Just FYI, that rear suspension would definitely need a panhard bar, an easy one would be ala race cars with the nine inch rear, and use a bracket that bolted to the front of the housing using the bolts for the pinion gear bearing, this type can be easily indexed for a easy clearance and to make the roll center lower for better handling, it would use a short bar from the bracket to the frame rail, and wouldn't need clearance above the rear end..
Having two grandsons, who are fascinated by my models, and enjoy playing with my R/C cars, and have been through the Ridez® deal and found out we wasted money on the R/C version they had more fun with the put a chassis together and push it around the house ones. These will be big hits, and when they're ready (the older one is already buying his favorite colors in spray paint) we can always take one apart to start learning the painting process.
Well at least the yellow base should work for nice base color for a pearl yellow top coat and some clear yellow for a duplicate of the new Corvette tint yellow color. Shoot, might even get away with a little clear pearl, then clear yellow to be really nice and different at the same time.
A little work with a razor saw could remove the heads cleanly enough to reuse without any problems. I've had pretty fair luck just scoring a line with a saw or the back of a #11 blade along the glue joints then flowing some liquid cement along the lines and letting them soak for awhile, usually then they can often be removed at the original glue joints. A little bit of information for the next time.
What I thought looked modelish (a new word for the dictionary?) Was the front header above the headlights had a different curve to it it kinda flattened out then took a curve up to the hood. But those tires almost changed my mind, the most realistic aged rubber tires I've seen on ANY type of model.
I've got four of the two different original releases, and all four of them have the same sink marks you've described, plus the bottom side of the upper trim molding hasn't got any definition at all, after spending a full day of playing with it on one of the bodies I decided to wait until I was really feeling adventurous and relaxed.
It looks like it would be a pretty straight forward deal, doing it with styrene would make it a lot easier than metal, trimming the bottom of the cab and back part of the front fenders would be simple, and taking a template on tape, then applying the tape back to the front clip to use as a trim line. A lot of the fender work could probably be accomplished with a sanding stick. The design of the cab should make it easy to just move the interior floor straight up and trimming off the extra length of the firewall and door panels (if using them) to fit. This will be a really cool looking truck when it's done, I like all the work you did on the frame, if you can do that, the body mods you canprobably do in your sleep.
It must be one of those photo vs. actual car deals, but it appears that the truck in the first photo has been sectioned around 8 -10" just a distortion from the angle? Look closely, you should see what I mean, and it gives the truck a serious attitude, looking at the pictures again it appears that the section job was done along just the lower edges, and is just about the amount of material from the bottom of the grille down. There was a lot of cars done this way back when. The only real work done was to apparently remove the material on the front part of the fenders from just above the curve at the front of the wheel opening, and then molding that part back to the fenders.
I think you can get one of the Tremec TKO six speeds from one of the newer Viper kits if you're interested, and correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't they use another set of rear fenders and swap sides with them for the inner fenders in the bed? Could be that I'm confusing that feature with the Orange Chevy truck they did clean up work on, the older I get the more of these ideas seem to get thrown together and my memory of what file they come from gets confused.
One thing I noticed, and it might just be distortion from camera angle, but on the 1:1 the beltline molding on the quarter panels matched the beltline on the rear of the cab. This is one of the details that I was really impressed by with the original build. I think you're doing a great job, a couple of details on the frame are just a little different but aren't worth doing something to them unless you're really going for exact, and those are the running board brackets on the original don't have the bulky vertical piece that goes vertically up the side of the frame rail. This one should really be ahead turner when you set it down on the table, I plan on watching this one very closely.
There are actually a lot of Bonneville records that were set on a circular course, Mickey Thompson set a few in a couple of Mustangs, and Buddy Baker and the K&K Dodge Charger from NASCAR set some, there are still a few that are FIA endurance records for time and distance that still stand, but I doubt if the salt will allow room for a five mile circle track to be set up again.