I have a real Hipo 289 with a vintage Paxton, Speed trap mufflers, 4 speed and 3.89's. I would not want to drive it everyday. It's loud and harsh to drive, especially on the highway. It's definitely fun at a red light. I added Second Skin sound deadening and it is still loud. I also tend to get a lot of heat in the cabin.. Handling and braking also contributes to how it drives.. I have a Total Control manual rack and disk brakes all the way around. It is lowered an 1" with stiff springs..For some reason im stuck on having 400+ hp in my project when Im done. I plan on driving my car lots and lots when its finished then someday when Im old and life has passed me by having it made nice and pretty for Sunday afternoon drives with my wife and grand kids.
With the assumption that I plan on driving the car 3-4 days a week during nice weather, is 400 hp too much? Should I be shooting for mid 300's?
I built the car with what I thought would be fun and started adding stuff for the creature comforts. I added a Classic Air A/C, Sound Deadening, better stereo, TMI Sport Seats, etc... Still harsh.. I do love to drive it and it sounds great. Acceleration has a ton of seat factor/fun.
If I was doing this again to make it more driveable, I would have built a stroker/bigger motor with decent HP and quieter mufflers. I would have focused more on the handling and braking than the HP.. I would also go to a 5 Speed.. Have to admit that the second skin stuff does help.. I used their Dampler Pro, Luxury Liner and their spectrum. Adds more weight, but does quiet things down in the cabin. I am trying to get where I could take a phone call while driving..
Something else to consider.... I added Hot Tronic electric windows.. looks original, but is electric up and down. I plan to buy one of those removable center consoles with a cup holder.. Can't tell you how many times I got a Sonic drink and tried to drive with it between my legs.. Hard to do with power and shifting..