Ha, me too.
This is probably my 3rd Car (and hopefully i will complete this one) but before this car i was modeling Concept cars, of my own design. Mostly Old cars, that i could picture myself driving back then.
So, you probably have more experience than me, so having you model this car at the same time, would probably help out.
So far Ive used the method you described, using Sub-Ds to preview the Poly mesh, but now with Maya 2008 we have the smooth Mesh preview.
Anyhow, if you can't find the blueprints just say so, and I'll post them here.
More updates tomorrow.
"Your weapons are no match for ours! People of Mars, surrender!"
"Um, this isn't Mars. This is Earth."
"Earth? Earth-with-nuclear-weapons Earth?"
[long pause] "Friend!!"