Janis Joplin’s Porsche 356 Sells for £1.1 million
Janis Joplin’s iconic 1964 356C Cabriolet was sold by RM Sotheby’s in New York last night for a record-breaking $1.7 million (£1.1 million)…
The famous ex-Janis Joplin 1964 356C 1600 SC Cabriolet was auctioned by RM Sotheby’s last night, it was the star attraction at the exclusive auction entitled ‘Driven by Disruption’. According to those present, the bidding quickly accelerated and within just five minutes the Porsche was sold for £1.1 million, a new world-record price at auction for a Porsche 356C.
Purchased in September 1968, Joplin decided the original Pearl White paintwork was too conservative and enlisted Dave Richards, a friend and roadie with her band, to customise the car with its iconic kaleidoscopic mural. Described by Richards to represent ‘The History of the Universe’, the artwork includes graphics such as butterflies and jellyfish, as well as a portrait of Joplin with members of the band. The car is representative of the era and a flamboyant symbol of San Francisco’s psychedelic rock age. She frequently drove it in period.
As a prelude to the Driven by Disruption sale, New Yorkers enjoyed an exclusive six-day ‘Driven by Disruption’ exhibition on Sotheby’s 10th floor galleries. “Janis Joplin’s 356C is without question one of the most important Porsches of all time,” said Ian Kelleher, Managing Director of RM Sotheby’s West Coast Division. “It’s a fantastic automobile that transcends art, pop culture and social movements, and is as groundbreaking and stunning as the renowned singer was herself.”
The car has been on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland since 1995, but came to be offered for sale by the Joplin Family. RM Sotheby’s estimated that the car would make in-excess of $400,000, but in fact it reached over triple that figure before the hammer fell. The Joplin family plan to use the money from the sale to support charity programs in the name of Janis Joplin.
Joplin once sang: “Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes-Benz,” if she was still around to see her beloved Porsche find a new home, she could’ve bought quite a few with the proceeds…