Andi Thank you for your comments - apologies for long overdue response - somehow "work things" get in the way at times!
What I meant by the wheels falling off is not really apparent from the photos - enlarge the pics and you will see what I mean. Getting those incredibly smooth finishes you guys get is still something I have to try to get a grip on - have since found very informative article by Chris Wright on his Lotus 25 build (complete) - this should be suggested reading for all newbies like me.
As to how the car goes - it is not bad but I need to skim the tires and only recently got the correct front tires sizes in and need to properly skim these and get this car going.
Datto The hardwood is beech. It is really nice to work with - very fine and the grain does not push drill bits around too much which is why it is so machinable. The ironic thing about this is that it is one of the cheaper hardwoods around. I cut lengths of about 3ft into various thicknesses (exact sizes - measured with vernier) and then use these to assemble thus creating the central void. Soon will be posting a new build for a Ferrari 256 and the Maserati 250F using similar approach.