I'd grab a pull out useable factory 350 Vortec roller engine that doesn't need rebuilding or pistons,
bowl port it,
and make 400+ hp
and stick it in
with a stick shift 4-5 speed. (that's what you want)
It ought to do OK in a 2700 pound fun car.
Build what you like and have fun with it
If ya smoke it, go get another $400 salvage engine and go again.
I think Popular HotRodding magazine did a buildup about 2 years ago called, Budget Sledgehammer, or Sledgehammer, and got 447 hp. Check the web sites.
If you have an extra $ 3-10,000 to spend, see previous posts.
I just bought a running driving stock engine from a pickup that is running 9.40 eighths at 90*, for $ 500 complete fuel injection etc. He is going LS series. Guess what I am going to do.