite afford a Mustang. I got my degree, got married, started a family -- and a Mustang just wasn't something we could afford or justify right away.

red mustang in parking lot with hood up

“Later in life, my plan was once I got my MBA degree, I'd buy a Mustang to celebrate. Me always wanting one encouraged my wife and my daughter to also be interested in Mustangs. My daughter got married and she wanted a Mustang, so I helped her buy a Race Red 2016 Mustang in October of 2015. My wife and I were now empty nesters, so she didn't need a practical van or an SUV. When she asked, ‘Can I get a Mustang?’ I almost cried! Yes! So, we shopped around and for her, it had to be yellow, and a convertible. We ended up finding one, and I bought it for her on Christmas Eve of 2015. It was a new 2015 Mustang Convertible, it was yellow, and an EcoBoost -- it was all we could afford. We had lots of fun with it, and joined the Hoosier Mustang Club in Columbus, Indiana. We were possibly the most active members for many years (lol -- probably still are?). We went to many car shows, won many trophies, went on many cruises, and enjoyed every minute.

“Anyway, I finally graduated with my MBA so it was my turn to find my first Mustang. I looked and looked, set aside money on a 1967 Fastback GT sight-unseen, and ended up not buying it. Just as I was about to look for another one, my daughter announced that they were starting a family -- Woohoo! I was so happy for her, and knew she’d be needing a family car so I offered to buy her 2016 Mustang off of her. So that became my first Mustang in August of 2016.

red mustang in garage with hood up“I loved that Mustang, it was a dream come true! It was my daily driver in rain, snow, ice, hail -- anything -- and it preformed perfectly. However, it was an EcoBoost, and I used to say that anything but a V8 GT is a waste. But the EcoBoost changed my mind! It was a lot of fun and it performed well. The itch to own a Mustang GT however never faded. So it was that in March of 2021, after we attended Ponies in the Smokies, I found and purchased my first new Mustang GT -- a 2021 model. Finally! At age 53 I was able to buy my own Mustang GT, just for me! I really enjoy my Mustang. He’s called “Big Red,” as I have the world’s most famous big red dog as its mascot. Big Red was selected to represent the 21 model year in the Mustang display at the 2022 Ponies In The Smokies event at the Sevierville, Tennessee, Convention Center -- what an honor it was, and what fun it was to drive my Mustang on the ”Tail of the Dragon,” there!

side of red mustang in snow filled parking lot“Big Red is driven daily, in any weather – yes, even in snow. I just got back from the attending the Shelby Spring Fling here at Brown County State Park, Indiana, and Big Red won 1st place in his class! I was completely shocked, as it’s not easy to keep a daily driver clean enough to win a car show trophy. I really love my 2021 Mustang, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. There is nothing like starting it up when you go to work every day -- it roars to life, the whole car shakes, and it wakes you up! This is what you call driving excitement! I really like the Ford Performance Tune & Cold Air Intake that I installed last year. It works and looks great and added just enough “extra” to make it really fun. (I traveled a lot last year for work. Once, I got a Dodge Challenger for a week. It was nice but it was like driving a Honda Accord: It got you there, but it wasn’t anything special – it was quiet, and drove like a sedan. It was their “GT” line -- with a V6!(

close up of under the hood of red mustang with red stuffed dog

“I’m now in my second year as our Mustang club president, and my wife is the club Activities Coordinator -- and we both completely enjoy our Mustang hobby, friends, and lifestyle. I finally convinced my wife to upgrade her 2015 Mustang this year. So we sold her 2015 Mustang and ordered a brand-new 2024 Mustang GT Premium Convertible from our local Ford dealer with all the fun options like Performance Pack, Manga Ride, Active Exhaust, etc. And yes, it is in Yellow Splash, as it had to be yellow. We’re waiting on a VIN and are told it is soon to be scheduled for production scheduling.

“We recently celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary and the Mustang we ordered is an anniversary present. We are looking forward to the new Mustang filling our empty stall in the garage. The only way it could be better would be if Ford offered tours at the Flat Rock plant – what a great surprise it would be for my wife if we could actually go see her Mustang being built on the line – or at least get a tour the plant! 

Sorry for this long story about our Mustang journey. We just want to thank Ford Performance Club Connect for being the Mustang champion for all of us in the Mustang community, and for making each Mustang enthusiast feel important. We appreciate that Ford is listening and working to bring excitement to the hobby! (Now, about that Flat Rock tour . .  . )

Here’s How YOU Can Get In The Spotlight:
For some 20 years now, one of the most popular features on the Ford Performance website and in our weekly Fast News e-newsletter continues to be "Ford Fan Spotlight," where readers can send in their own reasons why they're fans of Ford Motor Company and its vehicles. You know who they are: Ford "superfans;" grassroots Ford racers; unique Ford vehicle owners; loyal Ford enthusiasts; notable Ford club people; special Ford families; and/or any avid supporter of Ford, Ford vehicles, Ford motorsports or Ford Performance who deserves a little bit of special recognition.

All you need to do to get you, your car or candidate considered is to send in a brief description (200-500 words or less) and a few photos (in .jpeg format, preferably around 1 mb in size) with the owner’s full name and hometown, please. Just tell us about the vehicle(s) and why you think Ford Performance should feature it (them) in the "Ford Fan Spotlight" for an upcoming installment of Fast News as well as for posting on FordPerformance.com. Then email it to: ClubHub@Ford.com with your contact info. Your submission allows us the rights to use your words and images (along with any edits) for editorial purposes; we’ll choose one submission in random order to post online. We hope to see YOU and your Ford in our Spotlight soon!