A big problem, at least for US trucks is everything changed after 2007 due to new emissions laws. Pretty much every diesel engine manufacturer had to start over from scratch. I think the Moebius IH trucks are the only kits released since 2007 and they have IH engines.
0.04" = 1" in 1/25 scale Many people like to use 1mm = 1" for 1/25 scale which is very close (1mm = 0.98" in 1/25)
Common Bead sizes (beads listed by mm dia are obvious) 6/0 = 3.3mm, 8/0 = 2.5mm, 9/0 = 2.2mm, 10/0 = 2.0mm, 11/0 = 1.8mm, 13/0 = 1.5mm, 14/0 = 1.4mm, 15/0 = 1.3mm
Common American Wire Gauge sizes (size of the wire, does not include insulation) 8 = 0.1285" / 3.264mm, 10 = 0.1019" / 2.588mm, 12 = 0.0808" / 2.053mm, 14 = 0.0641" / 1.628mm, 16 = 0.0508" / 1.291mm, 18 = 0.0403" / 1.024mm, 20 = 0.0320" / 0.812mm, 22 = 0.253 / 0.644mm 24 = 0.0201" / 0.511mm, 28 = 0.0126" / 0.321mm, 30 = 0.01" / 0.255mm
Hard to give a specific answer without knowing the size hose you are replicating. Radiator hoses run anywhere from 1.5" -2" on cars up to 3" + on a large truck. Lots of smaller 3/4" to 1" hoses for expansion tanks and accessories (A/C, heater etc).
Harbor Freight has lots of neat little things you don't know you need until you see it. Rulers, protractors, compasses, calipers, marking tools, punches, organizers etc. Stuff that at $20-30+ dollars you would pass on, but at $5-10 you can find a use for. You really do need to look things over though, some of the stuff is actually decent, some is pretty crummy. Most is lightweight, and would never hold up under professional use, but is fine for the occasional user or for our hobby uses. I have a small set of 5 or 6 hollow punches, the whole set is about the price of one punch from a reputable maker, they work fine on plastic. I have a set of 1-60 wire gauge drill bits hat cost $20, individual wire gauge bits run $2-5 at Ace Hardware or Home Depot. Probably nowhere near the same quality, but they work fine on the plastic, wood and soft metals we use. Wire gauge drill bits are nice for models because of the close spacing of sizes. I have the mini-chop saw mentioned earlier, 2" blade, kind of flimsy but works fine for the light weight work we do.
I saw a post from Rob (Jantrix) which mentioned the Peking to Paris Challenge. It got me thinking a vintage endurance race community build might be fun, Peking to Paris, La Carrera Panamericana, Pikes Peak Hill Climb, European Rally Championship, early years of the WRC etc.
A couple of websites for ideas http://www.endurorally.com/ http://panamrace.com/
I've done some paper real space models, mostly of space probes like the Voyager. The commercial kits with laser cut parts can be very detailed. Also lots of free kits you can download. If you don't like paper you can use the parts as a guide and transfer to styrene sheet. I have a 1930s British medium tank kit I downloaded and intend to finish in plastic since there are no plastic kits of the subject.
I got asked for the year of birth when buying beer recently. I was a little surprised by the question so it took me a few seconds to spit out the year. The girl at the register just kind of laughed and said sometime she forgets how old she is too, "am I 25 or 26"?. I didn't mind being carded, not a big deal, however the realization that I have been able to drink for her entire life didn't make me feel warm and fuzzy. Mentally I still think of myself as about 30 until reality is rudely shoved in my face and it is pointed out that the number of 30th birthdays I've had is into double digits.
Danno has it right, this is a chemical car, basically two large soda acid fire extinguishers mounted on the chassis. You have to remember that at this time most fire apparatus in the US was still horse drawn and many smaller cities and towns would still be using steam pumpers or even hand pumped fire pumpers. The idea with something like this is 2 firemen could zip to a fire and catch it while still small. They were so effective that for many years it was believed there was something special in the soda / acid / water combination that helped suppress fires, but really it was just getting there quickly before the fire got big.
I've got the touring car and will definitely have to get this one.