Two of the world’s most recognisable icons are coming together April 16-17 as the all-new Ford Mustang will be on display on the observation deck of the Empire State Building in New York.
The display – replicating the same feat from nearly 50 years ago – coincides with the global celebration of 50 years since Mustang debuted at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York.
“New York is one of the greatest cities in the world, and it’s the place where the Ford Mustang story began 50 years ago,” said Mark Fields, Ford chief operating officer. “We’re thrilled to be visiting the architectural landmark that has been the heart of the Manhattan skyline for 83 years with the newest generation of the car that is the soul of Ford Motor Company.”
Taking a car 86 stories above the densely populated streets of Midtown Manhattan is no simple task. No portable crane can reach the 86th floor observatory, and the spire towering above the relatively narrow deck makes helicopter delivery impossible. That leaves the elevators as the only viable option.
When the Empire State Building opened in 1931 as the world’s then-tallest building – a title it held for nearly 40 years – no one would have envisioned trying to transport a car up in the original elevators. But in 1965, a prototype Mustang convertible was sliced into three main sections plus windshield so that the sections would fit into those elevators.
“Like all good craftsmen, our team is measuring twice and cutting once to make sure we can get this Mustang up in the elevators,” said Dave Pericak, Mustang chief engineer. “Like the team that did this in 1965, the current crew visited the Empire State Building before starting and took careful measurements of its new elevators and doors before cutting up the car.”
The new Mustang is nearly 180mm longer and 100mm wider than its ancestor, making the task of transporting it up even more challenging. Working from computer engineering data, team members preparing the display car have found just the right places to make the cuts so everything can be loaded onto custom-made racks that can be rolled into the elevators.
Once everything is transported up 86 floors, the technicians will have less than six hours to reassemble the sections into a complete car that will be on display above Manhattan.
Visitors to the Empire State Building observation deck can see the new Mustang convertible from 08.00 to 02.00 on April 16 to 17.
Also beginning on April 16, enthusiasts representing 16 countries will gather in the United States to celebrate 50 years of the Ford Mustang. The official international celebration will be so large that Ford Motor Company and the Mustang Club of America (MCA) will simultaneously hold it at two locations from April 16-20. It is open to everyone, not just Mustang owners and MCA members. MCA has also organised “Pony Drives” so Mustang owners can travel in groups to each venue.
The UK, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland will all be represented as groups from North America, South America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand carry their country flags to Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., and at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“Even though the Ford Mustang has not traditionally been offered globally, the passion for the first pony car is truly international,” said Ronald D. Bramlett, Mustang Club of America’s executive director of the Mustang 50th Birthday Celebration. “Enthusiasts from across the globe are planning to attend and share their personal Mustang stories. Some are even shipping their Mustang to the United States to drive their car as part of the milestone event.”