There is a brilliant book called 'Roadside America'. Not sure whether it is still available, if not, try Abebooks or T.E. Warth. Heck, you can borrow my copy if you can't locate it anywhere else.
It is not your usual preserved diner photo album, depicting a romanticised America that never really existed, but rather a scholar piece targeted to architecture students. It covers all kinds of - well - roadside architecture, which started developping as soon as the motorcar came into being, to lure motorists off the road and make them spend some dough. It contains a lot of architectural drawings and floor plans for buildings from the turn of the century (the last one) until well into the Seventies. Lots of Streamline Moderne and Googie architecture. Highly recommended.
As for materials, that question can't be answered by anyone except yourself. Everyone has his personal preferences towards what he likes to work with, or what is best suited to replicate a certain structure or part. I followed a few of Ed's fabulous roadside model builds, but I could never work with the materials he uses (he is a lot more artistic than I am). I have also seen people working with a material called 'wood' - with astonishing results. All I can do with that stuff is set it on fire, and even trying that I often fail.
I'd check out shops that sell stuff for architecture models, and with a huge faculty in town, there is no shortage of them here. Dunno where exactly you are located, but Manchester is a true Paradise for architecture stuff.
Edited by Junkman, 23 August 2012 - 01:34 PM.