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I'm a little late to the party, and I don't know if this has been addressed or if it could be related, but...
First thing I caught was that it's a 1974 (just like mine). That was the one year that all cars sold in the USA required a seat belt interlock (you couldn't start the car without fastening your seat belt). Most of the JHs out there have had this bypassed, but it's possible that either (a) yours still has it or (b) it was bypassed which explains the extra wires and it's not done right.
Try buckling the seat belt and see if that makes a difference. I don't remember exactly what the interlock disabled in the starting circuit, but it's just a thought.
That's really interesting! And makes so much sense as to why the car isn't starting. I will have to investigate this weekend and head back over to where the car is.