Factory Fresh Air Blower
- Category: Research & Identification
356 coupes had little provision for providing adequate supplies of unheated outside air into the cabin if the windows were closed and the heater was turned off. 356A/B models had fresh air vents in the footwells, but they worked poorly, as they were covered with carpet and relied on the speed of the car to force air through them. With the introduction of the T6 body style in September, 1962, a lever on the dash opened vents located in the trunk that forced air into the cabin, but still no power assist was used so the system only had an effect at speed, and even then the results were marginal.
On a rainy day where the ambient air temperature was not down in the chilly ranges, if the driver wished to keep the rain out by closing the windows, but wanted the heat off so he didn't boil, the result was usually a stuffy cabin with foggy windows. Of course, many sports cars of that era did not offer much in the way of defogging capability either.
This was not remedied by the factory until 1963, when a new option was introduced, the "Fresh Air Blower". It was made by Behr for Porsche. Behr also made the T6 air distribution gates in the trunk, and possibly other air distribution parts as well. For the grand price of US$62.50 (real money at the time), the new owner's T6 car came with a fan mounted in a round black (or possibly gray) enclosure that was located in the middle of the battery box (recall that in the T6 body the battery was moved to the passenger side of that area, leaving the center clear). From the blower, two large diameter flexible cardboard tubes were routed up and along each side of the trunk to the fresh air inlets. Ken Daugherty says that the tubes are the same size and style as the air hose for the European heater cars.
The dash control had two levers. The upper lever with the fan logo controled the fan speed. The lower lever directed air to the windshileld or below the dash. Linus Pauling Jr. says that his "...does not push as much air as it should to be really effective, however it does help in the rain, which I have a lot of here [Hawaii]."
Joe Johnson's research shows that the Fresh-Air Blower was available as special order item in the below listed types of cars:
Coupe from VIN 117601
Cabriolet from VIN 155601
Karmann Hardtop in VIN 201601 to 202299
Karmann Coupe from VIN 210001
This data is taken from the C workshop manual where complete factory pictures and information are listed on pages S TRA 43 thru 48. Note that owners of earlier T6 cars could possibly have installed blower units after they purchased their car.
Jim Beam built his own blower for his 63 B coupe based on an article in Vol. II, Up-Fixin der Porsche. Photos of his setup are at the bottom of this page.
Scan courtesy of Charlie White
Photos courtesy of Linus Pauling Jr.
Photos courtesy of Ken Daugherty
Photos courtesy of Steve Fox
Homebuilt unit. Photos courtesy of Jim Beam
Homebuilt unit seen in car for sale on ebay.