Selling over 400,000 units in the first calendar year of production, the Mustang blew away Ford’s internal projections of 100,000 sales. The entire nation was talking about the Mustang, and many Americans were buying them too. It is to this day one of the great marketing successes of all time, and Ford certainly capitalized on all the buzz.
One of Ford’s greatest feats was bringing a complete 1965 Mustang convertible to the top of the Empire State Building, then the tallest building in the world. But how did they do it?
Ford was approached by the general manager and vice president of the Empire State Building, Robert Leury, with the idea of bringing a complete Mustang to the 86th floor observation deck. Eager to promote the new Mustang convertible, Ford readily agreed. A helicopter landing was ruled out immediately, leaving only one option; utilize the building’s 7-foot tall elevators. The Mustang was more than twice that long, Ford engineers had to get creative.
The solution was to cut the Mustang into four separate sections, taking great care to hide any cut marks, and then bracket the whole thing back together seamlessly. The Mustang was divided into the front, windshield, center, and rear sections, and special dollys were built to roll the sections into the building and onto the observation deck.
At 10:30 pm on the night of October 20th, the Mustang moving crew arrived at the Empire State Building. The crew moved the pony car one piece at a time to the top floor. Everything was almost perfect; the front section was a ¼ inch too tall for the 7-foot elevator doors, though the crew eventually muscled the Mustang into place.
The Mustang was assembled on the observation deck by 4:30 am, and by 11 am, after the press had gotten its fill, it was disassembled and moved inside the observation area, away from the 40 mph gusting winds. Hundreds of thousands of visitors saw the Mustang, and marveled over the the how of it all. Well, now you know.