now, don't get me wrong, just depends on the vehicle, and what you're doing with it. I mean on something like a rat rod, or t bucket or something.
I want this to look like an old school gasser style car. Would prefer crude, lumpy, loud, and smelly.
Now that you said that, I would go with a gen 1 sbc. I am all about the ls engines. They are quiet smooth and dont seem that radical, Compared to a gen 1 sbc at the same horsepower rating. I would do a stroker gen 1 sbc based off a dart shp block. $1200 with all the maching done ready to assemble. 3.85 stroke crank with a 6" rod. Would give you a 421 cubic inch small block. Be a good 500-550hp , Depending on heads and cam and a good base to build on later if you needed more.