In 1965, a new Ford Mustang was displayed on the Empire State Building's open-air observation deck. Images of that Mustang helped make the launch of Ford's new pony car one of the most memorable in automotive history.
Flash forward to April 17, 2014 and it is Déjà vu all over again: Bill Ford, Jr. poses next to a bright yellow 2015 Mustang convertible on the observation deck of the Empire State Building. Images of the yellow Mustang were reproduced online and in newspapers and magazines across the country.
How did Ford put a Mustang on the Empire State Building's observation deck 1,000 feet above street level?
While it might look easy, the actual mechanics of getting a full sized automobile onto the observation deck of the Empire State Building took a lot of thought and some old fashioned elbow grease. And a hacksaw.
When Ford engineers started planning, they realized the observation deck was too high for a crane, and the spire on the top of the Empire State Building made delivery by helicopter too risky. The only practical way was to section the car, haul it up in pieces in elevators and then reassemble it on the observation deck.
Following a site inspection in New York to measure all of the elevators and doors, the engineering team in Dearborn sat down with a scale model of a Mustang to determine where the Mustang needed to be cut.
To verify everything would fit, a wood mockup of the smallest elevator was built in Dearborn. The Mustang was hauled up in pieces and assembled overnight. In all, the entire effort took six weeks of preparation.
Getting the disassembled Mustang from the loading dock to the observation deck required several trips in a freight elevator and two passenger elevators.
Before the actual event, the team practiced assembling and disassembling the Mustang in Dearborn to be sure they could complete their task overnight and have the car ready when the observation deck opened to the public.
The Triple Yellow 2015 Mustang convertible was on display for visitors to the Empire State Building observation deck April 16-17. When the deck closed to the public at 2 a.m. April 18, the car was dissembled and removed before visitors returned the next morning.