Oh Lord, Won’t You Buy Me A Mercedes-Benz

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes-Benz
My friends all drive Porsches
I must make amends

Joplin-356The irony of that is that Janis actually did drive a Porsche, but hers was a bit special. The 356 series was the first line of sports cars produced by Porsche. They all had a four-cylinder, air-cooled engine which was derived from the one in the VW Beetle, but by the sixties, when Janis bought hers, there was a huge difference in power between the VW and Porsche. The 356 gave you a stunning 75 horsepower instead of the VW’s 40. (Modern Porsches are around 400 hp.)

The custom paint job on Janis’s 356 Cabriolet wouldn’t suit everyone, but then she was a star.

Porsches are still popular with the successful rock fraternity. I hear that Eric Clapton is a fan. And Jamiroquai frontman Jay Kay is welll known as a car collector. He’s had a few. The drummer from Travis owns five.

Porsche 968But it wasn’t the rock star image that made me buy one. Honest. I just liked having something that was a bit out of the ordinary. I’d walk into the garage, and there it would be, sleek and shining, looking like something beamed down from the planet Zog. It was a real pity that I destroyed it, but after it was gone, somehow I didn’t really want another one.

In fact, I made a conscious decision to chill out and slow down, so although I did buy another coupé with the insurance money, it was a Mercedes-Benz: softer, less powerful, more refined.

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