I have three cars that I built engines for, did trans work on, suspension, wheels, etc.
they all need body work and I am in the middle of doing one of them- body work is a PITA and takes a lot of time and money. engine work is infinitely easier.
There's also more money tied up in body work than you ever think upfront- a couple gallons of paint, primer, reducer, and maybe bondo are the LEAST of it. I've spent more on stripper and sandpaper alone than all the paint.