According to RM Sotheby's listing, Joplin bought the Porsche used in 1968 and quickly gave it to a roadie for her band Big Brother and the Holding Company to create the mural. He covered the entire exterior with a variety of motifs including a landscape across the passenger side, butterfly on the driver's door, a rainbow connecting two faces at the back, and an eye on the front. Joplin proudly drove the convertible regularly until her death at just 27 years old in 1970.
After the singer's passing, Joplin's siblings eventually took control of the groovy Porsche but made the odd choice to repaint the car in the original Dolphin Gray. They eventually realized that was an awful idea, and two artists used photos to recreate the mural. The family then loaned the 356 to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH, in 1995, and this auction was the first time the convertible went up for sale since Joplin bought it. You can get a great look at all the psychedelic details in the gallery above.
NEW YORK (December 10, 2015) - Tonight at the RM Sotheby's 'Driven By Disruption' auction in New York City, The Janis Joplin 1964 Porsche 356 C 1600 SC Cabriolet sold for $1,760,000*, well over the pre-sale estimate of $400/600,000. Spurring a spirited bidding contest between collectors in the room and on the phones, seven bidders competed for the iconic daily driver of legendary rocker Janis Joplin. The outstanding sales price represents a new record for any Porsche 356 sold at public auction.
Purchased by the Queen of Rock'n'Roll from a used car lot in 1968, Joplin engaged Dave Richards, a friend and roadie with her band, Big Brother and the Holding Company, to customize it with a psychedelic 'History of the Universe' mural, rendering it one of the first true 'art cars' and one of the most famous and important Porsches of all time. The car was offered by Janis' siblings, Michael and Laura Joplin, fresh from 20 years on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland.
Other early highlights of RM Sotheby's 'Driven by Disruption' sale included a 1972 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV by Bertone, which sold for $2.42 million before a packed house.
Full results from 'Driven by Disruption' sale will be posted online at www.rmsothebys.com.
*Prices are listed in USD and are inclusive of 10% buyer's premium for automobiles.
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