This is good stuff!
Having said that ... if a few stock cars were used - wait for it - every year ... was it such a
stretch that it should be called "exceptional"?
I agree with your conclusions in general. And note that far too many of us will use what
was an every season exception to justify having a stock car being loaded with watermelons.
My response to that is "those exceptions are OK ... but only if you have already modeled
the normal" ... and only if they are 'irregular enough on your layout'. It is easy to have too
many irregularities - they are 'neat" but may not end up with a "prototypical feel" and
instead you risk being "that layout that is mostly the exceptional/irregular".
===> Which, if that's what you are going for, is OK by me.
I have a specific set of cars I call "the good stuff" which is full of every day/normal cars
that would be seen in my era. They are not only prototypical (meaning "normal") but
also are at least one cut above in terms of the accuracy and detail level. And they are
all weathered - to different levels and for different parts of the country. Since my
layout represents the PNW in the post War years ... cars common in Florida are
much less likely to show up than cars common in the PNW. This works - for me.
- Jim in the PNW