I have so much admiration for you gents who undertake ground up restorations in your own garage/shed. Your dedication and commitment to the finished product is very inspiring. The longest I have had my car off the road was when I had the engine rebuilt and the engine bay blasted and resprayed. All up that was about 10 weeks from pull the engine to back on the road. And that was about as long as a project I would want to be committed to.
I love cars, but for me my love is all about the driving. For those who enjoy working on cars I find there is more than enough maintenance and tinkering on road going classic cars. I recon I spend on average 10 hours or so every couple of months just maintaining the car, improvement here-improvement there.
I really feel for those who have no other option than enter the early z market through a car requiring a complete restoration, add to that the length of time they miss out on enjoying a great drivers car (when well sorted). If it was me and I could only afford $10k I would grab me something like a series one MX5 etc, and leave my weekends for driving. To put into context, if I could afford a basket case Ferrari 250 GT SWB (my all time favorite) only to spend the next 10 years slaving away restoring it I would have my driveable Z in preference for the simple fact I can enjoy it now.