Bradley Belcher started building his award-winning 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback at age 13 and now supports other Mustang fans through the Millennial Mustang Registry
“Women aren’t just walking around in cutoff shorts, leaning against trucks. We’re driving them. And using them as trucks.” That’s what a peppy fireball named Grace Askew – pronounced “ask you” – who hails from the rural outskirts of Memphis, Tennessee, has to say about women and trucks.
Grace is a musician who wrote her first song at around age 12. “It was something about heartbreak, but I hadn’t experienced heartbreak yet,” she said. Next came guitar and piano lessons with her brother and sister, although it was the guitar that she stayed with. Since her family encouraged creativity, the guitar quickly became the tool of choice for her to continue with the songwriting. By 21, Grace had released her first EP, and she now produces an album every year or two. And she’s still writing those heartbreak songs, even though she’s since married. “Everybody loves those. I’m a sucker for them,” she says. Grace describes her music as “Southern gothic Americana, a little bit more haunting.”
Her career trajectory has included being a finalist on season 4 of one of the major televised singing competitions and performing at a strange dive bar with swinging saloon doors as part of her “road dog” lifestyle. “I’ve worked my butt off for 10 years, driving my Ford truck all over the country, because I love what I do,” said Grace.
Grace calls her 2012 Ford Super Duty® “Wanda.” It’s her second Ford truck; her first was a 2010 F-150 King Ranch® that she named “Lorraine.” She said that she just likes country truck stop diner waitress names.
When she needed to replace Lorraine, her intention was to buy another F-150, but when she saw the F-350s on the dealer lot, she decided to go big. Her F-350 is a King Ranch 4x4 with a Power Stroke® Diesel engine.
Grace says that she is innately drawn to Ford trucks. “I think they’re the best-looking trucks. I love the branding behind them and the story.” Plus, when she first decided to hit the road and pursue her passion for music, her parents wanted her in something big and sturdy: a truck.
“My F-350 is white and looks like a work truck. That’s why I like it. And it’s my home away from home.”
Driving a truck makes Grace feel empowered. She says, “It’s not just getting me to the next town. It’s getting me toward my dreams. I literally feel like it’s the way toward progress, all across the country.”
Her Ford truck inspired a song called “This Ain’t My Husband’s Truck,” as well as another song, “This Pickup Truck Saves Me Every Time.” That song includes the lyrics “I need a little wild, on the roads less traveled. So long, gotta be alone, so long, gotta go this alone in my Ford.”
Grace said, “If a woman wants to feel like she can take care of any kind of business, she needs a truck. Women can do and be anything nowadays.”