According , Cliff Hall was the chief photographer for the Los Angeles Sentinel, the African American weekly newspaper. His most famous protégé was Howard Bingham, who went on to shoot for Life magazine, only to become Muhammad Ali's official snapper. Hall's family wasn't new to tinkering. His grandfather was a watchmaker and his grandmother's family built race cars and an airplane for themselves back in the 1920s.
Hall wanted to build a small city car that people could buy for $4500. After securing $100,000 from local Panasonic importer Louis Corwin, he started working on his mid-engined, Subaru-powered fiberglass car, which was 43 inches tall, 63 inches wide and just 79 inches long. Hall told his pessimistic friends that "The Man," aka Corwin, gave him the money to build the prototype because "he thought it was admirable that I wanted to do something on this magnitude in our community." He also said that he was going to be "the Martin Luther King Jr. of [the car] industry."
With a mysterious 78 horsepower Subaru engine in the middle, the Corwin Getaway prototype was ready by 1969. It also made it to the 1970 Los Angeles Auto Show, having been endorsed by Muhammad Ali, Sidney Poitier and Marvin Gaye. Hall wanted to add "air conditioning, a heater, a CD player, a radio and a removable canopy" to his $4500 car, but the sponsor money ran out, and his prototype soon ended up in storage. The Petersen Automotive Museum purchased it from there in 1994, with Collection Manager Leslie Kendall adding this to :
This car did predate the Pontiac Fiero and the Fiat X 1/9, two small, popular mid-engine cars (with engines between the axles) that gained international reputations. Visitors like its compactness, they think it's an attractive car.
Now, The Petersen has begun a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo called , with the goal of raising $32,000 to restore this historic one-off. The campaign will run until November 7, 2018. .