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I have had my 05 5.7 in my 67 Barracuda for 11 years now with over 80,000 miles on it. 6.1 Intake, Factory ECM 545rfe transmission, Alterkation front suspension, 8.8 with 373 gears. Classic auto Air. I drive this car all over the country. I live in South Texas and have been to Ohio, Washington, California, Nevada, Florida. My Sunday cruises are at least 4 to 8 hours. Autcross race it and occasional drag strip at least twice a year. I think with your budget you will be able to pull it off. You will have to do tunnel work for sure. You can also use the Slant 6 kmemeber. There is a thread here on it and seems it gives you more room. My transmission just went out on it so when I fix it I’m upgrading to eagle heads that I have sitting on a 2104 long block that needs a cam and lifters replaced. I can’t use the 14 because I would have to change my electronics. I say go for it. I don’t regret doing at all. When my son and I go on a trip we camp out as you can see the back is filled with camping gear. No tools required for any adventure we’ve been on.