Rob you didn't mention your abilities or your facility to which a car could be "restored" or upgraded! I'm not an expert in this area but, I have rebuilt, upgraded or "restored" a few cars myself. This process at any level takes time, space and money! IMO, if you find a solid car to work with and the repairs are minimal, you will be far ahead of the program from the start. Those cars are easy to take apart, clean and repair. It can be a life long adventure assembling them correctly!
As to the price or value of anything, that's a decision the buyer must accept! After all, it's you (or your buddy) that wants the car! If your (or your buddy) is satisfied with the deal and the car you receive, what the hell does it matter what anyone else thinks!
One thing for sure. Almost anytime you start cleaning, digging or sanding on an older car, you find problems!
Happy auto hunting,
Masters Degree in Perverted Idiocy.