I wanted to get my Mum a VW Beetle, but she just wanted "a small Holden" and settled on some lame midsize sedan thing. It's not sporty at all as you put it and I generally refuse to drive it. Speaking of steering assists, I picked up last year's Suzuki Grand Vitara and like most late model cars, it came with EPAS. It's such an awkward feel to get used to and then when I jump back in my ute with 200KG in the back, the non-electric power steering feels loose as hell.
I meant they're usually driven by women here, not the price of the Camry itself. I've never liked the Camry though, almost anything front wheel drive has no appeal to me. As for power steering, it's hard to go back once you've driven with it for a while.
Original, good condition panels probably won't be easy to find or cheap either. If you can find a decent XB for 7k USD, I'd like to see it. Expect rust, and a lot of it. Regardless of what the ad might tell you too. Those examples you showed me, like I said are good for their price, but will be full of rust just like any other Ford that's been sitting as long.
Enough of Fords. You need to check out Holden's coupes from the same era.
It would certainly be a great project, though I think you'd be getting a bit of a rust bucket for 10k or less. On the other hand, you've already proven you know how to deal with rust. As a bonus, you could get attacked by a Koala 'Bear' and throw another shrimp on the barbie. All the while laughing at our petrol pricing.