Janis Joplin's Porsche

“My friends all drive Porsches,” sang Janis Joplin. But this was true not just for her friends—she too owned a Porsche: a 356 SC with a colorful paint job. This rock star on wheels was recently sold at an auction for 1.76 million dollars.

Summertime …
Child, the living’s easy …

An image for the gods—or at least the laid-back, good-humored gods of the 1960s: Janis Joplin cruising down the highway in her brightly painted Porsche 356, the California sun shining above her and the Pacific wind in her hair, round frames on her glasses, the radio turned up, a bottle of Southern Comfort in the glove compartment …

Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose …

They all drive Porsches, every one of her friends. And Janis is no exception. With her hair streaming in the wind, the legendary blues and rock singer enjoys life and its freedoms in a colorful 1964 Porsche 356 SC, possibly one of the most famous cars of the Swinging Sixties.

When I bring home my hard earned pay, I spend my money all on Mary Jane!

A good part of it, perhaps, but she did shell out 3,500 dollars for the classy Cabriolet, and another 500 for her roadie Dave Richards to portray the “History of the Universe” on the car in every color of the rainbow. The car is not meant to grace a garage. On the contrary, the singer loses no opportunity to set off on a wild trip, and she loves being cheered by fans in her unmistakable Porsche …

From the Kentucky coal mines to the California sun, through all kinds of weather, through everything that we done.

The car and the singer are meant for each other: what a couple, what love!

Have another piece of my heart now, baby, you know you got it if it makes you feel good …

Through thick and thin, wind and weather, highs and lows, painful sepa­rations (cry baby, cry baby, cry baby) and joyful reunions (honey, welcome back home), until, well, death do them part. There in L.A. in the Landmark Hotel, where the winding road of Janis Lyn Joplin’s life comes to an abrupt end in 1970.

Her Porsche, however, is far from the end of its journey. Following three paint jobs, a number of owners, twenty years in a museum, and an auction at Sotheby’s, another passionate soul will now be taking the wheel.

Oh, come on, come on, come on …

The California sun, the Pacific wind, and the scent of freedom all around …

It rode us all the way to New Orleans,
I pulled my harpoon out of my dirty
red bandana, I was playing soft while Bobby sang the blues …


Text first published in the Porsche customer magazine Christophorus, No. 375

By Bernd Eberhart // Photos by Jeremy Clif

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