You might look into getting a world class T5 from a firebird or camaro. I have one for my 57 build. I changed it to a S-10 tailshaft housing to move the shifter forward to clear the seat. If you want new get a Tremec T5. https://www.tremec.com/menu/t-5/
That will allow 4:11 to 4:88 rear gears and still have good street manners. A good friend of mine builds hot rods and has installed many of them and I drove his car and they shift very well. I power shifted his 327 cu in flathead ford at 6,000 rpm and could not believe how easy it shifted. You do not have to muscle shift it like a muncie.
:PS you read that right, he has a built flathead ford in a 34 ford three window coupe that will crank 6,000 rpm. The rev limiter is set at 6,500.
Here is the deal with little motors. They are not fast, they are not powerful (unless you go to crazy ends to make them so. Read lots and lots of $$$$$) But they are fun to tinker with.
I have been running my little itty bitty 6 motors for decades. Frankly, I can build whatever I want, and over the years I have built some fast motors (yes, v8 motors, lol) but I really do enjoy messing with the small motors. You get to try things out, innovate a little. Work through problems to a solution.
I emailed Tom Ordway last year because after watching his car run at the nationals, I noticed that his traction bars worked really well. Turns out, the reason why, his are homemade and solved an issue with that style traction device, tinkering and innovation.
You aren't ready for the prep that goes into a competitive NHRA stock motor. And no one gives out their secrets. But its common to have to carve out and pay for time to set up a block to run hot water while machining, ultra blueprinting, putting dozens of heads on a flow bench to get the best flowing. The costs add up. A $200 bore job goes to 2500 when you are tying up the boring maching for crazy stock and super stock machining procedures. Then there is the years of trying multiple cams, springs and valves, oiling system mods, and low tension rings and all kinds of stuff. All $$$$$$.
Years ago, NHRA super comp was full of ex funny cars, altereds, roadsters, all kinds of neat cars. For a short time I had an altered that was really just the chassis from an old funny car with a fiberglass roadster tub installed. Cheap and fast. A car in the 1500-1800 weight range and a well built small block chevy and you were competitive. No crossover boxes, delays, transbrakes. Throttle stops were threaded stop bolts on the gas pedal and lead fishing weights on the throttle cable. It was a pretty fun class in those days. Then came the dragsters (consistent like all get out) and nearly crate style, formula built, big blocks making gobs of HP and electronics. Now, its expensive and frankly the most boring racing you will ever see, bar none.
So do not concern yourself about your small motor. Life is short. Go have fun and build what you want. I have as much fun as any body running my little six motors down the track at the nationals. You will too!
A really OLD racer here.
We ran an injected 57, in NHRA stock eliminator....
We would go to the Chevy dlr, order 10 cams, do a home made version of the cam dr, and plot the specs on onion skin paper, to compare them. Out of 10, MAYBE 2 would be "close enuf" to use.
We also modified a Saginaw 3 speed, into a 4 speed. Rev was in the tail hsg. The gear was about 1/8" thick! Rules said any gear in a stock case. We did.
It also said the car had to back up under it's own power, It did!
All this engineering/mfgring was courtesy of the equipment mfgr we worked at.
We also spent weeks cutting wt. All the accessible bolts were cut off, under coat scraped, etc.
Six has it right.. Big $ today.....
55 210 sedan, rust bucket. The last hoorah!
Hotrodding and dragracing since 1955.
USAF, 67th Recon Tech. Yokota AFB, Japan.
6594th Test sqdn, Westover, AFB, MA. The guys that brought you the Cuban missile pics. 1960-64.
are a wild bunch. If you want to race competitively with them you have to be like them. Like buzzard said 4 speed gears in 3 speed cases. Dump the clutch with tach at redline, only enough oil in the pan to reach the finish line. Checking valve springs after every meet. These are some of the wilder old tricks used back in the day.