Rock star Janis Joplin’s favorite car – a psychedelic, multi-colored, hand-painted 1964 Porsche 356C cabriolet – sold for $1.76 million at RM Sotheby’s “Driven to Disruption” auction on Dec. 10 in New York. The sale added more than $1 million to its $400,000-$600,000 pre-auction estimate.
Joplin’s car spent two decades on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and it drew plenty of attention thanks to its “History of the Universe” paint job (originally applied by one the roadies in her band) and the public’s fascination with her death in 1970 at the age of 27.
A week before the Joplin auction, Ringo Starr’s 2000 Mercedes Coupe – originally owned by Beatles bandmate George Harrison – went for $70,400 in Julien’s Ringo Starr/Barbara Bach sale in Beverly Hills.
The cars are the most recent in a string of fascinating music celebrity cars that have crossed the auction block during the last several years, most involving members of the Beatles. Here are eight more:
Rod Stewart’s 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV – Sold for $704,000 at RM Sotheby’s 2014 Paris sale.
Elvis Presley’s 1963 Rolls-Royce Phantom V Limo – Sold for $396,000 (about $100,000 over the high estimate) at Bonhams’ 2014 Monterey sale. At the time of the sale, the Hagerty Price Guide value for that model in No. 1 condition car was about $150,000.
John Lennon’s 1965 Ferrari 330GT 2+2 – Sold for $548,863 (about $200,000 over the high estimate) at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed sale. Hagerty Price Guide value for a No. 1 condition car at the time was $150,000-$200,000.
Ringo Starr’s 1964 Facel Vega II Coupe – Sold for $512,461 at Bonham’s December 2013 sale in London.
Paul McCartney’s 1964 Aston Martin DB5 – Sold for $495,000 at RM’s London sale in 2012.
George Harrison’s 1965 Aston Martin DB5 – Sold for $549,045 at a 2011 Coys sale in London (more than $100,000 over its high estimate).
Frank and Barbara Sinatra’s 1976 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow and 1976 Jaguar XJS V-12 – Sold for $82,500 and $11,000 at Russo and Steele’s 2015 Monterey sale. Purchased in 1976 as wedding gifts to each other; he bought the Rolls for her, she bought the Jag for him.