Thanks GTO Judge. Lots of good info in your reply. The carburetor and intake are the originals. The only change that I can think of that may impact engine height is new motor mounts, though they seemed correct and that would be extreme. I have both styles of foam that you describe, the teardrop shape being recently purchased because I thought perhaps the darker/round hole one may not be "correct" and causing the hood to lift. However, both styles have a similar effect. The shop manual shows a teardrop shape, but I have seen many pictures with the round hole on what appear to be older/possibly original setups. Your feedback from the original owners is much appreciated in this regard. Also, for what it is worth the outer perimeter of the darker foam with the round hole style you describe does fit the shape of the pan very well. The teardrop shaped one sits a little inside the outer lip and does not stay in place as well. Perhaps one for driving and one for show haha!
The foam only lifts it a little, possibly exacerbated by worn hinges. I do believe the hood weight will easily compress the foam and so will try aligning the hood without surround and then let it settle on the foam. Thanks again for the insights. It's fun to be getting down to the details and difficult all at the same time! Appreciate the help.