Ford pulled it off. They have recreated what took place 50 years ago on top of the Empire State Building – a New Ford Mustang resides.
In 1964 Ford took a Mustang convertible in pieces to the top of the Empire State Building. Now, 50 years later, it is happening again only with the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang convertible that you see here.
Of course you can check out the full backstory how this was made possible paying homage to the 50th anniversary of the iconic Ford Mustang…
DISPLAYING A 2015 FORD MUSTANG CONVERTIBLE 1,000 FEET ABOVE MANHATTAN – SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED
- Six weeks of preparation needed to bring a Ford Mustang convertible to the top of the Empire State Building
- Ford and Empire State Building honor 50 years of Mustang with a car display 1,000 feet above the streets of Manhattan
- Ford partners with longtime supplier to build the Mustang that will be displayed in New York
As the world honors 50 years of Ford Mustang, what better way to celebrate one of the most iconic car brands than putting one back on top of one of the most iconic buildings? When Ford and the Empire State Building decided to display a new 2015 Mustang convertible on the 86th floor observation deck, Ford turned to a longtime supplier for the unique expertise required to make this happen.
In a world where tiny startups are regularly swallowed up by established behemoths, Ford Motor Company and Romulus, Mich.-based DST Industries have been collaborators for nearly six decades. In 1965 – the only other time in the Empire State Building’s 83-year history a car was displayed on its open-air deck – a DST crew was on hand to show off that Mustang convertible.
“This week, the band is getting back together as Ford and DST bring the all-new Mustang to the Empire State Building to honor 50 years on sale,” said Dave Pericak, Mustang chief engineer. “We’ve taken the new Mustang to new heights of technology and refinement, so we decided to take it to new heights literally for this celebration.”
The all-new Mustang may be more advanced than ever before, but sometimes physical limitations demand old-school techniques to get a job done.
“When our engineers sat down with the DST team to start plotting this out in mid-February, everyone quickly realized that some old-school craftsmanship would be needed to successfully place this car more than 1,000 feet above the crowded streets of Manhattan,” said George Samulski, manager, Ford North America design fabrication. “The deck is too high to reach with a portable crane from the street, and the spire that towers more than 400 feet above that narrow deck makes helicopter delivery impossible.”
The only other car display on the Empire State Building observation deck happened in October 1965, when a crew from DST, including retired technician Claude Cochran, sectioned a Mustang convertible so that it could be fit into the elevators of the building.
Following a site inspection in New York to meticulously measure all of the elevators and doors, the engineering team in Dearborn sat down with a scale model of the new Mustang and started drawing lines on it with a marker to represent where it should be cut. The Empire State Building is a historic landmark, with original art deco wood and brass trim in the elevators, so it was crucial to ensure everything have plenty of clearance.
“The only real problem we had in 1965 was the steering wheel,” said Cochran. “When we tried to roll the middle section of the car with the windshield removed into the elevator, the top of the wheel stuck out a bit too far through the door, so we had to tip the cart a bit to get it in.”
In preparing for the 2014 event, the team at DST worked with two early prototype Mustang convertible body shells. The car that would ultimately make the trip to New York was completely stripped down and the surface cleaned up to make sure everything looked perfect before it was sectioned and painted.
The second body was used as a donor by DST metal fabricators to determine where to make the cuts and to fit a custom-built tubular steel subframe that would hold all the sections together. The fabricators built custom rolling carts and wooden crates for each section.
Getting from the loading dock to the observation deck requires riding a freight elevator and two separate passenger elevators. A wood mockup of the smallest elevator was built in the DST shop in Romulus to verify everything would fit. Each of the loaded carts was then weighed to ensure everything stayed within the weight limits of the elevator and the observation deck.
“The observation deck is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m., leaving our crew of six with only a six-hour window to get everything out onto the deck and get the car assembled,” said Pericak. “Before we shipped the crates to New York, the crew spent several days practicing the entire assembly process – timing everything down to the minute – much like a NASCAR or Formula One pit crew.”
With several weeks of fabricating and practice behind them, and the crates on a truck and headed to New York, the DST crew is resting up ahead of some long nights this week assembling and disassembling the Mustang.
The Triple Yellow 2015 Mustang convertible will be on display for visitors to the Empire State Building observation deck April 16-17. When the deck closes to the public at 2 a.m. April 18, the crew will descend on the display car to reverse the entire process and remove it before visitors return at 8 a.m.
FORD PAYS HOMAGE TO FIVE DECADES OF THE WORLD’S FAVORITE PONY CAR WITH MUSTANG 50 YEAR LIMITED EDITION
- The 50 Year Limited Edition builds on the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang GT fastback and will be available in either Wimbledon White or Kona Blue
- Special-edition Mustang comes standard with nearly every available option; the only choice customers have to make is color, and manual or automatic transmission
- 2015 Mustang 50 Year Limited Edition will be available in fall 2014; only 1,964 examples will ever be built
Fifty years after debuting one of the world’s most popular cars, Ford is marking the milestone by revealing a Mustang 50 Year Limited Edition. Created to honor five decades of Mustang heritage, only 1,964 examples of the 50 Year Limited Edition will ever be built when it goes on sale this fall.
