Peter, I think you need to get rid of the car.
I see words like 'invested' and 'value' and 'collector' and that makes me
think that you are expecting a bit too much from this MGB.... Many people who
do a nuts and bolts restoration on these cars end up upside down, with more
invested than the car is worth. There are just too many B's around, even
today, to make them 'collectors', unless you have the first couple of cars. I
think you have a '66 (?), a great example of a chrome-bumper car, but not one
that is of any special interest.
My '65 project will be undergoing some bodywork but my plan is to clean up
and put back most of the original parts. I want it to be as original as
possible, and frankly, when I buy used parts, I am looking for those with
built-in patina! Doing much of your own work is another way to keep costs
down, as you noted.
So, whatever you do, go into it eyes wide open. Most of us don't total up
our bottom line for parts spent - it's too scary! We do it because we love our
B's, and want to drive them, not invest in them.
As far as reshelling, you may be better off locating a new shell from the
south or west, where it is dryer.
The Garden State
'76 MGB Tourer - Driver - "On the Road Again....!"
'65 MGB Tourer Project - Yep, still is....
'04 Audi A4 1.8T q MT-6 - quattro, baby!