PORSCHE #331 - The Hot tub, the Deal and The Mystery Woman

PORSCHE #331 - The Hot tub, the Deal and The Mystery Woman

By C.J. Ward

The West of Tulsa Team welcomes Craig Lichtenstein to Studio 3 this week. He’s a classic car aficionado whose collection includes four Jaguars, four Porsches, two Aston Martins, two Morgan 3-Wheelers and a 1987 Toyota Celica similar to the car he drove in high school. The best part about Lichtenstein’s collection is, he drives everyone of them.

In this episode, Lichtenstein reveals the most challenging car to drive in his collection is Porsche #331. He explains how he ended up with the car and what makes this Porsche special, from the 901 stamps all over the car to the curious color it’s wrapped in. Oh, and throw in the fact that it’s only the 331st 911 Porsche ever built.

The first owner was Lt. Herbert Meyr. The U.S. serviceman was stationed in Germany when he decided to visit the Porsche factory and buy a new 356. But, the folks at Porsche had something new, the 901 which ultimately became the 911 because Peugeot already owned the rights to the model designation 901 and fought Porsche to protect the name.

“(The car is) More 901 than 911.. and there’s no 911 badging on it at all,” said Lichtenstein.


The Porsche salesman apparently showed Lt. Meyr the new car and he liked it. But Meyr was hoping to buy and drive so he could take a ski trip in his new Porsche. As the story goes, the factory had several new 911’s lined up in the back all painted various shades of brown as they tested which colors worked best.

Porsche agreed to sell Meyr chassis #300.331 on March 8, 1965. The total sales price? $5,529.75 including a factory installed ski luggage rack for an additional $15.50. The sales contract also shows where it appears Porsche crossed out the model number 901 and typed in 911 Coupe. 


“They (Porsche) wrote up a handwritten Bill of Sale. Dr. Porsche signed it,” said Lichtenstein.


The color is designated as Brown 679 or Braun 679 and it’s reportedly the only 911 painted in this particular shade of brown which in certain sunlight seems to have a subtle peachy hue to it.

Lt. Meyr took the car on a ski trip and notes buried in the well-kept records show he had the 911 serviced in Italy. It turns out 331 was the first Porsche 911 serviced in Italy and the Italians threw a party and Lichtenstein has the pictures from that day. Lt. Meyr then shipped the car to the U.S. on the Queen Elizabeth 2.


Lt. Meyr drove the car around Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where he lived and enjoyed many years with the car. It eventually underwent a four year restoration by Paterek Brothers, Inc. in Chatham, N.J. before being sold to Lichtenstein, in 2019. He’s only the second registered owner. The car is now located in Ventura County, California.


Lichtenstein honors the car by driving it to local Cars & Coffee gatherings and other events. 331 always attracts a crowd and especially from knowledgeable Porschephiles who know how special it is. 


“My wheels, left side is ‘63 wheels and the right side is ‘64 wheels,” explains Lichtenstein as he describes the finer points of the car and how Porsche used some 356 parts to build 331.


The West of Tulsa Team also peppered Lichtenstein with questions about his collection including, how many vehicles does a person have to own before they can call it a ‘collection’, which car does he enjoy driving the most?

We also discuss which car Lichtenstein does not own that he would like to add to his collection and what is more fun, the search or the find? He also gives a detailed description about the personality traits between Jaguar owners, Porsche owners, Aston Martin owners, Toyota Celica owners and which car gets the most smiles from people.

The Team also discusses the differences between Italian, German and Japanese leathers, which ones have the best feel, how each one has a different smell and why? Why don’t Jaguars get more love and will auto manufacturers start building more manual transmissions?

Finally, the one thing Lichenstein wants to investigate more than anything else, is who is the beautiful woman in one of the old 331 photos? She’s standing next to the car just before it’s loaded on the Queen Elizabeth 2 headed for the U-S.

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