I might have to see if I can find one of those 1/25 Olivers. Finding any 1/25 scale tractor is hard enough, I'm more than willing to use die cast if I have to. The tow truck is somewhat stalled at the moment, other projects have taken priority. It is currently sitting in primer, and I have modified the bed so it sits better on the chassis.
Another thing that might be giving you problems with the scratches is the sanding technique used. You always want to sand in straight lines as much as possible (sometimes that's hard to do on some parts). When you go to the next grit, you should try to sand at a different angle from the prior grit, say 45 to 90 degrees from the direction you sanded. This will prevent making any scratches deeper, and will aid in removing them.
I would suggest stripping them and going with a stainless steel finish. That would be closer to what you would find on a 1:1 street truck. The mufflers on the tips are not actually glass packs, but rather they are SuperTrapp mufflers. They're more of a motorcycle item, particularly off road motorcycles. They did manufacture them for cars and trucks, though, in the late '80s/early ;90s, and they were somewhat popular as they not only were quiet, but could be tuned for performance very easily. They fell out of favor when mufflers like Flowmaster and Magnaflow came out, which were much cheaper.
The version on the kit have the optional end cap. On the 1:1 version, polished stainless or brushed stainless were options.
It's a rubber type coating, primarily for tool handles. It's essentially the same material that you see on plier handles. Comes in 2 types, a can that you simply dip the tool in, which is the original version of the product, and it now also comes in a spray can. It won't hurt the plastic in any way, but it will go on very thick, and dries to a somewhat glossy vinyl appearance. I really can't think of any good modelling applications for it, other than perhaps replacing/adding grips to modelling tools. You might also be able to use it in a mold to make flexible parts, though I'm not sure how well it would set up.
Common problem on that kit, especially the later issues. The windshield on that kit is not correct to the 1:1 on any of the issues of it, though. The top of the glass should actually sit 3 scale inches back from the edge of the cab roof, like this
You could make a filler strip to correct it out of styrene.
That not 100% accurate. You can bring over "gray market" vehicles, but you cannot license or register them for road use until the met US emissions and safety standards., plus pay the import taxes and other fees. This includes supplying a bill of sale, motor vehicle tax forms RUT-35 or RUT-50, vehicle transaction form VSD-190, US customs form7501 "entry summary", DOT form HS-7, US EPA form 3520-1. There are exceptions; 1, the importer or importer's agent submits documentation that the vehicle is in compliance with US emissions and safety standards; 2,A manufacturers Certificate of Origin has been issued showing the vehicle is in compliance with US EPA and DOT standards; or 3, the vehicle is 25 years old or older. This all from the Grey Market Vehicle Guidelines brochure for the State of Illinois.
That is a great idea! However, you might what to check the cars out first. Anything Winners Circle, as well as the smaller scale Action cars would be fine to let the children play with. But the bigger scale Action cars do tend to have smaller detail parts on them (some even have photoetch parts) that may cause an issue if they're played with. Perhaps with those, maybe do an auction for the higher value items and make a donation to the childrens home?
Model railroad section at the hobby shop. Woodland Scenics is a common brand, but there are other brands out there too, like Faller. Also, you might take a look in the crafts area at a Hobby Lobby, Micheal's, or Jo Anne Fabric, where they keep Fiskars products, They make some punches that do a leaf shape, I have seen one that does an approximately 1/24 scale maple leaf.
Not necessarily bad advice, with perhaps a few changes. Most fans/collectors will only collect items for "their" driver. If the collection is multiple drivers, it might be better to separate it out by driver, and sell it in lots that way. Also, be aware that some of those items might be common items that may not bring much. There's also some issues where the market got glutted, even on the "limited production" items, simply due to demand, or in at least one case I know of, a factory mistake. In that particular case (the Earnhardt pink '56 Ford), a car was released with an inaccurate paint job, so a second run was made with the correct paint job, and they produced at least double the amount of them that the first run. Unfortunately, neither are very valuable, the first run due to the paint, second run due to the overproduction.
Depends on what kit you're working with. Many kits come with dash gauge decals these days. Also, there are some aftermarket companies like Model Car Garage that include gauge decals in their photoetch detail kits. Another option, which really opens up what you can do, is to find images of the dash you need the gauges from, preferably a picture of just the gauges, then resize it to fit the kit you're working with. I've done that a few times recently, with pretty decent results. Restoration catalogs are good for finding musclecar and truck gauges, others can be found through a Google search. That also gives you the option of doing specific gauge options, if the real car had one or there's a custom version available aftermarket.