The story of Ford Canada is close, but not exact to your father-in-law's description. Ford of Canada is controlled by Ford Motor Company, but the control is not 100%. Ford of Canada had its own stock offerings on the Canadian exchanges, and when Henry Ford bought back all the stock in FoMoCo after World War One, he didn't buy the Canadian stock. Ford Canada, therefore, had a level of autonomy which didn't exist with GM and Chrysler Canada. Even today, IIRC, there is 3 or 4 percent of Ford Canada stock which is not controlled by Ford Corporate. Because of this situation, Ford controlled Ford England, Ford Werke (Germany), and others, while Ford Canada controlled Ford Australia and some of the other territories. The Canadian models were used to give Lincoln-Mercury dealers a less expensive line to sell (Meteor), a distinct truck line for Mercury, and give Ford dealers a more upscale line for extra profit (Monarch). End of history lesson... ;D
Modelhaus is casting a kit to transform the '58 into a '57 Belvedere. I don't know if the bow in the body has been fixed on the casting, but there is something about the side trim and grille on the '57 which made me want to place an order.
The Fujimi kit looks great, and fits together nicely. The only area which I will be changing on mine are the wire wheels; the ones in the kit are toy-like in comparison to the wheels in the Revell Germany (originally Protar) kit.
It all depends on which classic-era kits you are interested in. The 1930s Fords, Chevs, and Plymouths, aren't too bad, though they are curbside (with the exception of the Plymouth, which has an engine), and have no chrome. The luxury cars and brass-era cars are nicely detailed, have plated parts and engine detail. IIRC, the only kit which wasn't that great, appearance-wise, was the 1952 Chevrolet.
The Rolls Royce was first issued back in the late 60's as part of Monogram's classic car series, while the Model A was first issued as a 6 in 1 kit back in the early 60's, with all the rod and custom stuff deleted years ago (along with the Cabriolet option). I can't remember any issues with the Rolls, but the roof on the Coupe can be a bit fiddly to glue; using CA and liquid glue would help.
If you want to go a bit more old school for superbikes, MPC had a Honda CB750 chopper in their old Monte Carlo kits. Not as exciting as a new suberbike engine, but probably a bit more racy looking than stock.
The S600 is a very nice looking kit, and Tamiya has made the appropriate revisions. One nice feature, not mentioned on the instructions, is the inclusion of the raised soft top, in additon to the hardtop and the boot.
Since I couldn't find Tamiya's ABS cement locally, I went with Chuck's suggestion and bought some Plastruct Bondene. It works great on the kit plastic. One warning to builders about the ABS-once it's bonded, it doesn't want to let go. I messed up on the location of the rear shocks (parts A4 and A5), and mounted them so the arms were parallel to the end of the chassis. Doing this caused a fit issue when installing the rear axle assembly. Go by the drawing in the instructions, and it will work.
As for the ABS plastic, I wonder if Toyota may be considering putting these out as dealer promos. Mold the body and frame in black, and assemble them at their plant in the Phillipines, and you would have a desk ornament strong enough to handle the occasional snatch and smash from a customer's kid. Just a thought.
Just picked mine up today at the LHS. One interesting feature of the kit is that the body and interior trees are molded in polystyrene, while the chassis and chrome trees are molded in ABS. I'm sure Tamiya had a good reason for engineering it this way, but it's inconvenient- I wanted to start building it, and now need to purchase some cement for ABS plastic.
The protruding headlights are the result of AMT/Ertl reworking the tooling back to stock in the mid-1980's (it had been changed into a Modified Stocker, with blanked-out headlights, back in the early '70s). I agree with the other posters; the Modelhaus bumpers are the best way to go.
There used to be a stock-bodied 510 4-door available from Hasegawa many years ago. I had considered grafting the wheel arches from this kit onto the Revell version for a stock two-door, but never went through with it. I had also considered dumping the Revell chassis underneath the Hasegawa body, but I would have had to extend the wheelbase for the conversion to work. Oh, well...