Engine builders generally operate on fairly straightforward parameters. For the NHRA/IHRA class racer the objective is to achieve maximum performance within the rules. Likewise, contestants in the AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge must adhere to certain restrictions. For "Super" class and E.T. Bracket racers the goal is to build a consistent, reliable engine. But when Bill Holland sought to develop a powerplant for his unique 1923 "Track-T" street rod (which was featured in the September '10 issue of Hot Rod magazine) there were a multitude of factors to contend with.

The car itself is a blend of classic styling and contemporary technology, with a major emphasis on performance. It's a T-bucket engineered to stomp a Z06 Corvette on the dragstrip and road course. Bill's idea was to use a venerable small-block Chevy engine that looked and acted like it came out of a Sprint Car-but it would need to be well mannered for cruising and not require constant maintenance. Additionally, weight was a consideration. And lastly, Bill wanted the engine to shine in the 2,500 to 6,500-rpm range as put forth in the EMC, as that's where it would be spending most of its time.

From an aesthetic standpoint the obvious link to Sprint Cars was a set of Kinsler port injectors. There's something about a set of eight flared stacks that appeals to most hot rodders. The trick was to combine panache with performance. And the key to the equation was a FAST controller, which allowed the fuel and ignition curves to be optimized throughout the engine's very broad powerband. A set of blueprinted fuel injectors from RC Engineering also contributed to the engine's smooth operation, while XRP's braided stainless steel hoses and black anodized AN fittings added a finishing touch to the fuel system.

Let's go from the bottom up. Given the criteria for keeping weight to a minimum, a World Products Motown Lite aluminum block was selected. Weighing about 100 pounds with sleeves, it fits the bill for lightness. Other important features of the World block include "bulges" for larger water passages and horizontal ribs that offer benefits in both cooling and cylinder bore stability. They look sweet, too. The block comes with billet steel four-bolt splayed mains and ARP hardware, and there are reinforcing ribs in the valley connecting the banks. They are drilled to cross-feed the lifter galleys. Optimum lubrication is assured through the use of a priority main oil system, which feeds the crankshaft bearings first and the valvetrain last.

Carrying on with the engine's lubrication system, a high-volume Melling OEM-type pump was deemed adequate for the engine's 6,500-rpm ceiling. However, as a precautionary measure the pressure relief valve piston was chamfered and the gear clearance set at .0015 inch. An Aviaid road race pan was selected because the car would be called upon to go around corners aggressively. ARP pan studs and Fel-Pro gasket sealed the deal. With its inboard coilover rocker arm front suspension, similar to an Indycar, triangulated four-bar rear, and wide meats all the way around, skidpad readings nearing 1 g have been achieved. A Pure Power remote oil filter, with a removable stainless steel element that can be easily cleaned, is employed on the car.

The old adage of "there's no substitute for cubic inches" certainly came into play here, with a 4.000-inch stroke Callies 4340 forged steel crank complementing a 4.125-inch bore, for a displacement of 427 ci. Filling the holes are a set of Manley Platinum Series pistons, which are forged from the highly desirable 2618 alloy and weigh about 450 grams. The static compression ratio checked out at 10.5:1 for compatibility with premium pump gas.

Rods are Manley 6.000-inch H-beam, which are forged from 4340 steel and come with ARP rod bolts. Manley also supplied the piston rings, which include a ductile moly top and cast-iron seconds. Clevite H-series rod and main bearings were employed. The rotating assembly was internally balanced by West Valley Balancing and topped off with an ATI SuperDamper.