Walt Skowronski's

Mercedes-Benz 540K

Is it done yet? Are we there yet? When can we eat the cookies? Apparently, it is part of the human condition to anticipate, to long for the conclusion, to speculate on outcomes. When it comes to Pocher kits, we can be forgiven for the re-emergence of our childhood impatience with long journeys. Few things can inspire impatience like the sight of a perfectly rendered Pocher component, and Walter Skowronski's in-progress Mercedes-Benz roadster is brimming with wonderfully finished details. So many details, in fact, that we could not resist sharing them before the finished model can be photographed.

Part of our joy, naturally, is to see so many Model Motorcars, Ltd. components so expertly incorporated in the project, but make no mistake, Skowronski's attention to detail and fastidious workmanship are the stars of the show. The engine, which uses MMLtd. parts to become the later 540K version of the legendary Mercedes-Benz super-charged straight-eight, has the look and feel of the full-size version. Get the background right on this engine and the experts will be doing double-takes. Results like these can only be achieved by carefully studying photos of the prototype to identify the essential visual triggers that tell us we are seeing the real thing. The surfaces are flawless, the fit of the components is perfect, and the proportions are correct. Aluminum looks like aluminum, cast-iron looks textured, and painted sheet metal looks smooth and cool to the touch. The relocated fuel pump is a job to see, and its plumbing is enough to bring tears to the eyes of any restorer of the big ones.

The same attention to detail is evident on the transmission, and the viewer is led to the inescapable conclusion that if the hidden elements are so fastidiously realized, the whole model must be done to a similar standard. As usual, such attention to details is enough to make the weak-willed among us hesitant to cover such details with bodywork or, in this case, floor boards.

What rides on top of the floor boards is also a job to behold. From the two-tone dashboard with its mother-of-pearl insert to the MMLtd. steering wheel, this interior promises to be a delight. The neatly done gray leather seats, piped in a subtle darker gray, do not disappoint, and prove once again that there is no substitute for careful, patient work. The leather floor mats perfectly match the tan carpeting and echo the top of the dashboard for a unique solution to the challenge presented by the stock floor. Like all great models, Mr. Skowronski's Mercedes must be tempting to display just as it is, without the burden of a finished body, but judging from what we can see so far, the finished model will be well worth the wait. It is safe to say that the rest of the model will be as distinctive and imaginative as its underpinnings.