I appreciate the input, some good food for thought. One good thing is I do have a lot of interior parts stockpiled (New seat covers, etc) and most of the trim. Good to know the cost may not be as high as I thought.
Thumpin 455, are you planning to do the paint yourself as well?
I've got the Restoration Guide and and Chiltons, any other manuals/books I should get?
I do everything except the machine work on blocks and cranks. I have plenty of time and a place to do the work. No job to keep me from a project and I dont get bored with it because I need to keep busy. This isnt what most people have or can do, not everyone can do everything, and most dont have the time. Like the other guys said, dont take it apart unless you plan to bust your hump on it, work on it as often as you can, and keep plugging away.
My first car, a 67 Cougar, sat for 20 years after I started repainting it. Other projects, 9 years in the military, a family/mortgage, and life in general got in the way of finishing that car. I havent driven it since 1986, but it now is painted and just needs mechanical work and an interior. It still isnt a priority so it sits. When you dont drive a car for 24 years it doesnt really provide that burning desire to go cruising in it. The moral of that is dont start something unless you have the time and resources to finish it.
I want to drive my 70 GTO but it needs a frame off and lots of electrical work. I could still drive it like it is, but I want to have it nice and stop the rust first. Its the same situation as your GTO, but it was my daily driver for 12 years and has only been parked since 06. I wont start on it until I have more parts here for it, and I need to have the 65 done first. Dont start it until you can finish it, but you can keep it running and drive it even if it isnt pretty. The 70 has a rebuilt suspension, a healthy 455, and a new 12 bolt with 3.42 gears and a posi. It just needs cosmetics and rust repair, but it still might get driven this year because I love driving that car. I could fix all the rust and paint it without taking it off the frame too, but I have the resources and skills to rebuild it in a few months rather than years without a bunch of cash. If you dont have a big shop and all the stuff needed for what I do, then take it slow bit by bit.
If you have the place and the tools, then get started and dont let it take ten years, do it in one. Doing a complete rebuild in one year takes dedication and determination. You cant slack off, and you have to be motivated to work on it even when you dont want to. It is way to easy to let a car sit for 20 years.