She was the hippy diva of anti-materialism, the queen of rock 'n' roll who famously crooned, "Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedez-Benz?"
But in real life, Janis Joplin owned a Porsche—a car that will soon be sold at auction, and could fetch upwards of $400,000.
As part of its "Driven by Disruption" sale in December, RM Sotheby's is selling Joplin's colorfully painted 1965 Porsche 356C Cabriolet. Joplin bought the car in 1968, two years before she recorded her last song, "Mercedes Benz," with lyrics that went, "My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends."
After buying the pearl white car, Joplin had Dave Richards, a friend and roadie, paint it with a psychedelic mural. The painting, depicting "The History of the Universe," includes images of butterflies and jellyfish, as well as portrayals of Joplin and her band.
Joplin drove the car through San Francisco and to her recording studio in Los Angeles. Fans often left notes under the windshield when she left it parked. After the singer's death in 1970, the car—still owned by her family—was on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
"Like most people and their car of choice, her Porsche is a direct link to Janis," said Michael Joplin, Janis' brother. "She drove it everywhere—and with everyone that was anyone in the San Francisco music scene—with the top down and her feathers flying. Her music, life and car are a part of rock and roll history."
RM Sotheby's said the car is expected to sell for more than $400,000.