That's not what you said though. You want him to become a fabricator, mechanic and painter. And all these posts about how much aftermarket support these cars have, up to and including engine swaps.
I don't disagree with any of your posts, just saying that while we may enjoy talking about all this stuff, it doesn't sound like what he's looking to do. Stock Miata or MR2 that doesn't require any major repair is what I think he needs