Why use historical cars, planes, and tanks in a science fiction setting when I could create whatever I want? I feel a setting needs to be internally consistent, and should have what Tom Clancy called verisimilitude. If you get the details right, the story is believable. When I use a real plane as a template it is much easier to get the details of its capabilities correct- how fast it is, what maneuvers it can make, how the ejection seat works. The pilot character Farad Hashemi knows this stuff, and I should, too.
Suri’s car is more whimsical. Traditionally, an aspiring young woman like her, given her country origins, would be interested in riding horses. I decided to be more modern and gave her a passion for fast cars. It’s far more practical, and Suri is both a forward thinker and an adventurous soul.