The Braun Derby 901

The Braun Derby 901

PORSCHE 911 #331

By C.J. Ward

So many things make 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 in Stuttgart and buy a new 356. But, the folks at Porsche had something new, the 901 which ultimately became the 911 because Peugeot already had a 901 and fought Porsche to protect the name.

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 Porsche had to cross out the model number 901 and type in 911 Coupe. 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.

A close inspection of the car also shows 901 stamps all over the car, including on the transaxle, however, the car has no 911 badging on it.

Lt. Meyr drove all over Europe in the car and notes buried in the well-kept records show he had the 911 serviced in Italy then shipped it 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 only the second and current owner, Craig Lichtenstein, in 2019. 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.

Sadly, we learned that Lt. Meyr died on September 28th, 2020 in Idaho. We thank him for his service to the country and for taking such good care of #331 so future generations can enjoy a piece of Porsche history.


-CJ Ward

Previous post Next post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published