In a month or two, I’m pulling the factory302 out of my ‘73 Maverick and taking it to a rebuilder. I kind-of have a plan, but I want input from the Maverick Comet community. My objective for the Maverick has been to improve street performance, safety and reliability while leaving the exterior original. So far, so good. I’ve rebuilt the front suspension, replaced the flat cam and lifters, installed disk brakes, Petronix III ignition and Street Demon carb, had a specialist rebuild the C4. It looks much like it did when I got it and now it runs pretty good: no clouds of smoke, no overheating, no dying at stop lights. But all is not well in the engine room: there’s oil on most of the plugs. The engine has a little over 70,000 miles, but that includes three decades of non-operation. It starts hard from cold and sounds like the fishing boat in Jaws until it warms up. If I were to wager a guess, the rings aren't sealing when cold (maybe a head-gasket leak?). Once warmed up, it runs fine around town, but extended freeway driving will load up the plugs. That means no road trips until after the rebuild. Keeping the car looking stock means compromises. I’ve decided to stay with the C4, the original 3.00:1 rear end, and stock-equivalent 205/65R15 tires (the change to 15-inch wheels was required to fit the aftermarket disk brakes). All of that limits how much power I can put to the ground. I love horsepower as much as the next guy, but I don’t want to waste any, especially at the expense of drivability and reliability. Current performance is entirely sufficient to keep up with modern traffic, which is all I want from a vintage car unless I win the Lotto. (If that happens, I’m going to park the Maverick, buy a 1966 GT40, install a supercharged Coyote crate engine, and drive it buck wild until I lose my licence). So, here’s my semi-stock rebuild plan. Top priority is durability. Second priority is street drivability (e.g. smooth idle, easy starts, low-end torque) A local engine builder will do the long-block Retain 28 oz balance, stock style timing-chain cover, 2 bbl cast-iron manifold, etc Magna-flux inspect block, rods and heads Bore and align crank and cam bores Mill manifolds, heads, block (if required) Spin-balance the rotating assembly Howards Cams 220225-08 roller-cam kit (a stock-style street grind) Will require custom pushrods and other finessing Once I reinstall the long block in the car, the real fun begins. Holley Sniper 2300 2 bbl EFI Holley EFI HyperSpark Ignition (allegedly plug and play with Sniper EFI) O2 sensor install (weld fitting, not clamp on) Drop fuel tank and install EFI pump (I don’t know yet which one) Any thoughts?