Bo Hansson, Sweden
Mercedes-Benz 540 K
Among the most popular of the Pocher kits, the Mercedes-Benzes offer some of the most modern looking bodywork mounted on the most complex chassis of the classic range. Featuring fully independent front suspension and a complicated swing-axle rear suspension with horizontal compensating springs, the Mercedes kits (K-74,K-80, K89, K90, K91, and K-92, 93, 94) are based on the supercharged five-liter engine that preceded the 540K. By adding a MMLtd. vertical air cleaner and relocating the exotic mechanical fuel pump, Pocher builders can effectively up-grade their 500 engines to the later version, rather the same way that owners of the actual cars did the same thing but without the annoyance of having to bore-out the engine block for greater displacement-though some modelers have probably even done that.
Mounted on top of all of this Mercedes-Benz goodness is one of three bodies: True Roadster, Rumble-seat Roadster, or Cabriolet. A cabriolet features a folding top and was the first of the kits to be offered. The cabriolet was offered originally in black (K-74), later in red (K-80) is an accurate model of chassis No. 130859, the sole remaining example of this design. A True Roadster kit has neither top nor side windows, and is an accurate miniature of chassis No. 105380 which has a forward-mounted radiator.
Bo Hansson of Sweden has taken one of the more mixed breed Rumble-Seat Roadsters-a combination of the front of the cabriolet and a rumble-seat rear section-to exercise his modeling prowess. Because Mercedes-Benz never built a Spezial Roadster with a forward mounted radiator in this style, and because the rear section of the body has been widened to fit Pocher's four-seater chassis, this series of kits offers the builder the widest latitude in modifications-by not conforming to a specific prototype car, the details are really left up to the builder.
Mr. Hanssen has chosen to concentrate on converting the engine to a 540K version with a MMLtd. air-cleaner and by turning his attention to the interior. From door panels to seats, every effort has been made to capture the style and quality of the prototype. The result is a model that has style, and presence, and has made the most of the design elements of the Pocher kit.