To all concerned; i have actually done all of the things suggested here and found them to work... there is no voo doo here, only good old common sense... i have had a lot of requests for the info....take these and then use your brain to determine the best path to follow...hope this helps....Doc.
DOCS CHEAP TRICKS;
1. Use good general maintenance.
2. keep a razor sharp tune up.
3. Clean the engine and drivetrain.[ an engine and trans is not designed to run with dirt in or on it,,, they do better clean and are much easier to work on.]
4. develop and maintain a good cooling system. [ heavy duty radiator, of at least 3 rows of tubes that is clean, with a good thermostat, good hoses,heater hoses and bypass hoses too, fan shroud, 6 blade or more fan, or electric fans with no leaks in the system]
5. install a ''cold air'' pkg. if the care doesnt come with one...for the carb intake system. [modify the stock air cleaner system or use a custom unit to get cold, outside air to the carb inlet...[ this mod alone is worth 8% of the total horsepower output of any engine..and doesnt fade away.]
6. recurve the distributor advance to a performance curve...this mod is cheap, easy to do your self with the kits available... a lot of gain for a little money...
7.low restriction exhaust system...duals or large dia. single pipe with large inlet and outlet mufflers...many times a good set of factory exh. manifolds that are smoothed out and port matched will do very well on street cars.. headers if you can afford them..
8. Modify to heavy duty suspension and shock absorbers...and brakes.. as you increase performance ,the suspension, and brakes must be able to handel it... it is more important to be able to stop than to be able to go...
9. Air lift air bags inside the rear springs on coil spring cars...cures wheel hop problems, cheap and easy.
10. Wider tires and wheels.
11. Port match the intake and exhaust manifolds to the heads.
12. Enlarge the air cleaner opening while doing #5....most factory air cleaners housings are restrictive to air flow and some have noise baffels inside... use k&n or that type of filter element...
13. Cut out the partition between the FRONT and REAR barrells of the factory intake manifold...leaving the partition between the two sides...[if the center divider is cut out it will kill the low end torque] this mod gives a big increase in power for the money and labor envolved..
14. run a wire from a 12v. source to the hot side of the coil with a toggle switch in between...[ point and condenser cars only] this gives higher voltage to the coil producing a stronger spark... BUT if left on all the time will burn up the coil...DO THIS ONLY WHILE RACING..
15. On cars with switch pitch transmissions, put a toggle switch and wire so you can switch the ''high stall'' on manually and keep it on all the time untill you choose to switch it off.. actually gives you access to 6 forward speeds and 2 reverses...and puts more power to the ground.
16. wire sw. pitch cars to the brake light switch to make hot cams more manageable on the street... [ brake light sw to the high stall terminal of the switch pitch solenoid.]
17. Put weight over the rt. rear wheel... [ battery, spare tire, tools ect.]
18. run as light as possible... this is one of the most overlooked speed secrets in our hobby... a 100 lb. reduction will gain a 10th in et... remove under coating, sound deadner, tools, people, run just 5 gal. gas in competition, use fiberglass or alluminum parts... ect.] Diet to lose weight
19. run higher pressures in tires to cut rolling resistance..
20. run smaller crank pulleys on the engine..
21. in competition run with the windows up and the air off..
22. car stance should be nose low, rear slightly higher..
23. install a larger [cfm s] carb... Buicks like big carbs..
24. use a multiple spark discharge ign system if possible.
25. Run without a mechanical fan, if possible... [ use electric or none]
26. learn and do all mechanical, body,and maintaince your self ... saves a ton of money...
27. run a good low, diff gear, with a posi , if possible... you can have all the power in the world but if you cant get it to the ground, it doesnt do any good..
You will notice that I have not included any major engine rebuilding, transmission mods ect in this... Some things listed are not exactly cheap, cheap.... but if done will produce a low buck , performance oriented car... Good luck in your endeavors.... Doc.