It is definitely worth the time to remove the body. More then likely, you will have to remove the top two panels of the footbox to access the pedal area. Be careful setting the body on something so you do not scratch the paint. To remove the body pull up from the rear first and rock the body over the door hinge area one at a time, then push it forward a little to clear the front quick jack mounts and up and off.
New (to me) challenge car home now! Yay! No more empty nest syndrome. BTW MK II big block car for sale, blue/white stripes, IRS, 15" knockoffs, Konis, heater/defroster, front/rear full bumpers. Very nice if classic is what you're looking for. 500HP/Torque 454 ci. FE made by Southern Automotive, top loader 4 spd. A Beast!! Asking $45000