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Toyota showroom faces a morbid museum

February 28, 2010 | 10:55 am

Like its counterparts from coast to coast, Toyota of Hollywood has been working overtime to grapple with a safety crisis involving eight of its car models. In the last decade, at least 56 people have died in Toyota accidents in which sudden acceleration has been alleged.

Unlike its counterparts from coast to coast, however, Toyota of Hollywood also faces an unfortunate coincidence -- literally.

Museum of Death The car showroom is directly across the street from the Museum of Death, just east of the intersection of Hollywood and Vine. The grisly tourist attraction, originally located in San Diego but in its current storefront for about a year, claims to house the world's largest collection of art by serial murderers. There are photographs of the Black Dahlia slaying and the Charles Manson crime scenes, along with collections of body bags and coffins. The Heaven's Gate cult recruiting-video is on view, as is a taxidermy display that includes the Chihuahua killed along with actress Jayne Mansfield in a 1967 auto accident.

Toyotas were available in the U.S. back then. Mansfield, however, was riding in a Buick Electra, which crashed in the fog into the rear of a tractor-trailer.

-- Christopher Knight

Photo: The Museum of Death. Credit: Christopher Knight / Los Angeles Times

Follow Times art critic Christopher Knight at KnightLAT on Twitter.

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