“When Mustang was approved for development more than 50 years ago, I don’t think anyone imagined it would spawn such a dedicated base of fans around the world and still be in production today,” said Bill Ford, executive chairman, Ford Motor Company. “We are thrilled to be here in New York – where Mustang was first shown to the public at the 1964 World’s Fair – to re-create that historic event for today’s Mustang enthusiasts.”
Based on the all-new 2015 Mustang GT fastback with performance pack, the 50 Year Limited Edition is designed to provide customers with outstanding performance and a unique appearance that will be instantly recognizable on the road. The only options for the 50 Year Limited Edition are the choice of two exclusive colors and a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
50 years of inspiration
“The new Mustang blends a muscular, contemporary shape with design cues that define it as quintessentially Mustang,” said Moray Callum, Ford vice president of design. “The 50 Year Limited Edition adds details that set it apart from other Mustangs, while hearkening back to the 1965 original.”
The only two available colors are Wimbledon White, like Mustang serial No. 0001 that was first sold to Capt. Stanley Tucker in April 1964, or Kona Blue. Both are exclusive to this limited-edition car.
“Chrome trim was much more prevalent on cars in the 1960s than it is today, so we added some discreet highlights for the grille, side glass and tri-bar taillamps,” said Callum. “The darker Kona Blue provides a particularly striking contrast against the chrome.”
Chrome bezels surrounding the base of each of the three taillamp blades take inspiration from the original 1962 design proposal by Gale Halderman that became the basis for the production model that debuted in 1964. The three individual lamps on each side of that design were combined into a single tri-bar lamp cluster for production, but the original concept has returned five decades on. The Mustang 50 Year Limited Edition will be the only 2015 model with the large faux gas cap badge on the rear fascia, with 50 Years added to the GT designation.
Another visual element that won’t be found on any other Mustang is the louvered rear quarter-windows. Unlike the external louvers on the quarter-windows of the 1965 fastback, the new windows are comprised of layered sheets of glass built with a construction technique uniquely developed for this car.
Unique cockpit experience
From behind the wheel, drivers will know they are driving a very special car. The aluminum trim panel that spans the double-brow instrument panel gets an axel spin finish different from other 2015 Mustangs, plus a special serialized 50 Year Limited Edition badge on the passenger side. Each badge will be individually etched at Flat Rock Assembly Plant where Mustang is built.
The limited-edition is the only 2015 Mustang with a cashmere-stitched, leather-wrapped steering wheel. The stitching is also used on the instrument panel, shifter boot, center armrest, door inserts and seats. The seats feature exclusive two-tone cashmere and black leather upholstery, and the Mustang 50 Year logo on the seat backs.
Limited-edition cars will be equipped with loop-carpet floor mats with cashmere stitching and suede binding not available on other Mustangs.
A showpiece meant to be driven
“Mustang fans love to drive their cars, even the rarer examples of the breed, so we built this limited-edition from the best-performing 2015 Mustang available – the GT fastback with the performance pack,” said Dave Pericak, Mustang chief engineer. “While some collectors will undoubtedly stash this car away in a museum, those who choose to hit the open road will get a world-class sports car that can run with the best.”
Powered by the upgraded 5.0-liter V8 engine delivering more than 420 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque, every 50 Year Limited Edition will be equipped with the Mustang GT performance pack that includes massive six-piston Brembo front brakes and 19-inch alloy wheels with high-performance Y-speed-rated Pirelli P-Zero summer tires.
The 19-inch alloy wheels feature a unique Y-spoke design inspired by the chromed steel wheels that were offered on the original Mustang 50 years ago. The front wheels are 9.0 inches wide with 255/40R tires, while the staggered rear wheels are 9.5 inches wide with 275/40R tires.
The 50 Year Limited Edition is the only 2015 Mustang that will be available with a combination of an automatic transmission and the performance pack. When equipped with the six-speed automatic transmission, the Mustang 50 Year Limited Edition will get a limited-slip rear differential with a 3.55:1 final-drive. Customers who opt for the six-speed manual will get a Torsen differential with a 3.73:1 final-drive ratio.
The 50 Year Limited Edition car will be among the first 2015 Mustangs built when production begins later this year. Each of the 1,964 50 Year Limited Edition Mustangs will get a unique owner’s guide in a leather portfolio with the 50 Year badge on the outside.
“We wanted to provide our most dedicated fans with the emotion of the original Mustang in a 21st century car,” said Ford. “With this 50 Year Limited Edition, I believe we have accomplished our goal.”