My mistake, should have put this in the "engine" thread. This car is a daily driver in the summer, and 1/4 mile times are not the #1 priority. I am also more into the nostalgia thing - that was the solid cam / short stoke idea.
I did have a 427 in this car, but pulled it with $3/gallon gas prices plus it makes the car nose - heavy and hurts what little handling it has.
For me, a nice small block that will pull 5,000 - 5,800 rpm and a 4 speed is the definition of F-U-N. - plus the fact that I don't feel guilty about spending the money for gas to drive it to work.
I sold a 72 Chevelle last spring that had an 87 octaine 350, with the afore-mentioned GMPP cam, headers, holley carb, 4-speed and 3.08 gear -a 15 sec car that was fun to drive and got 17 mpg. Probably boring to some, but practical to me.
Got the info I needed on the heads, 434's are junk - terrible exhaust ports. 291's and 487's are about par for flow, just the difference in chambers.
I agree about the heavy car, cubes and torque, and if I was into that, and wanted to spend a lot of money, then there's the 592 BB or 454 sbc and the rest of the drivetrain. Personally, I like the challenge, and get a lot more satisfaction, of doing "something with nothing". I get a bigger grin out of running 15's or 14's with a 327 than 10's with a big block.
We had a guy here in Michigan with a 68 sports sedan like mine running 12.3's with a 327 / glide (and yes, camel hump heads, and... to your point- steep gears). Now that impressed the crap out of me! Most folks thought for sure it was a 427 car.
BTW - the Imp isn't much heavier than a Chevelle or late 70's F-car.
thanks, I do apprciate your comments and post.