Image courtesy of Ford Motor Co.
Elevators will play a crucial role in the unveiling of Ford Motor Co.’s new Mustang convertible high above the streets of Manhattan on the Empire State Building’s 86th-floor observatory. In recognition of the iconic and top-selling car’s debut at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York, the feat, scheduled in mid-April, replicates a similar one of nearly 50 years ago when Ford technicians carefully sliced the car into three pieces in order to be able to transport it via elevators to the observatory floor, then reassembled it. No portable crane can reach the 86th floor, and the building’s spire makes helicopter transport not feasible. That leaves the elevators as the only option. Mustang Chief Engineer Dave Pericak spoke about the challenges in Ford’s press release about the event. “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. “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.” The 103-story, 1,250-ft.-tall Empire State Building was built in 1931 and stood as the world’s tallest building for more than 40 years. It houses 73 elevators. The new Mustang convertible will be on display from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 16-17.