Janis Joplin's Porsche Rolls Into Amelia This Spring

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From www.justluxe.com, by JustLuxe
Janis Joplin's Porsche Rolls Into Amelia This Spring

She famously sang “my friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends,” but Janis Joplin already had one of her own. In fact, it was parked outside the famous Sunset Sound studios when she recorded the song “Mercedes Benz” in October, 1970.

And like everything associated with rock’s most fiery female singer, her Porsche was unique, colorful, tragic and ultimately a beautiful symbol of a more free-flowing, flower-loving time. It will make an appearance at the Amelia Island Concours on March 13, where it will anchor the Porsche 356 class.

Janis Joplin PorschePhoto Credit: RM Sotheby's

Joplin purchased the 356 C SC Cabriolet used for $3,500 in 1968. She promptly paid one of her roadies Dave Richards $500 to give it a paint job befitting so rare a bird as she was. Richards delivered with a psychedelic all-over mural that he titled “The History of the World.” Featuring a melange of birds, mountains, butterflies, human faces and cosmic symbols, the mural blazed with brilliant color (and more than a spoonful of hippie idealism).

Sadly, that’s when the tale turned tragic. Joplin’s star burned too brightly and she didn’t survive to see the song’s release on her posthumous album Pearl. Her family inherited the Porsche and used it as their daily driver, sadly, (though understandably) giving it a less ostentatious coat of paint. However some years later, Richard’s mural was recreated from period photos by two artisans from Denver. Joplin’s family then loaned the restored Porsche to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland where it remained for more than 20 years.

Janis Joplin PorschePhoto Credit: RM Sotheby's

The 21st annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance is held annually at the Ritz-Carlton & The Golf Club of Amelia Island. It’s a testament to Joplin’s lasting legacy that her Porsche will be a head-turner even among the stunning collection of automobiles that roll onto Amelia each year. 2015’s Best in Show winners, for example, were a flawless 1930 Cord L29 Brooks Stevens Speedster and a 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Vagato Spyder. Prestigious company indeed for a car that once belonged to a small-town Texas girl that rose to rock superstardom.

Janis Joplin PorschePhoto Credit: RM Sotheby's

The car not only represents a piece of rock history, but also Porsche’s. The 356 model was Porsche’s first production automobile. Ferry Porsche, seeking to build his “dream car,” created the lightweight, rear-engined roadster that became known as the 356. It would remain the company’s most recognizable design until its was eventually eclipsed by an even more iconic model, the impeccable 911. And despite it’s brash coloring, Joplin’s model actually represents the 356 at its most refined from an engineering and design perspective; the pinnacle of Ferry Porsche’s initial vision.

Like Joplin, it’s truly one of a kind.