I have one of those Unimat 1 lathes. They are OK for plastic or wood but forget about metal turning. They are a bit of a pain to convert to various tools. I use mine mainly for cutting round stock and truing up ends, I've had mine for 20+ years but I wouldn't buy another.
There is not much of a back story to this build. A while ago I built a backdrop display to photograph mainly construction models. I hung a sign on the door for Big Tom's track works. Tom is a diecast dealer who has separated me from many a dollar over the years. Table top industries is another display dio. The family connection is purely fictional. But I'm glad you liked the story. I made it up to justify the creation of a dumb model.
A very impressive fleet you have there JT. You are going to have to expand your parking lot soon. The idea of a truck stop diorama has merit. Also you could go with a DOT inspection station or a ferry dock. I really like your orange fleet.