@gttx, I drive corolla 81, converted to diesel(2C). My ride was also simple and stock mean no a/c, no power steering and floor carpeting. It took me about 4 months to get it ready. And it nearly cost me around 125,000 with the following jobs:
Conversion to diesel
dash board swapped with Se model
Dent + paint, (bonnet & trunk replaced)
seats and roof upholestry all changed
and list goes on. From my point of view all the mods i have done is worth it. what is ur location khi or lhr?