1969 convertable firebird design questions

I have googled till my fingers bled, and can not come up with the answer, so I thought I would throw out my thoughts and get some feedback.
My intension on with this car is not a restoration. It also not a straight
line car. I want a car that will handle itself in the curves, and give me decent top end. With that in mind, here is what I have.
The car: 1969 Firebird convertable Options: Heater. Drum brakes 250 in line six OHC single barrel 3 speed Saginaw manual. Power top.
What I have now: When I bought it I got the 250 and 3 speed, but the previous owner installed a 1964(?) 326 with a one barrel and 4 speed(unsure of make).
So now that I have graduated college (it took 15 years, but I made it) the wife has OK'd the funds for the car. here are my thoughts:
The 326 is a V8, and sounds good(sounded good 10 years ago) but looking at specs, it looks like the H.O. puts out 285hp and 329 ft lb with a 10.25 compression head. I assume with a cam, maybe heads, and a decent carb/intake I may be able to boost that to the low 300's hp and high 300's torque wise. But where would I find such heads? Intakes, cams, and carbs can be taken from the 400/455 group of Pontiac motors, but the heads are useless, as they will kill the compression(or so I am led to believe from google). Top this off with the fact that the 326 is only 30 lbs less (again from google) and that the 326 did not come with the '69 'bird I am struggling to justify fighting with this engine to squeeze the horses out of it.
Now the 250 OHC appeals to me on a few levels. First it is the engine that came with the car. Second with this engine my 'bird would not be "just another V8 firbird", and could be something that would have people talking about it.(Even if it is "hey remember that old fat guy with the 6 cylinder firebird") Also it is lighter than the V8, although longer. With the sprint head, cam, and manifold it can put out 230 hp and 260ft lb. Now I would say that I could get some more out of it, but after searching the I'net I have come up empty handed. Is this block the same as the Chevy 250? are parts interchangeable, or is this a Pontiac only motor? On one board, (forgot to bookmark, and long since gone off my history) one guy talked about swapping the crank with a Chevy 292, but I have found nothing else about it. I really love the idea of tricking out a sprint engine and getting it to it real potential (keeping the car streetable though). Even customizing a fuel injection system would be cool, but again, I only found them for Chevy's.
So that is my dilemma for the engines. Do I build up the 326, the 250, or do I start looking for a 400/455. I tend to think if I go with a new motor I will go with a 455. Speaking of which, is the 4 bolt main that important on these engines?
Moving on. I have done research on suspensions, and only really found 7 options: 1. Bone Stock 2. Stock with better bushings. 3 -7 one of Global wests systems.
For what I want, bone stock is really not an option. Looking at GW's hype page, if they all live up to their hype, I LOVE the cat 5 system. I have to wonder though if it is worth the bucks. it is about a 3 gran difference according to there site between that and the Cat 3, which looking at the hype page would be my second choice. And that is about 1-2 gran more than a "improved" stock.
So is Global West worth the cash? is there another option? I will want to replace all the brakes with disk, so that has to be considered. I am also planning on putting in frame ties, and I do like GW's ties, at least what I can find on them. The ones at YearOne looks more "stockish" but I am concerned about the stress points with square tube.
I am fairly versed at doing my own maintenance, and have plenty of time to take my time and do this right. I know these sound like newbie questions, and they are, but I will be researching and doing it slowly to get it done. I need to make these decisions, so I can get a solid direction (not to mention budget). I appreciate any input you guys (or gals) can give me so I can make my decision.
Thanks,
Paul.
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Sounds like a great project. I've been restoring a '68 Camaro, also a dream of mine for many years. Problem is, when I drive it, I think people look at me wondering who let their 'dad' drive their Camaro!
Anyway, I'm not a Pontiac expert. I owned a 67 lemans with a 326, it was pretty sluggish. On the other hand, I owned a '68 GTO with a 400 4 barrel 4 speed, it was possibly the fastest car I've ever owned. It depends on what matters most to you, keeping it stock, or going for the big guns, the 400 or 455. If it were a hardtop I think I'd vote for the big engine. But since it is a convertible, I think I might consider rebuilding that 6 cylinder, you don't see many around, and if you can get it to 250hp you'd have a quick car, fun to drive and gas mileage would be reasonable.
I'd like to hear what you decide, can you post updates? Good luck! Terry M.
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<snip>
I had a 1968 Firebird hardtop with the 250 OHC engine and a 1968 Firebird convertible with the 350 V8 engine. The 250 OHC engine is different from the Chevy. I don't believe any of the parts are interchangeable. The OHC engine is a nice responsive engine. It was very quick to rev up. It has a higher red line than the V8. Consider getting the 4bbl version rather than the 1bbl. These were called the 'Sprint" version of the 250 OHC engine. They were in the Firebird and Tempest models (if I remember correctly).
The front/rear weight balance felt much better with the 250 OHC engine than the V8 engine. I felt my OHC Firebird could out corner my V8 any day. If you go with the OHC, you may not need much of a suspension upgrade.
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