Ford History: A Mustang Atop The Empire State Building

Empire State Building in New York

Imagine sharing the Empire State Building’s observation deck with an iconic vehicle. That might sound like something out of a science fiction movie, but the Ford Mustang has sat atop the skyscraper twice. It was no minor feat, and a lot of ingenuity was needed to pull it off. Check out the details, starting with the Mustang’s first trip to the Empire State Building on Oct. 20, 1965.

It Started With a Legendary Idea

The Ford Mustang made its debut in 1965 and quickly became the hottest car in the country. At the same time, the Empire State Building was the tallest in the United States at the time, so it made sense for the two leaders to come together.

Robert L. Leury was the Empire State Building’s general manager back then, and he came up with the idea of displaying the Mustang on the observation deck. If successful, the Mustang would be the heaviest object to ever sit on the building’s 86th floor and the first vehicle to do so.

The Mustang’s First Trip to the Top – Oct. 20, 1965

Once the idea was out there, it was up to Ford to make it happen. While some think the Mustang took a helicopter ride to the top, it went through the elevator.

First, a team of eight crew members had to dissemble the Mustang into four pieces. Then it went up the elevator, section by section. After the last piece made it to the 86th floor, the team then reassembled it for the display.

Even with three practice runs leading up to the big day, the trip to the top wasn’t without incident. The crew members realized that the steering column was a bit too tall for the seven-foot elevators. Not the type to give up, they improvised and managed to get the column in the elevator and up to the 86th floor.

The View From Inside

After spending some time on the outside deck, the crew took it apart again and moved it inside the glass-enclosed observation area. Then they put it back together, creating yet another exciting photo opportunity.

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The Second Trip to the Top

The Mustang achieved legendary status with its first trip to the top of the skyscraper and decided to repeat the feat with a 2015 Mustang GT. The event took place to celebrate the Mustang’s 50th anniversary, and it was just as iconic. In fact, people are still talking about it and wondering if Ford will attempt it again. Who knows what the 75th anniversary might bring?

It’s thrilling to see the Mustang atop the Empire State Building. Fortunately, you don’t need to scale a skyscraper to find your next car, though. Cavender Ford in Columbus, Texas, can help you find your next vehicle. Stop by today to take a car out for a spin.

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