Yeah, I guess I know a little about toploaders as I thrash the hell out of them at the track.
Yes, I would probably find a good small block one that matches your car with the wide ratio gear set. A good small block toploader would probably work fine for you as-is unless you become a serious racer. Swapping to the bigger input is fairly easy if it becomes a problem, but from your intended usage you should be fine (unless you want go big in the first place.)
I have not seen David Kee at the Carlisle Ford show.
First, thanks again for all the info.
I found a local guy with a toploader for sale. He says it is wide ratio small block, with small input shaft, with short tailhousing. he also has 2 shifters with it. He doesn't have the ID code though. It was in his uncle's stock and he ended up with it. Trans hasn,t been used in a car in 20-30 years he said.
I am going to look at it tomorrow. So from the info I got (thanks to you) I need to count the teeth on second gear to make sure it is a wide ratio, need to measure the tailhousing 14 inch, and make sure it has wide mounting 8 bolt case. Plus check for any visable damage. Anything else I should look for? If it has the wrong tail housing/shifter mount I can just change that right?
Also what are they worth in good shape. he has the trans, factory shifter (for what car don't know) and also has a vertical gate shifter for it.
He would like to get around $800 is this a fair price? If I can use it. I think he may drop $50 or so but not sure.