The early reveal of the North Carolina Museum of Art’s Porsche by Design exhibit was a great start. I showed you the cars on display with the exception of one. The Janis Joplin 356C.
This was not on display in the east wing it was in the separate west building. While it is certainly a Porsche, it is also treated a work of art. Back when Janis purchased the car she found the solid color far too bland for her musical life style so she had Dave Richards, one of the “roadies” paint it up for her. The result is an icon of the times and the lifestyle.
Photographs are not allowed so I don’t have any of mine to show you, but a search on Google will produce a host of pictures. The car was so recognizable that fans would spot it parked at her gigs and stuff notes under the wipers and into the gaps of the doors. Once it was stolen and when recovered it had been painted over in grey primer, but a body shop was able to remove it and restore the original art work. Upon her death the family let her manager keep the car which he used at Bearsville Studios in Woodstock, NY, and “drove into the ground”. It has been cleaned up and restored to show off the art work and normally resides in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Ohio, but it no longer runs.
I spent several minutes admiring Joplin’s painted car and thought back to those days when popular music more often came from the soul of the singer and less emphasis was put on the hype.
But there was more to come over the weekend as Saturday local Porsche owners came to the museum to show off their own cars to the public. The Carolina weather proved to be a bit gloomy and another national car event was happening in Raleigh.
It was the NSXPO for owners of the Acura supercar. A multi-day event included a meet-up at the North Carolina Museum of Art and special tour of the Porsche exhibit by the NSX owners, all 200 of them. I took some photos of the cars on Sunday morning at their hotel just before they formed a convoy of cars that headed to the NCMA.
These people were from all over the United States. So when someone asked how to get to the museum I volunteered to lead them there.
The owners had a chance to have each of their cars photographed in front of the museum.
Then they parked their cars and lined up for their tour.
Outside of the entrance was a display illustrating the 50 years of the 911.
Who would think of displaying these classics outside?
Sunday was a special presentation by Jeff Zwart. Who is Jeff Zwart, you might say? He is a seven time Pikes Peak champion and cinematographer who is well known in the industry for his skills at creating remarkable automobile ads.
He treated us to over an hour of samples of his work, both as a director and as a race car driver, all the while providing us with a verbal account of his career and love of Porsche cars. His father had bought one of the first 911 cars and when Jeff came of driving age it became the first car he got his lessons in.
The above YouTube link is of his latest Pikes Peak hill climb.
Joining the presentation was Chad McQueen, son of Steve McQueen. Chad was another of the people responsible for the Porsche exhibit coming together at the NCMA. Following the presentation by Jeff there was a chance for some food and drink and it gave me the opportunity to thank Chad for his contribution and ask him how he liked coming to Raleigh.
He remarked that while he had raced in western North Carolina, this was his first visit to Raleigh, and he liked the area. While here he has the keys to a Porsche GT3 and even had a chance to get on the track at Virginia International Raceway, which is just over the border from North Carolina.
This completed a very full weekend of cars and art exhibits. In November is a special “hoods up” showing of the Porsche by Design cars that I have been fortunate to get entry too. When that happens I’ll be sure to share some photos. In the mean time, I hope you will find your own opportunity to get to Raleigh and see this unique exhibit for yourself.