How do you get a 2015 Ford Mustang to the top of the Empire State Building? For its ongoing celebration of the Mustang's 50th birthday, Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] decided to recreate a classic 1964 publicity stunt and hoist a shiny new pony car to the building's 86th-floor observation deck. That took some creative thinking, and some creative destruction.

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Ford worked with Romulus, Michigan-based DST Industries--the same company it collaborated with on that original 1965 attempt--on the project. The team determined that the lift would be too high for a portable crane, and that the Empire State's spire would make a helicopter delivery impossible. That's why Ford and DST decided to employ the same method used to get that original Mustang to the top of the building: chop it up.

The team measured elevators and doors in the building, then used a scale-model Mustang to plan cut lines. Two leftover prototypes were used, one acting as a donor so technicians could determine where to make the cuts. Carts were then custom built for the body sections, then loaded up and placed in a mockup of the smallest of the three elevators the car bits would have to ride in. The sections were then weighed, and crews practiced assembling them, pit crew style.

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Speed was needed, as the Empire State Building's observation deck is only closed for six hours a day, from 2:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. After crews finish assembling it, the Triple Yellow Mustang will be on display April 16-17, coinciding with the 2014 New York Auto Show. At 2:00 a.m. April 18, it will be disassembled and removed.


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