Walt Skowronski's

Mercedes-Benz Rumble Seat Roadster

The Pocher K-82 Roadster, cousin to their venerable K-74 Cabriolet A/AK, is one of those kits that requires more explanation than most model builders care to hear. Pocher builders, being generally a tolerant tribe, are used to long stories, but even they tend to resort to eye-rolling and heavy sighs when it comes to Pocher's hodge-podge Mercedes roadster kits. Suffice to say the kit uses the fundamental structure of the cabriolet kit and adds a rumble seat and some foil strips to represent the lavish details of what Mercedes-Benz called their Spezial Roadster. For open-minded builders who want an entre into the world of Pocher large-scale classics, the Rumble seat Roadster and its brothers (K-85, -90) will do nicely. As proof of this assertion, we offer the following: Walter Skowronski's Mercedes-Benz.

Whatever purists say about the origins of the Pocher Mercedes, Skowronski's model stands as a testament to his dedication to careful assembly and artful design. For most of us, merely assembling the components presents a worthy goal, but Skowronski has gone the extra distance to assure that his model extends beyond just an assemblage of parts. His meticulous assembly leaves no hint of the struggle between builder and ornery, ill-fitting components, or the frustrations of cryptic instructions and baffling mechanisms. Instead of a triptych of wrestling matches, the model displays a smooth and attractive celebration of color and design. It is as if the model announces to the world, "this is the essence of a prewar Mercedes supercar". The selection of the traditional two-tone Mercedes color scheme redirects the viewer's attention from the details of the design to the overall attractiveness of the finished model. The seats look inviting, the painted panels are perfect, and the chrome details evoke an earlier age. Leather cases behind the seats, contrasting piping on the seats, and elegant wood trim invite the viewer to climb in and take a ride. What more can one ask of a miniature?

This is not, some might say, a Spezial Roadster. The cockpit is too wide, the hoods too short, and the doors too long. No surprise there. What is a surprise is that so much has been accomplished despite those shortcomings, and it has been accomplished not by the application of complex equipment nor arcane techniques. It has been accomplished by meticulous workmanship, sensitive design, and patience. Bravo.