Assembling a Pocher Model Car

So you want to assemble a Pocher Classic model kit. ... Are you sure? Are you out of your mind? Have you lost your senses? Do you really know what you’re getting into?


Pocher Classic model cars don’t just go together. The parts often don’t fit properly, many are badly moulded, some may be bent, and some are just plain badly engineered. Most of your time will be spent cutting, filing and test fitting — not in final assembly.

There will be times when you’ll be asking whether these parts are really supposed to go together (they are). There will be times when you’ll wonder whether you’re applying too much pressure to fit these parts together (you are). There will be times when you’re not sure whether a structural sub-assembly is strong or secure enough (it’s not). Many times, you’ll find yourself cutting off bumps and tabs that look seemingly purposeful (they aren’t). At other times, you’ll find yourself drilling out holes that seem way too small (drill away). And you’ll question your confidence when you find yourself re-engineering sub-assemblies that don’t seem to go together acceptably well otherwise (heavy sigh).

None of this will be possible without a clear understanding of the instructions, which are composed of a series of drawings showing where each part goes (kinda). The first problem here is the fact that each part is shown only once — from one angle. Often, you’ll wonder how things relate on the other side of that part, and you’ll only know for sure at the time when you (test) fit the parts together.

But that’s after you’ve dealt with the other problem of having to determine the order in which to assemble the parts. Not any order is possible, and there may be times when you find yourself undoing things. There will also be times when you have to test fit parts that are supposed to go on later just to see how to install another part right now. And still, there will be times when you can’t add a current part until much later. And even though the instructional diagrams are numbered, their numbers are not always indicative of the order in which to follow them. In all, the instructions must be studied to the point where you’ll only refer to them to determine what size of screw to use here and there.

Throughout your experience with a Pocher Classic model kit, you’ll find yourself more aptly “building” the car rather than “assembling” it. The instructions will be a “guide” rather than a “bible”. And the components in the box will seem less like “parts” and more like “raw materials”. But in the end, you’ll have a substantial, detailed and somewhat functional copy of a real automobile from the most classical era of motor cars.


To see just what it’s like to build a Pocher Classic model kit, read on. But first, let’s define a few things. Pocher makes many lines of models, with the “Classic” line of model cars being the most complex, as defined by having (by far) the most parts. This line is composed of just five unique 1/8th scale chassis, each of which is or has been available in more than one body style and colour, making a total of more than 25 different models in the entire Pocher Classic line.

Years after having completed my first Pocher model kit, the Bugatti Type 50T (model number K76), and years after swearing that I’d never go through that experience again, I decided to repeat the plunge. At first, I thought that maybe the Bugatti chassis was just an aberration and that the other chassis were properly made, but this myth was dispelled by a couple of professional model builders who knew better — in fact, one of them even suggested that the Bugatti was the best of the bunch!

So why did I ever try another? Even today, when I turn that Bugatti onto its side and look at the bottom, I remember much of the trouble I went through in attaching and joining and bending and modifying the various parts, and I continue to strongly resist repeating that frustrating experience. But then, you don’t know what it’s like to hold a 1/8th scale model car in your hands until you do — it’s so substantial that you feel like you’re holding an actual automobile. And it’s so neat to press down on a fender to flex its suspension, turn the crank to pump the pistons and spin the fan, press on a pedal to apply the brakes, insert the key to turn on the headlights, and open a door to wind up the window. This is not just a static display piece.

And this time, it was different. This time, I had someone to talk to for advice. Almost daily, we exchanged notes and tips on the Internet, and he encouraged me every step of the way. The Internet also had various web sites with more advice and photographs of completed models that I could use for reference. This made a huge amount of difference in the Pocher experience, and it was something I greatly missed when I built the Bugatti. And besides receiving advice and encouragement, these cars are so detailed that you’re just dying to talk to someone about them, just like with a real car. Years ago with the Bugatti, I was fighting the war all by myself.

These wars were composed of many battles, and these battles are documented on the following link.

My Pocher experience This is how I built my Pocher model cars.



Here are a few links to other Pocher related sites:

The official Pocher web site Rivarossi S.p.A. Divisione Pocher — This is the actual Pocher web site. Pocher is owned and operated by Rivarossi (of model railroading fame), in Italy.
Model Motorcars Ltd. Model Motorcars Ltd. — These are specialists in custom built Pocher model cars. They also produce high-quality aftermarket parts and self-help books to maximize the Pocher modelling experience.
Scale Auto Works Brady Ward’s Scale Auto Works — This is a master model builder who assembles many different types of advanced kits, and his site has much advice and many precious reference photographs.
Mark’s Rolls-Royce Experience Mark’s Rolls-Royce Experience — This is a photographic journal of a first experience with a Pocher model car (the Rolls-Royce Phantom II Sedanca, K72).
David Holmes’ Mercedes-Benz Experience David Holmes’ Mercedes-Benz Experience — This is another photographic journal of a first experience with a Pocher model car (the Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabrio Special, K94).
A Rolls-Royce Phantom III chassis Rolls-Royce Phantom III Chassis — This has nothing to do with the Pocher Rolls (it’s very different from the Phantom II). This is just a beautiful photograph that I happened to come across and had to share.