Chevy 383 buildup? About $4,000. Ford SVO 514? Seven grand once you get it running. Same for the Mopar 500 show in this issue. Pretty spendy stuff, so we wouldn't feel like Car Craft if we didn't throw in at least one big engine for small bucks: a Buick 455 treated to an easy cosmetic and mechanical restoration for way under $1,000. It's just a spray-can rebuild, but there's nothing wrong with that if you start with a healthy engine, spend a lot of elbow grease cleaning it up, and add a few well-chosen power parts. This story will show you how to do just that and be proud of it.
The Buick 455 is a particularly good choice for a budget buildup like this, as we've seen even the low-compression '72 motors (like ours) run 13's in A-body Skylarks with perfect daily driveability and freeway-friendly rear gears. We'll put that theory to the test once we get this sucker running in our '65 Special wagon, and you can look for that story in a few months. We've had too many car buildups lately (like the budget Buster and El Cheapo) where the initial story didn't include drag testing because we thrashed too hard against the deadline, so we're not gonna run the Buick swap article until it posts a good number. Besides, that tricks you Buick guys in buying the mag for the next few months. Until then, dig how we made this greaseball shine.