The Gobot MR2s are a hoot to drive and far more available (and reliable) than an X-1/9. That said, I wouldn't work nearly that hard to keep one running. We discovered early on that the quickest way to fudge an intake or radiator hose was to befriend the local auto parts store and wander around back amongst their formed shit to find something to cannibalize; I woulda hose-barbed and RTV'd the thing and called it a day.
Have you seen the Toaster Project? I find it slavish to the point of insipid but I'm also the kind of troglodyte that wonders why you need a hose clamp and a box cutter where a fuckin' Leatherman will do.