Hi Lee! With or without a thermostat fitted, the plate needs to be installed since it serves to mount my relocated throttle cable. Once the engine is back in place, hopefully NOTHING will need to be touched in the front of the motor, since the access is so (frustratingly) limited there on the Goose. (long back I had to weld up some crude firewall cuts left by a previous owner, apparently to make added clearance for working on or removing the jackshaft pulley!)
Re. cam, I swapped an Edelbrock Performer RPM (7122) for a regular Performer. It was a mental debate years back but I'm now WAY less concerned about hp above 5.5K than I am low end torque, especially for the Mangusta. I believe they both have lobes on 112 degree centers (not the greatest, but hopefully good enough with IR induction). I really wanted to run a Comp 'Weber' cam (iirc built on 114 or 115 deg centers) but they are NLA, according to their tech dept. I assumed they were popular with the GT40 crowd, maybe not popular enough to keep production rolling? As for the Performer, #1010 has Edelbrock heads, so there shouldn't be any surprises when everything goes together...kiss principle mainly!