Janis Joplin’s very famous Porsche 356C lives today in the North Carolina Art Museum, where it sits in a rock & roll showcase with its top up and musky, phsychodelic cabin sealed from onlookers.
THe rag-top Porsche was a big part of Janet’s rise to stardom, and one of her first gifts to herself when she started making money in the San Francisco music scene of the 1960s. This is where the real birth of the hippie movement happened, starting as early as 1955 and only going national a dozen years later.
Janet was a riddle herself: poor and loving it, ostensibly, as a starving artist — how could she reconcile driving around in this exotic German sports-car? By having it hand-painted by her friends in the art scene.
The dichotomy of an art-car exotic was a world-wide hit. BMW would shortly afterward commission Parisian greats to spearhead its own Art Car project, as we know today after more than 18 BMW Art Cars have toured the poshest intellectual havens of the globe.
Houston enjoys a burgeoning art scene itself these days, and this Porsche 356 Coupe is a lovely homage to Janis. Joplin was originally from Texas if we’re not mistaken, so it all ties in together nicely.
The same can be said of this custom-painted Porsche. Only with the flash on blast can you see the brushstrokes, but they are there under a nice clear topcoat of paint.
The artwork shown here is, if anything, a bit cooler than Janis’s own 356C….. but that assessment is very subjective, of course!