Or more correctly, an auto electrician got it running. As I suspected though, it was something delightfully simple and stupid that kept it from starting.
Specifically, it was the fuel pump relay fuse, a 10 amp affair that cost under a dollar to replace. It was enough to stop the car from starting. But start she did, and it runs reasonably well. Cost of auto electrician: $82. Running total: $225. There was a lot of smoke, but most of that disappeared after an oil and filter change. The previous owner had simply topped up the oil rather than change it out, and it was overfilled, to say nothing of how putrid it was. This little car's crankcase capacity is only 2.7 litres, unlike the 4+ my wife's Ford Falcon has.
There's still a small amount of smoke present, which is a bit worrisome as it could mean anything from gasket leaks to piston rings being defective.
The fuse in question is highlighted.
Cost of oil and filter: $55. Running total: $307.
There's a lot of sludge and gunk around the engine and gearbox too, which I hope is only the accumulation of cleaning neglect rather than anything more serious. There's zero chance of getting it roadworthy until it's cleaned up though.
It needed four new tyres. Cost of those: $260. Running total: $567. The tyres on this beast are 155/65 SR13 which are rare, and I had to order them in. However, that's one less thing to be knocked back on for the roadworthy check. Of course one of the lug nuts had to be a pain to get off, and as a Korean car, the Matiz is pure metric, which necessitated me buying a metric wheel brace. Cost: $17. Running total: $584.
It needs a radiator flush, but I couldn't get a grip on the radiator outlet clamp, so that's a task for when I get a pair of decent vise grips.
I threw some petrol treatment in it to clean the engine internals out. Cost: $13, running total: $597.
Now it's at the stage where it needs a lot of little things fixed. Driver's side front seatbelt, wiper washer motor, reverse light switch, passenger side interior door handles - front and rear, rear wiper motor (might be a fuse) and ignition barrel. It won't lock - the fob probably needs a new battery, which is easily fixed. If it's something beyond that, then life gets more complicated.
Stay tuned - I'll get this little beast on the road yet.