’27 Club’ member Janis Joplin’s custom 1965 Porsche 356C 1600 cabriolet heads to auction with a guide of £260,000 and thus proves it wasn’t just “my friends [whom] all drive Porsches”
Janis Joplin is one of the best-known members of a club that most would rather not join: the 27 Club. This American singer-songwriter joined Jimi Hendrix, who died just two weeks earlier, as a member when she died of a heroin overdose on 4th October 1970 aged, like him, just 27 years old. Now, as was reported earlier this week by Sam Dangremond in Town & Country, her psychedelic Porsche is headed to auction with a guide of £260,700 ($400,000).
Described by her brother Michael Joplin as “a part of rock’n’roll history”, the car – which was originally Oyster White in colour and which has been “restored more than once over the years – was bought second-hand for $3,500 (the equivalent of $24,000 or £15,450 today) by the singer in 1968 and owned by her until her untimely death. Of her and it, he added:
“Like most people and their car of choice, her Porsche is a direct link to Janis. She drove it everywhere – and with everyone that was anyone in the San Francisco music scene – with the top down and her feathers flying”.
Customised in a psychedelic style by Michael Joplin and Dave Roberts, one of Janis’s roadies, the car was given the name “The History of the Universe”. It features imagery of the artist along with butterflies and jellyfish and suffered the indignity of being sprayed grey after being stolen in 1969 as its thief realised it would be too recognisable.
Recovered and restored, the Porsche was used as a courtesy car by Joplin’s manager Albert Grossman after her death. It was later returned to the Joplin family and after being restored again has been on loan to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame since 1995.
The Porsche will be auctioned by RM Sotheby’s at their Driven by Disruption sale on 10th December 2015 in New York.
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