Shel Urilk, USA
The most prolific Pocher kit is the 8c 2300 Alfa Monza (K-72), and a visit to eBay may suggest that most of them still exist in their original boxes, having been inspected and then promptly abandoned. The facts are that thousands of the kits were produced over several decades, and hundreds of completed models occupy shelves of various heights-some at eye-level, some not so much. Bring up the Pocher name among model builders and as often as not, someone will admit to having tried building the Alfa version. If the story turns into a lurid tale about impossible-to-build wire wheels, chances are that they will be Alfa wheels. If the complaints turn to poor castings, chances are the Alfa will be the kit in question. If the modeler is explaining abandoning the kit because of the instructions-or lack thereof-the Alfa kit is an even-money bet to be the culprit. The Alfa Romeo is the Rodney Dangerfield of Pocher
models-it don't get no respect.
Thank heavens there are among us builders like Shel Urilk who through ignorance or heroic ambition refuse to be deterred. He saw a challenge and he went to work. And work is evident in every detail of this model. From the research necessary to track down minutiae as tiny as the chain on the brake-light switch to the wonderful wing nuts on the Brooklands windscreens to the ambitious addition of a side-mounted spare wheel complete with luggage bag, Urilk's Monza is proof of a take-no-prisoner attitude.
After adding virtually every MMLtd. to the already complex kit, Urilk went on to adding a cord-wrapped steering wheel, conduit for the wiring, and inner structure for the body. This Alfa rewards with not only a striking and familiar profile of this great car, but it also encourages the viewer into the inner workings of the machine itself. Not much more can be asked.
Ironically, this cantankerous kit has been the introduction to Pocher building for a large number of us. Urilk's Alfa is yet another example of how a kit with shortcomings can serve to inspire and challenge builders to remarkable heights. At the end of the day, such handsome results are an argument for the success of this much maligned kit. Maybe the instruction booklet isn't so bad after all.