A Rolling Psychedelic Mural on Display at the Amelia Island Concours
Exploring the artwork of Janis Joplin's legendary 356C
I had the incredible opportunity to attend the 24th annual Concours d'Elegance at Amelia Island, Florida this past Sunday. I'm still recuperating from witnessing all of the amazing automobiles that I saw that day, and only just beginning to sort through the eight hundred-some odd photographs on my SD card. The first car to jump out at me from my hundreds of files though was this beautiful Porsche 356C Cabriolet that once belonged to rock and roll legend Janis Joplin.
Joplin purchased the Porsche in 1968 and had one of her roadies, Dave Richards, paint the car to more suit her style. The mural, dubbed the "History of the Universe", features everything you would expect a rock and roll goddess would want on her car. After her death in 1970, her brother kept the Porsche as his own. The car ended up at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio for nearly two decades until it was sold at auction in December 2015 for a cool $1.76 million.
After doing some homework, I learned this is not the original paint job, unfortunately. Conflicting articles online indicate that the car's paint was either "restored" by her brother to the Dolphin Gray it wore the day it rolled out of the factory, or it was originally a pearl white car that was resprayed by car thieves trying to disguise it. Regardless, Richards's artwork has since been recreated using historic photographs some time in the '90s under the ownership of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as it should.
The car was on the showfield this past Sunday as part of the Concours' "Cars of the Rock Stars" class. Other cars parked next to Janis's Porsche included a Bentley Blower formerly owned by AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson, a Porsche 996 GT3 in Van Halen livery, and an Emory Outlaw owned by John Oates of Hall and Oates, who actually helped curate the cars for the class.
Seeing this iconic Porsche was certainly a surprise; I somehow didn't realize it was going to be on the showfield until I heard them mention it on the loudspeaker. Definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity I'll never forget!
Check out these links for some further reading on Janis's Porsche
The Porsche 356 cabrio is a rare commodity in its own right -- the market discovered that there is a finite supply of these machines a number of years ago when even the least-loved examples started ...