How much would it cost to restore a 1966 mustang worth $2000?
Any car can be reliable un-restored as long as it is well maintained. My father has a 1952 Dodge Meadowbrook thats all original (paint, interior, engine, tranny, ect...) and he uses it as his daily driver during summer/fall months. Before he got the vehicle it had set in a garage for 30+ years so to get it running he had to spend around $6500 to get it to its daily driver self. The brake system needed completely redone, all fluids changed, a few gaskets were replaced, the whole fuel system from tank to carb was replaced, new shocks, tires and an alignment were done. Your car may not need all those things but what I am getting at is once a car is brought up to speed mechanically and maintained it will be just as reliable as any other car out on the road. Restoration to me has always been more of a cosmetical fix for cars than a mechanical one. I would throw your money at the brakes first, then the fuel system. Who knows, $1000 dollars might go a long way on that car or go real quick depending on what is wrong with it, but you will need to take it into a shop to find out for sure.
Hope this helps.