With some irony, or at least with her tongue planted firmly in her cheek, Janis Joplin sang, “Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz ? My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends.”
Of course, Joplin drove and became famous for her Porsche, a 1965 356c. She paid $3500 for the white car that soon sported a psychedelic paint job courtesy of Dave Richards, one of her roadies. A focal point of Richards’ work- a portrait of Joplin and her band mates on the front left fender. At one point the car was stolen and painted gray; fortunately it was recovered and the original finish restored. Joplin’s manager, Albert Grossman, inherited the car in 1970 after her death and kept it in Bearsville, NY until returning the car to the Joplins in 1973. While parts of the car have been restored, much is still original. The Denver Theatre Company’s paint shop repainted the car again in 1994, adhering as closely as possible to Richards’ original art work. The car is currently on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.