No matter what variety of project car you're building, a solid plan generally precedes a turn of the wrench. While considering what type of rear differential, suspension, and transmission to use can be a drawn out and tedious process, deciding on an engine combination is a project in itself. Throwing a fist full of greenbacks toward the latest and greatest components will not ensure a proper combination to fit your needs.
While some people enjoy the amount of time, along with the challenge involved to research and develop a well thought out engine combination, others don't have the time or know-how. Many factors come in to play when choosing a powerplant for your application. Is this engine going to power a street-driven monster, or mainly perform track/strip duties? Are you willing to spend a ton of money on race fuel for a high-compression mill? Do you plan on the addition of a power adder at a later date, requiring a camshaft and compression change? These are just a few questions you may want to ask yourself when choosing the proper combination.
Recently we learned of the release of the Edelbrock / Pat Musi Performance 555ci crate engine. This particular rat pumps out 650 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque and is built with top-shelf components. The crate engine particularly sparked our interest because it's totally streetable and built to run on 91-octane pump gas. Oh yeah, and it comes with a two-year, unlimited mileage warranty-now that's believing in your product. In a Super Chevy exclusive, we were able to witness the professionals at Pat Musi Performance put the Triple Nickel together.
Edelbrock, a name synonymous with performance, has been around since the 1930s when Vic Edelbrock Sr. opened the doors to his general repair shop in Los Angeles. In 1949, Vic Sr. opened his first purpose-built location in Culver City, California, and it housed a small machine shop, repair bays, and an engine dynamometer capable of measuring up to 200 hp, thus allowing Vic to prove that his parts made power. In 1962 Vic Jr. took over the reigns as his father lost his life to cancer. With the devotion of Edelbrock's employees and Vic Jr.'s vision of continuing his father's dream, Edelbrock has flourished into the powerhouse it is today.
Pat Musi, usually described as one of the most intimidating door-slammer racers in the country, began Pat Musi Performance straight out of high school in 1969. A long-time drag racer, Pat decided to enter the limelight as a Pro Stock racer in 1974. During the ups and downs of his seven-year career in Pro Stock, Pat gained much experience, learning many tricks-of-the-trade along the way. Today many of these tricks are implemented into both Pat's engines as well as those of his customers. Pat returned to racing with his famed '69 Camaro, "Popeye," built by the late Steve Grebeck. Pat has won many Pro Street championships, including the 1997 NMCA Pro Street crown, the 2002 Pro Edelbrock Pro Street title, and the 2000-2005 NSCA Pro Street championships.
Musi was enlisted as an Edelbrock product development consultant in 2004. As the Edelbrock/Musi relationship grows, so does its commitment to bringing the best components available, the latest being the Edelbrock/Musi 555 crate engine. The 555 wasn't just a bunch of parts thrown together, either, but a project which took the better part of six months in order to bring the consumer power, streetability, and, most of all, reliability.
In conclusion, it doesn't matter if you're cruising, dragging, or driving mom's wagon, this just may be the powerplant for you. With its two-year warranty, a foundation that can handle upwards of 950 hp, and a choice between fuel injection or carburetion, not many crates can compare.