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Ford to park Mustang atop Empire State Building

Re-creation of 1965 marketing stunt involves a whole lot of chopping, bolting and squeezing to get a 2015 Mustang Convertible through very tight spaces.

By Clifford Atiyeh Mar 26, 2014 2:31PM
For the Mustang's 50th birthday, Ford is re-creating an advertising stunt of King Kong proportions: Parking a car on top of New York's iconic Empire State Building.

On April 16 — opening press day of the New York Auto Show and the Mustang's official anniversary — Ford will dissect a 2015 Mustang Convertible, cart the pieces up the freight elevators and reassemble them on the rooftop — 86 stories high.

The car will sit there for another day so visitors on the building's observatory desk can stare in amazement at why anyone would place a car 1,454 feet above the Manhattan skyline. Helicopters can't land due to the huge spire and cranes aren't tall enough to reach the peak — which, more than anything, shows how scary it'd be to be trapped at the top of the Empire State Building — but that's besides the point. It's elevators or nothing.
In 1965, Ford did exactly the same thing with a 1966 Mustang Convertible by slicing the car in four sections without any exterior cuts or bolts revealed in its altered body. But despite meticulous measurements of the Empire State Building and its hallways, the car's front end was a quarter-inch too high for the seven-foot-tall elevator. After a lot of sweat and just six hours, they somehow got it through and put everything back together in 40-mph winds.


With the resulting media coverage, Ford successfully completed what may be the most complex photo shoot ever for a new car launch. Not even Maybach's elaborate gag in 2002 — in which the new Maybach 57 sedan voyaged from Germany to Manhattan in a glass crate, was lifted by a helicopter to a dock and driven to Wall Street — has topped Ford's Empire State feat.


It'll be next to impossible to repeat the original Mustang's runaway sales success. In 1966 alone, two years after the Mustang's debut, Ford sold more than 607,000 cars (or nearly as many F-150s as sold last year). Shortly after the 1966 convertible went back down the elevators, Ford had already sold more than 1 million Mustangs. Still, Ford's New York photo op is real, old-school marketing, without any of the modern era's lazy, call-it-a-day Photoshop jobs. Let's hope no one tries starting the engine and driving off.

[Source: Ford]
24Comments
Mar 27, 2014 2:47AM
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Where there is a will,there is a way. That use to be how people in the USA dreamed...
Mar 27, 2014 3:37AM
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Hey German Rule, I'm a "Mustang guy" and I resent your comment!!!  This is the 50th anniversary of the "Pony" and I've owned 3 of them over the years and it's been a pleasure to have each one of them. 
Mar 27, 2014 3:02AM
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First off, they wouldn't need a helicopter to land on the roof of the building to get a car up there. They could use a S-64 Sky Crane to lift the car up to the Observation deck. There is enough room to where the rotor blades would not strike the pinnacle on top of the building.

 

Now German Rule.  If it wasn't for American car companies buying European car companies they would not have the quality they do. And I have yet to see a European made 3/4 Ton or 1 ton hit the million mile club let alone the 300,000 mile club. They break down and then the owner cannot afford the parts to fix them. Show me an antique European car that is ran regularly and not in a museum or tucked away in some guy's garage never to see the light of day except to wash and wax it that is an all matching number vehicle. My neighbor has a 70 Hemi Cuda that is all original down to the bolts that hold the crank shaft in, and he drives it Friday-Sunday. All he has had to do is the basic maintenance to it and the car is beautiful.

Mar 27, 2014 4:24AM
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I have a almost mint condition/ 97% original Caspian Blue 65 coupe, with the 289 4brl carb and its still better at making people smile / turning heads than most other cars,  had a Porsche, a benz and a jag....  all older but none as fun and iconic as my Mustang, add to it everything on it still works!
Mar 27, 2014 3:30AM
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Yeah, German Rule, I see the Porsche logo, Ford doesn't have to replace the engine in every car that came off the line for given model year.
Mar 27, 2014 4:34AM
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Hey GermansDrool,

I owned a a lovely piece of Germany. Everyone claims BMWs are great cars. Well I owned a lemon of a BMW for 5 years. I traded it in on a new 06' Mustang GT. This Mustang is now the car I have owned for the longest time and I have no plans to trade it in. So Ford must have done something right where BMW didn't. Also, Ford must have done something right to have a car line last this long. Yes, the Mustang II was a hunk o garbage but have you seen the BMW 6 series? Ugly beyond belief

Mar 27, 2014 4:22AM
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There is little doubt that the remains of these cars are for all purpose and intent scrap after such a stunt.  They certainly would not be road worthy after being cobbled up to such an extent.  Still it is definitely an attention grabber and no more of a waste than the brand new cars that are smashed for crash testing. 


Honestly though I really miss the days when the new car debuts were very secretive and almost a gala event.  Back in the fifties parents would dress their kids up on a Saturday and go to the car dealerships to get balloons and eat hot dogs while mom and dad got their first look at the new iron on the lots.  It was really fun.  Now though we aren't even a forth of the way through 2014 and the 2015 models are already showing up on public display.  It kind of ruins the suspense and the drama if you know what I mean.  LOL 

Mar 27, 2014 5:47AM
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hey german rule if prsches are so great why are they changing the engines!

why don't you move to Germany!

Mar 28, 2014 2:06AM
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I wonder, if you pushed a Camaro and a Mustang off the Empire State building simultaneously, which would hit the ground first ? Kidding.
Apr 17, 2014 10:39PM
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Well German...Face it...when it's the top of the world...and I have stood there looking downtown, I am sure only a FORD will do....you know...American Muscle,  Americana...American Style....Built tough and made to last kinda reliability, ...like my 1977 Lincoln Continental Mark V Coupe...an everyday driver that sees highway miles in the rear view mirror like a dream....an all new leather interior kinda classic....But to be fair...lets see...if Germany (had) a tall building...what kind of car would be placed on it..."Volkswagen EGG" of course, then again it is Easter.. 

I can hear it now...salesman on the 'da floor speaks; "Da, Unz allow me to suggest a stunning Pail Blue or perhaps our precious Soft Pink with a dreamy Dark Green Trim and an Errrr ever popular Babies Yellow ...interior.  Shall I wrap that up for you?".... ( Yah.!!! )     

Zoom Zoom?  No better building ever built, no car ever more deserving.  
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