A stock glide won`t last behind a big block worth it`s skin. The reason for PG use is for drag cars that are interested in running consistant. Since the PG only shifts once and the first gear is so high then the car, depending on weight, will need really deep gears. If the car is almost full weight then it`ll need around 5.13 or lower gears and alot of stall converter.
One advantage of it is, the higher first gear reduces the chance of wheel spin but that shouldn`t be a concern if a TH350 or TH400 is used if the rear end is set up properly with good sticky tires.
Now on the 80`s 454`s. Dead players. By the 80`s rolled around the emissions standards were in full swing so they only came in low performance smog versions that have dirt low 7.9:1 compression. The base models also came with "peanut port" oval port heads which are awful flow wise as the small runners are made for torque. The high performance 454`s were gone by the time 1972 rolled around. The rest of the 70`s, 80`s and part of the 90`s were all awful dirt low compression smog engines. This is why most buy a 454 for the crank, rods and block, the rest they pretty much throw away. The Vortec 7400 would be what I`d be looking for, they came with factory hydraulic roller cams and since they already have roller tappets you can order a bigger roller cam for it without breaking the bank. From what I understand the Vortec big block heads aren`t that great so you`d be stuck trying to find some used older performance heads. It`ll all come down to what your looking to spend. Since I`m not a big block guy I can`t tell you which heads to look for but I`m sure someone else will chime in behind me and be able to tell you