Celebrating The 50th Birthday Of The Iconic @FordMustang On Top Of An Iconic #NYC Building!

I’ve mentioned my love of the Ford Mustang before. I’ve owned two. Most recently I wrote about my long-term love affair with Mustang and the connection with my favorite band.  I’m very excited to be going into New York City tomorrow to see the new 2015 Ford Mustang on display at the Empire State Building. Sure I could see it here in a showroom locally if I wanted to wait. But how cool will it be to see such an iconic car on the observation deck of an iconic building! Lest anyone think you can just drive the car up, that is not the case. The folks at Ford shared with me how they got the car up there. It was not a simple cut and dry process. Check it out.

2015 Mustang Esb Build

DEARBORN, Mich., April 15, 2014 – As the world honors 50 years of Ford Mustang, what better way to celebrate one of the most iconic car brands than putting one back on top of one of the most iconic buildings? When Ford and the Empire State Building decided to display a new 2015 Mustang convertible on the 86th floor observation deck, Ford turned to a longtime supplier for the unique expertise required to make this happen.

In a world where tiny startups are regularly swallowed up by established behemoths, Ford Motor Company and Romulus, Mich.-based DST Industries have been collaborators for nearly six decades. In 1965 – the only other time in the Empire State Building’s 83-year history a car was displayed on its open-air deck – a DST crew was on hand to show off that Mustang convertible.

“This week, the band is getting back together as Ford and DST bring the all-new Mustang to the Empire State Building to honor 50 years on sale,” said Dave Pericak, Mustang chief engineer. “We’ve taken the new Mustang to new heights of technology and refinement, so we decided to take it to new heights literally for this celebration.”

The all-new Mustang may be more advanced than ever before, but sometimes physical limitations demand old-school techniques to get a job done.

“When our engineers sat down with the DST team to start plotting this out in mid-February, everyone quickly realized that some old-school craftsmanship would be needed to successfully place this car more than 1,000 feet above the crowded streets of Manhattan,” said George Samulski, manager, Ford North America design fabrication. “The deck is too high to reach with a portable crane from the street, and the spire that towers more than 400 feet above that narrow deck makes helicopter delivery impossible.”

The only other car display on the Empire State Building observation deck happened in October 1965, when a crew from DST, including retired technician Claude Cochran, sectioned a Mustang convertible so that it could be fit into the elevators of the building.

Following a site inspection in New York to meticulously measure all of the elevators and doors, the engineering team in Dearborn sat down with a scale model of the new Mustang and started drawing lines on it with a marker to represent where it should be cut. The Empire State Building is a historic landmark, with original art deco wood and brass trim in the elevators, so it was crucial to ensure everything have plenty of clearance.

“The only real problem we had in 1965 was the steering wheel,” said Cochran. “When we tried to roll the middle section of the car with the windshield removed into the elevator, the top of the wheel stuck out a bit too far through the door, so we had to tip the cart a bit to get it in.”

In preparing for the 2014 event, the team at DST worked with two early prototype Mustang convertible body shells. The car that would ultimately make the trip to New York was completely stripped down and the surface cleaned up to make sure everything looked perfect before it was sectioned and painted.

The second body was used as a donor by DST metal fabricators to determine where to make the cuts and to fit a custom-built tubular steel subframe that would hold all the sections together. The fabricators built custom rolling carts and wooden crates for each section.

Getting from the loading dock to the observation deck requires riding a freight elevator and two separate passenger elevators. A wood mockup of the smallest elevator was built in the DST shop in Romulus to verify everything would fit. Each of the loaded carts was then weighed to ensure everything stayed within the weight limits of the elevator and the observation deck.

“The observation deck is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m., leaving our crew of six with only a six-hour window to get everything out onto the deck and get the car assembled,” said Pericak. “Before we shipped the crates to New York, the crew spent several days practicing the entire assembly process – timing everything down to the minute – much like a NASCAR or Formula One pit crew.”

With several weeks of fabricating and practice behind them, and the crates on a truck and headed to New York, the DST crew is resting up ahead of some long nights this week assembling and disassembling the Mustang.

The Triple Yellow 2015 Mustang convertible will be on display for visitors to the Empire State Building observation deck April 16-17. When the deck closes to the public at 2 a.m. April 18, the crew will descend on the display car to reverse the entire process and remove it before visitors return at 8 a.m.

Learn more about the 50th anniversary model on:

Ford Mustang website

You can also follow @FordMustang on Twitter and like Ford Mustang on Facebook.

