Thanks for additional input, but now you guys are making it complicated! I like the idea of either a stroker or the LSX (especially the 454!) in that those are both "different" than what is available in a production vehicle and IMO that adds to the "cool factor". However, I am sort of stuck on the idea of an all aluminum engine (for reduced weight), so that kind of leaves those out. Plus both of those would require covers, intake, injectors, coils, etc. (things that are included on the LS376-480) which would add a lot to the cost. If I scored a "takeout junker" for the extra pieces that could work, but maybe I haven't been looking in the right places, because all I have seen for sale used are truck engines. Regarding the mock up engine, there was another aluminum 5.3 on Craigslist a couple of months ago for $900 that I was giving serious thought to--the idea being to go so far as making it run, etc., working out all the bugs on a semi-disposable engine. However, when I thought a little more about the "truck to car conversion", etc., and doing everything twice, it seemed like a whole lot of extra effort, so I talked myself out of it. Polar Bear, you do make some valid points though, so I will continue to give that some thought.