Enough with the disclaimers and onward to making the kind of power that every small-block Chevy owner dreams of. With the cylinder heads and valvetrain selected, it was time to pick out some induction components. The perfect match for the Dart Pro 1 CNC heads is the Dart single-plane intake. This intake features extended runner dividers inside the plenum to equalize port length. They are also radiused with the angled runners to move massive amounts of air/fuel mixture to the individual intake ports of the heads. To top off the intake, we used a brand-new Holley Ultra HP carburetor. This latest version of the Holley carb features countless new features, which will make tuning for the street and various types of racing we plan on doing easier than ever. Some of our favorite features are the aluminum construction that makes the carb about 30 percent lighter than a traditional 4150-style double pumper, internal baffles in the fuel bowl that will help control fuel slosh, adjustable secondary link, billet metering blocks with integrated pry-point, and the ultracool Hard Core Gray hard coat anodized finish. These may become our new favorite carbs. With the engine size, cam specs, and head volume, there was debate on whether an 850- or 950-cfm carb would make the most power on the dyno, so we tested both.

The last thing we needed before we could light the fire in this thing was an igniter. We love the simplicity of an HEI, and having all of our ignition components under a single cap, so we called Performance Distributors and Steve Davis recommended that we try his latest distributor. It has all the features of his standard HEI system, but has a unique instant timing knob that lets you adjust the timing by turning the knob, and a slip collar so it can be used with a variety of deck heights and intake manifold types. These new features add about $210 to the price of a regular Performance Distributor HEI, so consider that when you review the “Where the Money Went” sidebar.

With that, it was time to shelf the bench racing, put spark to fuel, and watch the dyno needles dance to see what this big-inch small-block could produce. With its first breath, this engine seemed eager to prove its worth. Check out “Let’s Rock!” to read about the results we found during our dyno session.

Let’s Rock!

Enough talk about the parts, what’s all of this worth in terms of pump-gas power? We strapped the big-inch small-block SHP 427 to Dart’s dyno and made a dozen pulls. From the first time spark hit fuel in the cylinders, we realized just how potent this engine was. It sounds plain angry, even as it idles down to about 900 rpm.

Our goal was to crest the 600hp mark with a Gen I motor that had enough durability and manners to be driven on the street. The Dart SHP 427 bettered that goal on the first pass. By the end of the day, we had captured an extremely respectful 627 hp with an equally impressive 561 lb-ft of torque! That’ll get your attention.

We tried both an 850-cfm Holley Ultra HP carburetor and a 950 version in case the engine wanted even more fuel at the top end. The power numbers were pretty similar throughout the powerband with both carbs, but ultimately the 850 made more power, confirming that it’s the right size for this combination.

With a peak horsepower of 627, we surpassed our goal for this Gen I motor, proving that an engine doesn’t have to start with the letters “LS” to make serious power. We can pass this Chevy-orange beast off as a 305 or 350, or proudly proclaim its true displacement of 427 ci. And the best part is that it will bolt to our existing accessories, exhaust, and transmission.