How do you get a 2015 Ford Mustang to the top of the Empire State Building? For its ongoing celebration of the Mustang's 50th birthday, Ford Motor Company decided to recreate a classic 1964 publicity stunt and hoist a shiny new pony car to the building's 86th-floor observation deck. That took some creative thinking, and some clever fabrication.
Ford worked with DST Industries the same company it collaborated with on that original 1965 promotional attempt. The team determined that the lift would be too high for a portable crane and that the Empire State's spire would make a helicopter delivery impossible. That's why Ford and DST decided to employ the same method used to get that original Mustang to the top of the building by disassembling and sectioning the Mustang into six pieces.
The team measured elevators doors, hallways and entrances in the building with the smallest elevator door measuring a mere 36 inches wide, then the team used a scale-model Mustang to plan cut lines. Two leftover prototypes were used, one acting as a donor so DST technicians could determine where to make the sectioning cuts and fabricated sub frame installation to piece the Mustang back together. The DST team fabricated a mock up elevator at their home base in Romulus, Michigan to simulate the smallest of the three elevators that the car sections would have to ride in. The sections were then weighed, custom dunnage carts were assembled and DST crew practiced, transporting and assembling the Mustang, with a timed pit crew style.
DST and the Ford team arrived at the Empire State Building April 14th in the middle of the night to move the Mustang from the DST truck located on 34th avenue in downtown New York to the Empire State buildings 86th floor observation deck for assembly. Timing was a critical factor, as the Empire State Building's observation deck is only closed for six hours a day, from 2:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and even with the weather being uncooperative with a late night snow storm and high winds the DST team was able to accomplish the move in and assembly in record time, the Triple Yellow Mustang was on display from April 16-17, coinciding with the 2014 New York Auto Show where DST also prepared a special Mustang display for Ford, a 2015 Mustang convertible hanging from rafters at the entrance of the Ford booth at the Javits Center. Ford and DST are in the planning stages to use the custom Empire State building Mustang for future displays in celebration of the Mustang 50th Anniversary, stay tuned.