2015 Mustang Esb Build 2015 Mustang Esb Build

If you could see a special edition of your favorite car anywhere in the world, where would it be? I’d really like to know, please leave a comment!

The Connection Between My Two Great Loves – @FordMustang And @OleanderBand Music

No compensation or product was received for this post. I wrote this post because I love the things mentioned in it – the Ford Mustang and Oleander.

You know, we go through life learning about many different things. We develop likes and dislikes. Sometimes we develop a favorite, something we just can’t get enough of. Something we are so crazy we can’t imagine a day without it. Something we never ever tire of. For me there are very few things in life that have this effect on me. Two to be specific (unless you count cheesecake). One of them is the Ford Mustang. I can’t name a single day in my life where I didn’t pass a Mustang on the street that it didn’t make me smile and make my heart beat a little faster. I like cars in general, and I love Mustangs, they are just a beautiful car.

In 1988 I bought my first new car. Actually, it’s the only brand new car I’ve ever bought. It was a 1988 Mustang LX convertible in pale canary yellow. Her name was Betsy. She was something beautiful and she looked almost exactly like this.

88 mustang convertible

I loved Betsy. I paid for her myself, at one point working three jobs to cover the payments. I never tired of that car, not ever not even for a single day. I’d get in, turn the music on and just go. My Dad would often get reports from his friends that they saw me all around town, speeding around with the music turned up loud. I’d always enjoyed listening to music, but somehow it was just better in my car. (I’m a rock n roll girl, by the way.) In the car the music sounded better. The words meant more. And, I could sing, which if you know me personally you know I don’t sing unless I’m alone in my car or out at a concert. I had certain cassettes (yes, this was way back in the day, before CDs and MP3) that lived in the car. I even had a select few cassettes that I owned two copies of, one for in the house and one for the car. One of those cassettes was by the band Oleander, who was just starting to appear on the rock scene in the late 90s. I fell in love with them the moment I first heard them on the radio.

By now it was the late 90s. Over ten years had gone by and I was still driving Betsy. I had accumulated a lot of memories with that car. Going on an extended family vacation to Disney World and driving all over the place with eight people piled in and on top of my tiny Mustang. Spending so much time with one of my brothers in the car that he knew lyrics to some of my favorites, songs from Cinderella, Motley Crue and yes Oleander. Breaking the rear window because I simply had to have the top down one day and forgot that my son’s car seat was in the back preventing the roof from collapsing completely. But by that time I had a child and unfortunately the car simply wouldn’t fit my family any more. So I decided to let her go. The day that the tow truck came to take it away was hard for me. I watched the truck drop the car I’d worked so hard to pay for in the middle of my lawn and broke down into tears.  I missed Betsy terribly for years. I still miss her. It was so much fun to drive, and there was just something so freeing about it.

1999 brought about big changes. A new body style for the Mustang that I absolutely loved. A second child for me. And a new Oleander album. I was able to afford the Oleander album, actually once again two of them. I coveted the car but realistically didn’t even consider it as with two children it was even less practical then it had been before. The children? Well we know how expensive they are. My youngest was born in July. I didn’t know he was going to have Down syndrome before he was born. His arrival brought many feelings and emotions with it, and was where the idea for my nonprofit came from.

Through all of this few things were a constant. The biggest constant was my parents. My champions. When Oleander released another album in 2001 as soon as I heard the song Champion I related it to my parents. (I’ve actually blogged about that one.) I still think of my parents when I hear that song today. Another constant was the way a Mustang could still make me turn my head and bring a smile to my face.

2003 brought another new Oleander album. Titled “Joyride”, it featured a Mustang on the cover. You see the whole six degrees of separation thing happening with me, Mustang and Oleander music, don’t you? A favorite from that album was “Hands Off The Wheel”, which aptly describes life at times.

In 2004 Oleander officially took a break making music, going on a self-imposed hiatus so the members could get back to living their lives.

2005 brought an update to the mustang with the introduction of the fifth generation body style. It was sexier then ever. I truly almost drooled when I saw it for the first time at a race at Watkins Glen. The desire to drive one stayed with me for many years, but the opportunity did not present itself.

2011 was a big year. The Mustang was getting updates to its engine. I was sick and getting sicker and they thought I had lung cancer. And as fate would have it, Rich Mouser started mixing a new Oleander album. I underwent lung surgery and they removed half of my left lung. After a few tense days of waiting it was confirmed that I did not have cancer. The healing process from lung surgery took a lot longer then a few days. I lost my job while I was out on disability. It took months just to be able to function. I spent many of my hours listening to music. My Oleander collection was one of the constants. All those years and I had never tired of their music. They are the second thing I have never tired of, by the way.

