I fixed the starting problem. It was...drumroll, please...a loose condenser wire... Of all things! It was either loose where it came through the body of the 050 distributor and spade connected onto the points, or it was grounding at that point on the distributor body. The pass-through the disty body is a bit of a kludge, this condenser was not designed for this disty, so the grommet is a big square thing and needs to be a smaller round thing. I had trimmed it, but it was kind of loose, and probably when I turned the distributor to set the timing, it moved and came-loose or shorted.
What that solution, I went to the April Autocross with the LPR PCA at Marina Airport course outside Salinas. Here are a couple of pictures (1, 2) by John Reed. I also took some of the photos on the same page, further down from John's pictures. One pic made it into the June Newsletter (pdf, see p.33/44).
Sadly, I only posted four runs. I DNF'ed one, because I didn't close my door securely and it flew open on the first turn! D-oh! I couldn't close it because I had kneed the door handle up into "lock" position (with the door open). As I couldn't hold the door closed and go around turns, I drove off course before they red flagged me. I would have stopped, fixed the door, and then kept going, but looking in the rear-view (fortunately not turned down--contrary to Henry Watts' recommendations), I saw my engine decklid was open, too! What a marroon!
The last run, I started noticing a pretty loud whine from just under the rear seat tray, down low. You know, where the transmission sits. It went away with the clutch in. I did my last run of the morning and then worked my afternoon assignment then nursed it home.
Fun, but not a full day and not as fun as it could have been given the expensive-sounding noise from the tranny. Still, the engine runs good now, and she starts easily and idles well!