Re: 588" short deck bbc.
Pump gas and license plates, eh? I take it this rig isn't going to put in much street time, mostly as a race machine that's street legal.
Dart Big M block - hard as hell, wear isn't an issue. Maybe on the pistons, but not really on the block, and you could probably address that issue with good performance coatings. You also have plenty of room to clearance the block, shouldn't be an issue with steel rods.
Most builders are building 'em now for racers wanting max cubes in a short deck applications. There are conventional heads that'll feed 'em fine, even in full tilt race trim.
Knock yourself out, sounds like a plan to me!
The correct spelling is HILLIARY