John Baldus's

Pocher 1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Drop Head Sedanca Coupe

When it first appeared in US hobby shops, the Pocher 1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Drop Head Sedanca Coupe was the bee’s knees. The box top illustration of the glamorous couple shown in the rear seat, behind the chauffeur in his natty cap and uniform, can transport some of us to our magical memories of first seeing this huge box on the hobby shop counter. And it was surely on the counter, because at this cost, the hobby shop owner was going to make sure that as many customers as possible would be exposed to the wonderment of the latest Pocher masterpiece. The clever packaging, with the kit itself safely sealed away from prying fingers and the instruction manual trapped between the outer cover and this inner sanctum of delightfulness—safe but easily accessible—and the whole kit and kaboodle certified with a serial-numbered seal. How can a kit offer more fun than this?

One thing about this legendary kit is certain: The people at the Pocher factory had no idea that their Rolls-Royce Sedanca kits would still be making hearts beat faster fifty years later. Now that the pages of the instruction booklets are turning yellow and the corners of the sealed box are often showing signs of wear and tear, and, truth be told, a few signs of being nibbled by furry attic dwellers, now that the new has worn off, one might be justified in thinking that interest in these wonderful kits has waned. Such is not the case, and we have John Baldus to thank. Baldus, along with so many other industrious builders, stand as living proof that we were right back in those early days, we were right to celebrate the Pocher Rolls-Royce as a landmark in the history of the model car hobby. Baldus and his crowd have proven that not only is the Pocher Sedanca a jim-dandy kit, but it is a jim-dandy kit that can be built.

The construction photos—clear, sharp, and informative—are proof that building this Sedanca was a major undertaking, but they are also proof that careful, methodical work is the secret to success. No need for CNC mills, 3D printers, or teams of technicians, just careful, patient work. True, getting a beautiful paint job like this is a challenge, but Baldus’ use of aerosol cans will serve as an inspiration for many builders. The meticulous chassis and engine details make the most of the kit design, and the inviting interior show what can be accomplished with judicious additions and modifications to the kit pieces. In short, Baldus has managed to wrestle the Pocher parts into an heirloom which can serve to inspire the rest of us.