If you want to build yourself something for fun and seat of the pants thrills, I do like my set up, especially in town areas that you know. By that I mean the cops know you and you know them. Some of the local town police have stuff of their own they come out with and they like to play as well...at least around here. Here in Delaware US HWY 13 and US HWY 113 are the main highways. Became 55 mph when I first got stationed at Dover AFB in 1974 and has never changed since. Some places are MPH. I can usually drive and keep up with traffic with the 4.10's on these roads, but that's if the other travelers stay at the speed limit, which 95% or better don't.
Now they have a thru road (RT1) for the beach traffic and what not which I don't go on much. (I believe it's 65 mph not too sure). Here I can run 4500 to 5000 rpm for short distances just playing around with another friend but I don't sustain that much. I can probably get by if I put back in the 3.73's. This road you'll find alot of the newer HI-PO cars that can go above 120 or more with ease. Mostly at night though.
It's a real tough decision to make when it comes to what you want to put in the rear. Around 1985 I had a 66 Chevy II Nova running a 327/365 and 4.56's, built turbo 350 manual shift only. Now that was fun around town, but no way could I drive it even on 13 and 113. That got old real fast. You could pop right out there in front of everyone street light to street light, but forget it on open road, your toast. 40 mph at 4500 or so rpm isn't good in traffic. My wife hated driving that car. I think I still have a pic of it somewhere. Way old school look. Short Grumpy Jenkins style hood box, roll bar, etc.
And for the winner...my first 69 Z28. I picked this car up cheap wrecked in the front when I first got to Dover AFB in 1974. Rebuilt the 302 to the 12's and 140 cam specs, had plenty of head work done and had 4.88's in the rear, M21. Remember Sunoco 260? My only car then. I had to make a trip to Memphis, Tenn. and back and that was rough, especially with 2 babies in the back seat and a 6 ft female Boa Constrictor. I was glad to get that car back to Dover. I sold it to someone in Maryland when I got orders to England. I took something special there with me, but that's is another story for another time.
Basically...you really have to think long and hard on what you feel you want the car to perform like. You have to feel out your surroundings. How are the roads, the cops (especially). Engine wise that's a no brainer...build what you want for the gas available, but the rear is a whole different thought process.
That is my experience. I'm putting my 302 back in along with the 3.73's and sticking to it. Getting too old for the old days.
Hey Gary based on your experience, what changes would you make for the ultimate set up. Since I am starting from scratch I am curious how to get the best of all possible worlds in one great package. Some say more gear, some say less. I do like a bit of hi way driving, but no major long trips planned, just around town.