I love the way you broke things down.You have to ask yourself and answer a question.
Do you want a DD, garage queen or concourse restoration?
If you think your cars value is 20k + and you want to use it as a DD, then you are going to pay insurance based on the value and risk.
I want to be able to DD my cars with no restrictions so I probably pay more insurance than most of you pay.
Im most likely going to buy replacement fenders for my 67. Replacements have no bondo, rust, previous damage or holes. I want 68 emblems and no external antenna.
At $165 a fender from NPD, thats pretty low cost to start with a clean piece of sheetmetal.
I will bolt it on, line it up as best as I can and leave it alone. Its a driver car that will top out at under 20k in value regardless of how much I spend on it.
If it gets smashed in a WM parking lot or at an intersection, Im going to say, "Damn, $165 fender smashed to hell." Then Im going online and ordering another one.
Im a few hours away from NPD - Florida, so Im picking mine up. Everything sheetmetal that gets shipped ends up damaged.
I will put my originals in the attic with the rest of the Mustang that I am slowing storing up there.
Good common sese points