Mr P is right again. That sound you are hearing is probably spark knock/ping. that can flatten the upper rod bearings real fast and very easy.
The compression is too high for pump gas with flat tops and 64 heads on a 455. The dish works, and depending on where in Alabama you are could be the only solution other than switching to bigger chamber heads like a 5C or 6X. Some places in your state have E85 which with a carb change you could run, but the availability sucks down there. E85 can make some serious power and handle over 13:1 easily, so its a fun option if you can find it. Its everywhere in some states, hard to find in others, Alabama happens to be the latter.
I found that the Ford FE like the 390 and 428 are close to a Pontiac as far as where and how they make power. The Olds is the only other engine even remotely like a Pontiac, and then only the 400/425/455. The 403 and 350 are like the small Pontiacs, but they have a much shorter stroke so they run differently. If you try to do the same things as a 350 sbc or any small Ford to a Pontiac, you are going to have a slow car that gets terrible mileage.
The Torker II works pretty well on a 455, and the Performer RPM wont fit under your hood easily, if I remember right. I know it wont fit a 70-81 Firebird without hood mods, but they will fit a 64-72 GTO easy enough. The only problem I ever had with my T-2 was loading up while driving around town with an 850 Holley on it. My low compression 72 455 HO didnt like it much, but it did fit under the Formula hood on that car.