Hiya Trev, by hardtop NC, do you mean the PRHT (Power top)? The paint defects you mention are on the rear deck panel, the part that closes over the rear area and has the third high level brake light on it. This paint problem is fairly well documented on the internet, so search NC rear deck panel paint problems, this should throw up more info. It’s suggested that the panel (which is not metal) has absorbed moisture during the paint process, causing these micro blisters to appear. Not all seem to be affected though.
Secondly, I assume you mean AC, not AS? The compressor (pump) itself won’t make a noise, or shouldn’t, it’s mounted at the front lower right of the engine, you may notice an increase in revs when switched on though, as the engine compensates for the increased load of the compressor. If the AC needs a refill, you can hear a gurgling noise behind the glove box inside the car, as air is being circulated rather than refrigerant.
Thirdly, (might be wrong here) but I thought the only velocity red cars were the Launch edition cars sold in 2005, all being soft tops, no Power roof option.
You may have viewed this model with a detachable hard top fitted. Any marks along the rear edge is down to bad storage of the roof, off the car I reckon. Being stood against a wall with the rear edge straight onto a garage floor.
Let us know a bit more detail on the cars your looking at.