How to make an honest 350 HP from a small block: Build a traditional 355-cube engine. Use the best aftermarket parts (you'll need them). Build an engine you think will make 400 hp. Bolt on accessories and belts. Include an alternator, power steering, and A/C. Book time on a dyno. Tune and modify until you reach 350 hp. Install in your car. Retune regularly, as conditions change. Enjoy the sound of that choppy idle while idling in traffic in the summer. Watch the temp gauge. Enjoy 10 mpg.
Or, for about the same cost, bolt in an LS1. Drive. Feel instant throttle response in any conditions. Experience torque you never thought possible in a small-block. Enjoy over 25 mpg. Better yet, for a few bucks more, bolt in an LS2 or LS6 and add 50 hp with no sacrifices.
In May we printed some hate letters from guys who told us that LS1s just don't belong here. We got 10 times the kickback from people who think Gen III V-8s have a future here, which is encouraging. That first guy nailed the problem dead-on.
James Schrot, Presumably somewhere in Missouri
They All Look The Same
Who: Paul Vilser
Where: Palatine, IL
What: '87 Buick Grand National
Why: We really wanted a Buick in Readers' Pages so we could have one car from every brand, and all we had was this GN, which should tell Buick guys to get on the stick and send us some good photos of your cars. We figure you knew what the rest of the car looked like, so here's Paul's turbo V-6 that pushes the G-body to 10.94 at 126 mph (bless you for including e.t. numbers) on street tires and gets over 20 mpg. Even with tunes, air conditioning, and all the power amenities.The power combo: Stock turbo Buick block bored 0.010, steel main caps, JE pistons, stock crank and rods, ARP bolts and studs, Champion GN1 heads and intake, and a 210/210-at-0.050 Comp hydraulic-roller cam. A Precision Turbo front-mount intercooler and PT67 turbo is run at 21 pounds of boost with 110-octane gas and a 65mm throttle-body and 57-lb/hr Seimens injectors. Paul still runs the stock computer and headers but with a 3-inch downpipe and 211/42-inch stainless dual exhaust. The suspension has Competition Engineering adjustable shocks, an ATR big rear swaybar and H&R Parts & Stuff upper and lower rear control arms. The rear end is stock with Moser axles and C-clip eliminators, and the transmission has a Precision 9-inch 3,400-stall converter.
We'd Have It
Who: John Lacasse
Where: St. Paul, MN, home of the CC Summer Nationals
What: '68 Chevy Biscayne
Why: Mostly because his photos were of the right digital resolution, and because he told us CC was the best mag, even if he did send photos from the Hot Rod Power Tour. He claims this one's an original 427 car. It's got 16x7 and 17x9.6 Wheel Vintiques billet Rallye wheels and some Eaton Detroit Spring drop coils and just a nice cruising vibe.