First off, thanks for the encouraging comments! They're appreciated.
As for the "swing-out CB chassis/mount" build, I intended to take pics of all the parts after primer, but unfortunately (or not) I got a bit overzealous and ended up assembling everything (so basically, I forgot to take pics. D'oh!) But it's not a super complicated build, so I'll try to go over the basics.
Pic one shows the basic chassis. Just some 16g steel cut to size and bent to fit the CB body. Pretty simple. The piano hinge is a cheap hardware store buy that I cut down to fit (making sure the holes lined up with material on the MPS overhead rack). Not shown (besides the rotary draw latches) I made some side plates from some scrap 12g steel, that fit inside the chassis sides. They add some strength (probably not necessary) but mainly added extra material for all the screws to thread into. I didn't want everything just screwed into the 16g. Had to account for the extra 12g plates (and some thin foam I used on both sides to cushion/protect the CB) before making any bends. Made the speaker hole with a Greenlee knockout punch that I had laying around, from modding my Dakota R/T fifteen years ago, and it just happened to be the right size (much cleaner and easier then a hole saw IMHO).
As a slight side note, I picked up Woodward Fab 10" throatless metal shear to cut plate steel, and it's made my garage fabricating much easier and quicker (and my poor Dremel gets a much needed break). This is the first mod I used it on, and already I don't know how I've lived without it for 50+ years
Pic two shows it from above the rack. Added a plug end to the CB harness, just to make install/removal easier. I made sure the wires and antenna cable (and even the mic cable, when clipped up) attach to the MPS rack in-line with the hinge, so when the CB swings down, the cables don't bind but are still secured. Ran the power/ground wires through the windshield trim, over and down the DS pillar behind the trim (I attached it to the factory rear-view mirror harness). The 18' antenna cable also goes through the windshield trim, but goes along the PS roll bar (under the padding/cover)all the way to the back.
Pic three shows the freedom panel latch from below, showing why I made the "swing-out" chassis.
Pic four shows the same freedom panel latch with the CB swung down for access. Mission accomplished
Pic five shows the completed install. Everything painted, stainless button-head screws, mic holder mounted for easy access (I can just key and talk, without pulling it down, for short coms) and the cord doesn't hang low or swing around a bunch when driving.
FWIW I went with the Uniden PRO505XL mainly based on reviews, cost, basic features, size, and mic style/shape. Nothing fancy here.
Now, onto the antenna base/mount....could take a while. All the parts are here, but there's plenty of modding-n-fabbing in my near future.