Dan, I admire your pioneer spirit, but participation in any CBP is always hit or miss. To force someone to jump out of their comfort zone more than usual isn't a way to insure a completed model in December. How many times have you, over the course of your modeling life, said "that's not coming out like I want" and back in the box it goes, never to be seen again. Speaking for myself, it's happened plenty. Doing themes is already pushing comfort zones. I've only finished three racers in nine runs. The no-shows were from life intervening or not inspired by the theme, in equal portions. In any case, the Cannonball IS a competition. As such, it has always inspired builders to heavily modify or scratch build parts for their model. You cant turn your average model car into something that can cross the country in 35ish hours without doing so.
My models look cool. And they would also function properly if they were real cars. Because I care about such things. I build to a different standard than you. I have relied upon Bill's 1:1 knowledge and expertise many times. And others like him. They are always there to help out. However, very infrequently do they offer info unsolicited.
I've built the coupe and really enjoyed the kit. My only beef with it is the difficulty in getting it low in the rear. I used lowering blocks and "low-enuff" was the axle resting on the frame rails. A did a slight c-notch to make it a little more realistic, but it still has a forward rake.
Very happy to have you. For me at least, model life has derailed at the crossing of Moving Street and Home Improvement Blvd. I likely won't even get to set up the new hobby room until at least the new year. I WILL be back.