Your Pantera story is so much like mine! I purchased my car 11 years ago. Two beautiful daughters and 7 years later, I finally began work on this project. It is now nearly complete.
I began by disassembling the car and acid dipping the chassis. I do not regret doing this; there are many areas that cannot be accessed by normal means and there were several problem areas uncovered. I did not do the body work, but I did everything else in my cramped backyard garage.
I updated a gallery, linked below:Big Block Restoration Gallery
I have found this forum to be a fantastic resource. In addition, the Pantera owners that live in my area are the best!
Good luck! I look forward to following your blog and watching your progress.