Corwin Ford Used Cars – Detroit is entitled to the nickname “Motor City” because of its position as the center of American vehicle production. ‘Big three’ car makers gather around the Midwest, set up shop just a few miles from each other and copy each other in the only never-ending game.
But in the mid-1960s, a man tried to change the concept of what city cars should do every day in America, while expanding the footprint of vehicle production in the country. The plan is an agile city car built in, and for, Los Angeles. The 1965 Corwin Getaway – named after supporters of the Louis Corwin project – is the West Coast answer to Michigan.
Corwin Ford Used Cars
Its creator, Cliff Hall, is not a standard automotive entrepreneur. He was not an old engineer with GM, Ford or Chrysler, a background that might be expected to consider starting such a challenge. He is a newspaper photographer.
But the lack of technical background does not stop him from identifying the ideal car for LA traffic – small, fast to accelerate, save fuel and low costs. Or, in general, the opposite of what they are above 2,000 miles away in Detroit is being built.
While other parties from the state were rummaging through barges loaded with V8, Hall’s ideology was surprisingly similar to that carried out by European sports car makers. Instead of thronging the heavy gas guzzler in front of the driver, the four-pan Mazda engine will be placed behind the driver, mated to a four-speed manual transmission and wrapped in a fiberglass body.
At 43 inches high (1.09 meters) and 63 inches (1.6 meters) wide, small, it seems almost not enough descriptors. Compare that with the Dodge Custom 880, which was produced during the same period, Hall is working on its Getaway prototype, which runs 79 inches (2.0 meters). The compact floor plan combined with the mid-engined layout meant it only had two front seats but, given America’s obsession with driving his own car to and from work, it was hardly a design flaw.
The ambition of the hall is beyond the aspects of design engineering. It’s also about social mobility as physical mobility through the streets of LA. The hope is to hire them with the necessary skills that do not have the opportunity to carve out careers from scratch, while building vehicles is more affordable for younger and lower income people in the United States. That is an amazing goal, if it finally doesn’t work.
In the end, Hall’s vision reached the same obstacles as most small-scale automotive businesses. Lack of resources means a lack of development. There was not even public support from African-American cultural icons, Mohammed Ali, Sidney Poitier, and Marvin Gaye helping to revive enough interest in the project to launch a production version. Thus, Corwin Getaway remains a single prototype.
53 years after Dream Hall collapsed, a Los Angeles automotive institution hopes to revive his creation. The Petersen Automotive Museum has begun a crowdfunding campaign to start restoring the prototype ‘nuts and bolts’, which aims to increase $ 32,000 on November 7.
As for Hall, he is still involved after years and plans to attend the post-recovery debut aimed at cars at the Museum. Those who cough enough support will even be able to get around the city in their unique creations. Even though it took more than half a century, Getaway finally broke up.
Pictures gallery of Corwin Ford Used Cars, The Los Angeles-based car maker that never was
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