Petersen Museum exhibits Corwin’s incredible getaway

Designed as a mid-engined car, it had great aerodynamic potential, but lack of funding meant it would remain the only existing model.

The Petersen Museum is fantastic for giving us deep dives into the collection on their YouTube channel, hosted by their Chief Historian Leslie Kendall. This time the museum gives us a look at the 1 of 1 Corwin Getaway, a car named after the man who funded the project, a wealthy Japanese electronics importer. The real mastermind behind the car is a man named Cliff Hall, who was the chief photographer for the African-American newspaper Los Angeles Sentinel.

Building the radical-looking Corwin

The Corwin Getaway was about Hall’s dream of building a viable car for production in the Los Angeles area and giving back to his community. It would be easy to build and fund the dreams of those who were very underrepresented in the community.

He didn’t want big cars in the Los Angeles area anymore either because of his traffic problems, and he thought a small car that was edgy and streamlined would be absolutely perfect for the city. The chassis and body were all designed by Hall, and it also has a sleek body with no front air intake.

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A very aerodynamic car

It’s incredibly aerodynamic, and Kendall says it could have a great coefficient of drag if it were to end up in a wind tunnel. What Hall designed was a small, mid-engined car that managed to get a lot of attention. It was in the news and caught the attention of many celebrities, such as Muhammad Ali and Marvin Gaye. Marvin Gaye had hoped to call it the Corwin Panther if he was able to finance it. But Hall himself never had the money to put the car into production, and it remained a one-off creation.

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In care of the Petersen Museum

The car is now in the hands of the Petersen Museum, although not in its original form. It has square rather than round headlights and was changed from a silver to black color. It was Hall’s attempt to update the car for the 1980s. Hall eventually approached the museum with an offer to display the car, as the museum very quickly decided it should be displayed. He went to the museum’s Customs and Coach Built gallery, and Hall eventually took the car back. He then decided that the car should be with the museum for good, and it’s where it now lives as a reminder of Hall’s genius and vision.

Source: Petersen Museum YouTube channel


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