As I am writing this, the following story has been and gone for over a month now. I'm quite happy to report before-hand that everything seems to have ended up OK, but it was all quite the disaster when it happened.
I got the idea to replace the fuel filter, belts, spark plugs and wires. So, I started with the fuel filter, which went quite smoothly: raise the car on the left side with a jack, put it on a jack stand and off I went. Next up was the rest, which required the front of the car to be raised. And where can we raise the entire front of the car in a handy way? By jacking the subframe! Not the worst idea, but sadly, my jack's wheels got stuck, not being able to roll along as the angle of the car changed. Of course, the gear box was in Park, so the rear of the car wouldn't roll forward to compensate for the angle, either. Result: at a certain point while jacking the car up, suddenly it shot off, with the jack landing underneath the oil pan. Needless to say, some profanities were spoken.
Looking at the damage, it was clear that the oil pan was dented far enough to be hit by the crankshaft as the engine would turn. Therefore, I didn't start it anymore. I arranged for a salvage oil pan which I cleaned up and coated with a rust protective matte black layer of spray-on Tectyl on the outside. Then, I decided that doing this job on the ground was perhaps possible, but would be horribly inconvenient and difficult. So, I made a tough call: I was going to tow the car to a local shop where I know the owner to be a nice guy and a good mechanic and I would let him replace the oil pan. While he was at it with the car on a garage bridge, I decided I would ask him to replace the plugs, wires, gear box filter and oil and differential oil all as well. That would help me along greatly and save me a lot of messing around on the floor.
I arranged with the owner of the shop that I would provide all parts myself and would deliver the car and parts as soon as I'd have them all. You can see the big pile of bits on one of the added pictures, it was quite the package! I towed the Bird to the shop with the help of a colleague who has a nice, powerful Volvo V50 T5 and the guy got to work on it. Long story short, he replaced all the parts, found some other small things to be wrong (a coolant hose running to the heater core came off, leaking coolant) and charged me for the work at an incredible discount. The Bird came out running quite nicely again. All's well that ends well!