In reference to not having to limp home with a neutral safety switch. I have done so. It's pretty easy, neutral safety switches generally use a ground wire tied into the switch. Most of the time it's a simple matter of grounding the wire and it will start in any gear. I must respectfully disagree with Dana W regarding the horsepower ratings on older cars. In almost all cases [ there were a few exceptions when factories wanted a favorable factor rating for NHRA drag racing classes ] the engines were overrated. The ratings prior to approximately 1973 were gross ratings. In the early '70's the government mandated net ratings which resulted in the same engines having lower power ratings then they had just the year before. Some of the power loss was also the result of a lowering of static compression ratios and other changes necessary at the time to meet EPA regs. In any case the 383 cited with a gross power rating of 330 horsepower would have been doing good to make an actual 290 net. FWIW much of the hot rod industry still likes to use the older correction factor whenever they can since it makes their power numbers look better.
Not sure how any power changes from year to year regulations relate. I will have to commit some time into finding all those old Car & Driver, Road & Track, and Rod & Custom articles talking up the 30 or so percent bump they found when dynoing early sixties muscle cars. I was there then and read many such references, but unfortunately don't have any evidence handy right now. Probably was something to do with the democrats & another fake news hoax.
At this point, I will only say that my stated reasoning for the practice of understating OEM horsepower is probably erroneous, but the fact that it existed in numerous instances back then is a fact.
I did just now google a reference to the 1962 383 cross ram dual 4 bbl set up only generating 285 hp against the official rating of 330. You may be right about this one. However, I drove my dad's Polara a number of times and remember it feeling very stout while it strolled away from any Mustang handy, but I was only 18 in 1965.
I recently saw an episode of Leno's Garage discussing this practice and they specifically mentioned the 1970 Corvette equipped with the 427/435 engine package and Jay said they actually dyno-ed at well over 500 hp. I dug up an early Car & driver article to back it up. a lot of this went on, and I dare say even the efforts to debunk the practice at the time were fed fake data.
Car & Driver article quote
The brainchild of Zora Arkus-Duntov, director of GM’s performance division, the 1967 L88 Corvette was powered by a highly modified version of Chevy’s 427-cubic-inch V-8. Although the factory-claimed horsepower was 435, real power output was likely somewhere between 540 and 580, enough to allow a “stock” L88 to run the quarter-mile in the mid-to-high 11-second range. The L88 could be ordered only with certain options such as a performance suspension, Positraction differential, and upgraded brakes, while other features such as a radio and A/C were not available
The L88 reigned up until the 1972 EPA regs.
A buddy of mine, in 1972 - 73 - ish owned a white 1970 L88 Corvette convertible. Hand on the bible, I could not see the road over the hood until mid tach third gear from the passenger seat - scaredest I have ever been in a car - even riding with my mom in her 74 Karmann Ghia on I 495 around D. C.