words by pablo deferrari
Dean Fuller's '89 928 S4 didn't come with an air foil from Porsche...but it certainly looks good and not out of place!
aside from looking super-cool, and very 1980s, the job of the wiper arm airfoil, or spoiler, was to take advantage of the air you were piercing through using it to press the wiper tightly against the windshield at high speeds.
early European Spec Porsches (and some US federalized Euro 928s) had it, so did Audis; even VWs used it...primarily to look like they could go fast. but they had a shelf life, however, as they were discontinued on these three Porsches around the late 80's...
call it nostalgia, but some of us want that look on our Porsches to make them more, well, proper. problem is you'd be hard pressed to find the air foiled arm on eBay...let alone cheaply from Porsche; but there is another way as lordmasterprince on Rennlist explains.
Got a pair of wiper arms from a Scirocco MKII off eBay. They are chipped and a bit rusty, but that's OK because all I wanted was the spoiler on the driver side to clip it right on my shark's driver side arm. Similar spoilers can also be found on Audi's from the same period.
Not sure if this item was ever equipped on any 928 but it sure looks right . By the way since mine is a RHD, I have to search for listing from UK.
the lordmasterprince retrofit...
so after seeing what he did, I became curious and wanted to know exactly which water-cooled Porsches had them, and what years did they decide to no longer look so dated or find them of any necessary aerodynamic purpose and remove them from subsequent models. here's what I found combing through Porsche's PET:
the 924 version up to MY1979 not for USA/CDN.
the spoiler continued to be available through MY1985 and there isn't a RHD version since the wipers parked on the same side as the LHD.
same for the S version...same VW part number.
now I knew 928s had them, but did the 924 offer one giving them that extra bit of badass to its wind cheating body design? yep...they sure did, but not for us Yanks or our neighbors to the north, the Canucks...we weren't allowed to travel past the double nickel legally to benefit from its effects...was this a move like the 85 mph speedometer meant to psych us out?
now it clearly states "not for USA or CDN, but you could've ordered it.
the introduction of the 944 also carried the wiper arm spoiler with the same part number.
the '86 to '88 944s show an image of the wiper arm spoiler in the catalog, but doesn't indicate it in the text.
clearly, the early 944's had it carried over from the 924 with the same part number, no surprise there...until 1985. then beginning in 1986 when the windshield became flush mounted, we see that the part number changes, gets a 944 part number for the LHD versions and a 945 number for the RHD with a change over in '88, but it doesn't indicate "with spoiler" as it did previously even though it shows an image of the arm with spoiler. looks like the cool factor ended in 1985 for the 944s.
the introduction of the 928 shows two versions, one up to 1978 and a different call out for the '79 even though the part number stays the same.
if you look at 12(A), you'll notice it's the same part number carried over from 1979.
judging by the PET, it looks like the 928 had the wiper spoiler design the longest of the Trio, from MY1978 through MY1986, the launch of the S4 deleted it from the catalog entirely. interestingly, although Porsche had a part number for the RHD cars since they parked opposite the US/ROW ones, a spoiler was never made for them.
another peculiarity was the material of the design itself.
the early Porsche wiper spoiler in metal.
here's an '82 944 with a factory wiper spoiler.
and on another 944 what looks like in metal.
if you look at the two images of the 944 above, you'll notice that the one on the bottom looks and probably is metal, in the red one above it, it's a little harder to tell if it's metal or plastic...I've yet to see a Porsche wiper spoiler in ABS plastic like the Audis and VWs unless it was a retro-fit.
the three '85 Euro imports above sport the wiper spoiler.
these three 1985 928s look so badass...really, why the hell couldn't all of them have had it in the US? I mean, the MY 1983 US Audi 5000S Turbo and the suppository-bodied MY1985 and on had them for chrissakes, apparently Audi didn't feel the need to not offer us that look...
well, there are plenty of these Audis and VWs in junk yards across the globe with a driver's side wiper spoiler with your name on it should you decide to give your Porsche that "Euro" look, lordmasterprince even gave us a bit of inspiration here. hell, you may even get lucky and find a factory Porsche wiper arm with a spoiler.
now you can get the genuine article from Porsche for the 928...I just called them and as of the time of this writing, 74 are available coming out of Germany for a list price of USD$285.90. the 924/944 version part number 477 955 027 (with spoiler) supersedes to part number 477 955 028 (without spoiler) which, as you might have guessed, is the one without the spoiler...and it's still available.
editor's note: many thanks to Lordmasterprince and Dean Fuller for their input on this little nugget.
er, sorry mate, they were never mad for RHD 928s.
the VW Scirocco MK2 is one possible donor...
so is the MK1 Audi coupe GT/Quattro...
and the early '83 Audi 5000S Turbos...
or the more plenteous and junk yard common aero-bodied second-gen Audi 5000S.