Al Tishler’s Competition Engines in Somerville, New Jersey, built the engine at 304.6 ci (4.02 x 3.00) and used all the correct factory gear, as prescribed by rules. Penske’s grinders spent a minimum of 40 hours on each (PN 3927186) cylinder head, porting and polishing like the flathead junkies of old. Al set the timing in the transistorized Mag Pulse distributor (PN 1111263) at 36 degrees and let her rip. On pump gas (Penske used leaded Sunoco 260 pump gas rated at 104 octane) plus a little anti-knock helper, Al saw 482 hp at 7,000 rpm and 441 lb-ft at 5,500 rpm. Stout by any means. Yes, you have to wing the bejeezus outta the motor but that’s how it was done back in the golden oldies. You haven’t lived until your reality has been shredded by the ungodly buzz-saw rip of a 9,500-rpm small-block.
Once the powertrain was complete, including the original Muncie M21 four-speed, Wayne and Ken made certain that all the parts and the assembly of said parts were copasetic with the project intention. Wayne was also well aware of Derek’s sanguinary tendencies, so he spent a lot of time making sure that safety came first, but that quality and authenticity were unsurpassed.
Derek: “In the end, we have what you see in the photos. What’s more fun for me is just how amazing this car is from a performance perspective. This is a big stamp of approval from a guy who drives 600hp big-block Corvettes. The chambered exhaust and the period-correct headers make a sound that will throw you back in the seat without putting the car in First gear!” You’ve got to love it.
When it was revved up to 8,000 it had an amazing sound! I’ll never forget the looks on the faces of all my buddies. We were like ‘Wow, this thing is nuts!’