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Ford Mustang to re-scale Empire State Building

Empire building: Ford sent its original Mustang up the elevators of the Empire State Building in pieces in 1965.

Fiftieth anniversary celebrations as Ford resends Mustang up Empire State Building

Ford logo25 Mar 2014

By TIM NICHOLSON

FORD is reliving a key moment in almost half a century of history for its iconic Mustang by sending a second convertible – in pieces – to the top of the Empire State Building.

The modern-day piecemeal transformation repeats a feat the US car-maker achieved in 1965 when it sliced up a first-generation Mustang convertible into three separate pieces so it could fit into the building's original elevators.

It was then raised to the 86th floor of the New York-based Art Deco icon and reassembled.

However, this time the car will be an all-new 2015 Mustang convertible that is being sent up the 443.2-metre building in downtown Manhattan.

According to Ford, even to this day the elevators will be the only option to lift the vehicle to the 86th floor’s deck, as a portable crane cannot not reach it, and the spire reaching out above the deck will stop a helicopter getting close enough to lower it.

The new-generation Mustang is about 177mm longer and 102mm wider then the original. Ford said a team worked with engineering data to work out the best places to carve up the sportscar before it will be loaded onto custom-made racks and rolled into the elevators.

Technicians will then have less than six hours to reassemble the pieces into a complete car.

The Mustang will be on display on the Empire State Building's observation deck for 54 hours from April 16 to 17 ahead of the opening of the New York motor show on April 18.

Ford Mustang chief engineer Dave Pericak said much preparation was involved in the exercise with precise measurements critical to the operation.

“Like all good craftsmen, our team is measuring twice and cutting once to make sure we can get this Mustang up in the elevators,” he said.

“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.” Revisiting the towering icon is part of celebrations to mark 50 years since the original Mustang was unveiled at the 1964 World Fair in New York.

For its sixth-generation muscle car, Ford held a simultaneous global unveiling in six cities globally, including Sydney, in December last year. It also confirmed an Australian launch for the Mustang in late 2015, timing the car’s introduction with the demise of Ford Australia’s go-fast arm, FPV, by late 2016.

The all-new Mustang rides on a new platform and will be available in some markets worldwide with a choice of a 2.3-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, a 3.7-litre V6 or a 5.0-litre V8. However, the V6 engine will not be made available to Australian buyers.

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