This past decade sure has been full of amazing advancements in automotive technology. If you recall, anyone with a 500hp engine was pretty much king of the street. These days, you better be packing a lot more heat to try and take that crown. A positive side effect of all these advancements, it's also allowed for more enthusiasts to get into the 500hp realm with relative ease—and without depleting the bank.
Case in point, our latest 385ci small-block build was done rather conservatively, but we wanted to see just how far we could take a budget-based build with a supercharger for the street. That meant keeping driveability in the equation, and a thirst for today's petrol. Of course, superchargers and budget-based combos may seem at odds, but we think you'll be pleasantly surprised at just how affordable it can be.
For this build, we saved an old 350ci small-block from becoming a boat anchor and took it over to A.R.E. Performance & Machine in Simi Valley, California. Once there, owner and lead engine builder, Rocco Acerrio, sonic-checked the block to make sure it was up to the task.
With a clean bill of health, we went straight to Speedway Motors' website and started to piece together a 9:1-compression 385ci short-block. This included everything from the rotating assembly and gaskets to the oil pan. For the top end, we reached out to Brodix for its IK 200 cylinder heads. We've heard great things about these lightweight lungs, so this was the perfect opportunity to try them out. At just $1,300, they come complete with stainless 2.02/1.600-inch intake/exhaust valves and double springs. Topping off the combination is a TorqStorm supercharger fed by Demon Fuel System's latest Mighty Demon 650-cfm blow-through carburetor.
TorqStorm is a new player in the supercharger world, and one you're going to start hearing a lot more about. For $2,800, you get a high-quality unit built out of billet aluminum. TorqStorm also offers complete systems for LS, small-block, and big-block applications. For late-model truck guys, TorqStorm even has a setup for Silverados. And when we say complete, that's no joke; these include everything you need for a simple installation. Each system comes with all the necessary brackets, a carburetor hat, the pulley assembly, the belt, a blow-off valve, and hardware. You also get your choice of a natural or black finish; you can also opt for the polished finish for an additional $500. As an added benefit, TorqStorm is also offering a limited life time warranty if anything happens (workmanship or mechanical failure), TorqStorm will repair the supercharger head unit free of charge.