When we left you hangin' last month, Smeding was just finishing up with the bottom end of their brand new 400-plus-horsepower 383 Hot Rod crate motor. Therefore, it's only natural that for this month we continue on and finish up with the top-end build. Well I guess it's not natural, because we could go all sitcom on ya and linger this thing on for a full season, but we're not fond of that either so we'll just cut to the chase. Upon completion we'll head to the dyno and see if the hype really does match the bite.

What makes this new Smeding motor is the addition of the new aluminum heads. Previously the Smeding Hot Rod motor was outfitted with cast-iron heads, but for this go around the motor has been given a shot of adrenaline. Just like many of the bottom-end components, Smeding has designed the new heads the way they want them. Which means the heads have been designed to maximize the motor's potential, and mesh well with the other pieces of the powerplant. When combined together, the total package makes for a great streetable motor, which still has the capability to talk the talk and walk the walk.

Although the motor features stout components and numbers, what elevates the 383 to a higher level is the fact that it's a blueprinted engine that is dyno tested, tuned, calibrated, and broken in.

All Smeding crate motors are taken one step further when they are wheeled to the dyno room. Besides being tested to make sure the numbers all add up, the motors are also tuned for their true potential. During this process the motor is also broken in. By going through the rigors of more than two dozen simulations (between hill climbs, acceleration runs, and full on open throttle runs) the motors are 100 percent broken in. That means no half throttle motoring for the first 1,000 miles, or any other pampering. Simply drop the motor in and let her rip.

In terms of driving conditions, and mixing with modern day creature comforts, the 383 is well-matched with just about everything you throw at it. Because the motor is tuned between tame and feisty, it's ready to take on power brakes (without the use of a vacuum pump), A/C, power steering, and a mechanical fuel pump-and the driverfriendly idle won't have you stomping on the brakes at every stop. In terms of economics and efficiency the motors require at least an 89-octane fuel, will easily return 15 mpg, and they're compatible with overdrive transmissions. Lastly, each motor comes with a two-year Smeding limited warranty with unlimited mileage. As for now let's see how things size up.