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Words: STAFF

Photos: STAFF

The 1969 Corwin Getaway is a mid-engine prototype car that was designed by Cliff Hall, an African-American engineer and photographer based in Los Angeles. Hall’s vision was for a compact, affordable car that could easily navigate through Los Angeles traffic. The project received $100,000 in funding from Louis Corwin, an importer of Panasonic electronics, which led to the name “Corwin Getaway.” Originally, Hall envisioned a two-seat sports car with an exposed motorcycle engine. However, due to technical challenges, he eventually settled on an 11-foot-long, 43-inch-tall fiberglass body with a 78-horsepower Subaru engine behind the passenger cabin. The final prototype had a projected price of $4,500. The Corwin Getaway gained the support of African-American celebrities such as Muhammad Ali, Sidney Poitier, and Marvin Gaye, and appeared at the 1970 Los Angeles Auto Show. However, it never went into production, and the prototype eventually ended up in the collection of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The Corwin Getaway is considered a significant piece of African-American car culture. Despite its failure to reach mass production, the car’s mid-engine layout was innovative for its time and has since become a popular design choice for high-performance sports cars.

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