I encourage you to get it street legal (if that is possible) as that first drive is a keystone moment, whether the car is truly ready/finished or not. If not get it on a track, even if it is a "tour lap" type of thing. Otherwise this is just a long-distance dating relationship.
Absence makes the heart grow colder with project cars or collector cars. My Mustang languishes in winter storage more than half the year due to our climate. A few years ago I had a stretch of years barely be able to use it compounding that distance between us and I was considering moving it on.
Then I drove it on a country road and remembered. It's not finished, not nice enough for many people but it is mine and it has taken much to get it onto that country road. Doing what it was for is important (even if a person really enjoys all stages of restoration).
I hadn't heard the term "manky" before but it deffinetly describes the smell of the carpet in some of the old British sports cars I've owned. At least you got the seating situation resolved so now you can sit in it and listen to music.
I fell in love with the Mini Marcos watching Andy Barton fling his through the esses at Ingliston in the 1960's. I think it would be kinder to describe the shape as "distinctive". And don't forget that one of these cars made it to Le Mans. I sure hope this one sees the light of day soon.