Toys #9 and #10 were both called '72s. Both were built with the early front clip. #9 was never updated having been destroyed in early '73. #10 did eventually get the '74 grille, bumpers, and taillight panel. I remember reading at the time (and it's repeated in Doug Boyce's book) that Jenkins didn't think the later front end helped the car's aerodynamics at all. Toy #11 (the last Vega) was constructed as a '74, and never had the early front clip. MPC produced stock Vega hatchback kits and promotional models for all years, '71 through '77. The '71 and '72 annual kits had a body with a separate, opening rear hatch. If you want an early one, look for a scuffed or shopworn promotional. Built kits are usually poorly built.
The interior bucket in the Magnum GT II is altered quite a bit too. As cool as we (myself included) might think the full-size cars are now, back then those kits weren't world-beaters. MPC was more aggressive than other companies in wringing additional uses out of its tooling (see: "Barnabas' Vampire Van", "Jolly Rodger") so it's not too surprising that the Dodge got hacked into the Magnum.
I wouldn't buy anything at Snap-On East that either spins at high speed, or is needed to support a lot of weight. That said, a lot of stuff that would be "junk" for heavy-duty use will do just fine for model building uses. I've got my model building tools and general purpose tools. The two don't interchange, at least for anything I use them for. That said, for model building uses, the digital caliper comes in handy, and I've taken a liking to the small "diamond grit" files. I've since bought a couple of sets of files on eBay that are smaller than the Harbor Freight set. The foam sanding sponges are good for rough-shaping filler. The disposable gloves are cheap; I keep a few boxes of those around. My safety goggles and respirator were obtained elsewhere however. As for general purpose tools, I do have a few items from HF but for the most part I'll spend the money once and get decent tools the first time. If you know what you're looking at, you can get high-quality, often made-in-USA, old-school tools in great shape (sometimes still new in the box) at a flea market or automotive swap meet. A lot of baby boomers are retiring/retired, and downsizing/simplifying their lives.
The last couple of printers I bought only had "starter" cartridges. People would do just what has been mentioned (buy a new printer instead of the cartridges), except they would often take the new cartridges out, replace them with their used-up units, then return the printer to the store for a refund.
Well, the stock '29 roadster has a 100% stock body (no raised wheel openings like the Revell body). It's got a couple of issues (reinforcing ribs on quarter panel inner wheel well are recessed, should be raised) but overall it's very good. Not a lot of parts, but what is there goes together easily and looks like a stock '29 roadster once it's assembled. The original kit built two complete cars, and if that's not enough, there were extras for each. The stock roadster could be built as a vintage hot rod with a Riley cylinder head (simplified compared to the Revell '29 pickup, but not bad) and had a few other small accessories. The Ala-Kart had a few optional parts like the Deuce grille shell, cylindrical fuel tank, and dual quad setup for the Dodge engine. The original Mod Rods (there were two different boxes) had the same parts as the original Ala-Kart issues, but the optional parts were emphasized over the Kart. These later issues had fewer decals for the Ala-Kart (scallops for the undersides of the fenders were eliminated). The second Mod Rod issue (the one Round 2 is copying) was the last go-round for the Ala-Kart parts in their original form. The next issue, the Street Rods Series/25th Anniversary issue, had some changes (wheels, fenders, elimination of some Ala-Kart parts), and was the last issue of this kit with two complete cars in it. Neither the new Ala-Kart kit nor the original is perfect. The original has all four tires and wheels the same size (1:1 has a pronounced rake, and wider/deeper rear wheels). It also has a "pinched" area where the hood side panels transition to the headlamp pods on the grille shell when viewed from above. The new kit corrects the tire/wheel size differential and the hood/nose transition, but its engine is too small and the upper hood and cowl are too "squared off". The decals in the new one aren't right either; if I remember right the scallops are too yellow. Between the two kits, though, it would be possible to build a really good one. I'd probably take the new one, splice in the upper hood/cowl from the original, tweak the grille shell (new one is "too stiff"), drop in the engine from the original kit (looks like it will fit without much effort), and make up a new set of wheels for it. The Rodders' Journal article on the restored Kart should be sufficient reference material.
I've never bought into the idea of pro sports teams "generating revenue". St. Louis won't have an NFL team next season. What will happen to the money that people there won't be spending next year at the games? Will they burn it, bury it in their backyards, flush it down their toilets? Nope, they'll spend it somewhere else locally. Whatever money was spent in St. Louis by outsiders attending games there, was in all likelihood offset by locals going out of town to attend away games in other weeks. To the contrary, and it's my personal opinion and not backed up by any research...I don't think pro sports teams (football in particular) even carry their own water in terms of stadium cost versus money "brought in". The taxpayers build the thing, pay to maintain it, and maybe get a token payment in return. These teams remain hot commodities only because there are two or three fewer teams than there are cities that want a team, and that keeps the pressure on for the next city to come up with a bigger handout package than the last one.
I wonder how much fuel is used at all of the NASCAR races in any given year, versus the amount of fuel used by NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL teams traveling to/from away games in a season. Even adding in the fuel used by the trucks toting the cars from race to race, I'd bet NASCAR comes out looking pretty good...
I've heard of people applying black lacquer as a base, and having problems with the Alclad rubbing off. I'd suspect that they specify the enamel base to (in part) give the Alclad something to "bite into". Resin alone wouldn't provide that. There's nothing stopping experimentation, though...
'68 Shelby kits issued after 1975 or so (starting with the Lesney/AMT "Snakebite" boxing) use wider tires than earlier issues of the kit. With narrower tires (and wheels narrowed on the back side to match) the finished build should look a lot better.
You might still have to apply the black base; it's probably needed to help the Alclad adhere to the parts. Alclad alone might rub off with even light handling of the parts. But you probably won't need as much of it on a part molded in black, and that would be a good thing...fewer coats, less likelihood of obscuring fine detail.