Once I was released from disability I took losing my job as a sign and decided to stop waiting for life to happen and to go after things. I went back to school, determined to finally get my degree. As the end of the year approached I was broke as a spoke. I can’t blame that entirely on being a student, I mean aren’t we all broke a month before Christmas? On Black Friday my Mom and I were returning from a trip to the cemetery when I saw this car on the side of the road. It’s a 1999 Ford Mustang. It was a steal of a deal. Despite the fact I really didn’t have the money I returned that weekend with my Dad to check it out and bought it anyway.

my 1999 mustang

I’m still driving that 99 Mustang today. When I’m not trying to pry the keys back out of my 18 year old son’s hands, that is. It’s got over 235,000 miles on it and it definitely has its issues. But I still love driving it every single day. And I still love music, now more then ever. Oleander is still very much a fixture. How can it not be with awesome music and relevant lyrics. I bought their latest album “Something Beautiful” last year and not one single day has gone by that I haven’t listened to something on that album.

To me the Ford Mustang and music are synonymous. Recently the Mustang 50-year anniversary exhibit at the North American International Auto Show featured a jukebox full of Mustang-inspired tunes that would take more than 10 hours to play. Those songs included:

  • Martha and the Vandellas: No Where to Run
  • Vanilla Ice: Rollin in my 5.0
  • Tim Workman: Ford Mustang
  • Dick Dale and the Del-Tones: Wild, Wild Mustang
  • The Rip Chords: Hey Little Cobra
  • Tom Waits: Burma Shave
  • Power Supply: My 5.0
  • Keith Urban: Sweet Thing
  • The Triptides: Go Mustang
  • Walking Concert: Mustang Ford
  • Serge Gainsbourg: Ford Mustang
  • Wilson Pickett: Mustang Sally
  • Chuck Berry: My Ford Mustang
  • T-Rex: Mustang Ford
  • The Chesterfield Kings: Shelby GT 356
  • Pop Machine: Mustang
  • Patty Loveless: You’re So Cool
  • Bob Dylan: Highwater — For Charlie Patton
  • Rod Stewart: You’re Insane
  • Steve Sutherland: Mustang
  • Jo Dee Messina: Saturday Night
  • House of Pain: Feel It
  • Swervedriver: Son of a Mustang Ford
  • The Fantastic Baggys: Move Out Little Mustang
  • Katy Perry: The One That Got Away
  • David Bowie: Young Americans
  • Vanilla Ice: Ice, Ice Baby
  • Jack Ingram: Mustang Burn
  • Mr. Big: Road to Run
  • David Olney: Little Mustang
  • Five for Fighting: 65 Mustang
  • T-Rex: Hot Rod Mama
  • Too Short: Top Down
  • Jimmy Buffett: Quietly Making Noise
  • Eddie Angel: Mustang
  • Elton John: Shoulder Holster
  • Toby Keith: Whiskey Girl
  • Bruce Springsteen: Prodigal Son
  • Tori Amos: Don’t Make Me Come to Vegas
  • Pam Tillis: Tequila Mockingbird
  • Blues Traveler: Last Night I Dreamed
  • Webbie: How U Ridin’
  • Alabama: Changes Comin’ On
  • Bad English: Rocking Horse
  • Rebecca Lynn Howard: Tennessee in My Windshield
  • Arlo Guthrie: Oklahoma Nights
  • Bun-B: Pushin’
  • Ludacris, Fergie: Glamorous
  • John Wiggins: Somewhere in Love
  • Primus: De Anza Jig

I propose that some of the Oleander catalog be added to the list. Songs like “Joyride”, “Hands Off The Wheel”, “Something Beautiful” and “Never Too Late” (amongst many others) are just made for driving.

One more thing. Speaking of the 2015 Ford Mustang.

It’s one sexy looking beast of a car.

2015 Ford Mustang

2015 Ford Mustang

It isn’t even out yet and my hearts beating faster in anticipation of seeing it out on the road, making me smile again. And this time I do plan on driving one at least once.

Do you have a favorite band or type of music to listen to in the car? Leave a comment!

Wordless Wednesday – Mustang Dream Car

I saw this cat while at the racetrack in Watkins Glen, NY. I love it. I want it. I totally can’t afford it but I can dream can’t I? What’s your dream car?

Wordless Wednesday - 2013 Mustang

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