> TYPE 356 B (1960-1963)
Model year 1960 is a milestone in the evolution of the 356, with the introduction of the T-5 bodied 356 B. There were both major and minor changes compared to previous models.
The most striking changes are those made to the front end. The hood is flatter, with a massive chrome handle (as opposed to polished aluminum on the Pre-A and the A). The bumpers are higher and bigger, and have a “pointy” shape. They also have large chrome guards.
The sheet metal was also revised. Seen from above, the front end now makes a smooth curve from side to side, instead of a “wave” as on pre-A and A models.
The headlights have been raised and the front fenders make a nearly straight line from the windshield posts to the headlights.
The horn grille and turn signals are different from the A cars. The grille does not come in contact with the body as on previous models, but is mounted from inside the fender and consists of only 2 horizontal anodized aluminum blades. Under the bumper, a new large opening has been added on each side, with grilles or optional foglights.
The 1960 model year is also the last year of the front mounted Porsche script. All coupes now sport vent windows.
In the rear, the bumper has also been raised and is similar to the front one (cone shape with large guards). Two license plate lights are mounted on the rear bumper. The pre-A and A license plate light assembly is therefore no longer used. The backup light is integrated into the body, under the bumper. The taillight units remain the same. Free standing reflectors appear either above the taillights (U.S.) or below the bumper (European).
Following this landmark evolution of the type in 1960, the Factory rested for a year and no major changes were made for 1961.
The T-6 body type was introduced for the 1962 model year, and this will need some clarification as many people get really confused and are more often than not mixed up with the B, C, T-5 and T-6 designations.
The B and C designations refer to car type while the T-5 and T-6 designations refer to body type (body type not to be confused either with body style).
The 356 B was introduced in 1960 with a T-5 body. In 1962, the T-6 body type was introduced but the car was still a 356 B. The T-6 body was used from 1962 to 1965 but in 1964 the 356 B was replaced by the 356 C, with of course a T-6 body.
Now, if you’re just as confused as before, a little diagram may help.
The T-6 356 B remained in production until the advent of the final evolution of the genre in 1964, the 356 C.