I should have specified "300D TURBO" in my previous post - I was referring to the turbocharged diesel as being introduced in 1981, as that's the engine I used for horsepower and torque comparisons. Sorry to have missed doing that!
PSFred, the Vortec engine is derived from the 350 - the rods are the same part number, as are the main and rod bearings. I agree that it is a considerably re-engineered engine as regards oil sealing, intake manifold sophistication, computer controls, etc. But the basic block and head designs still retain their 350 heritage.
After reading the various comments regarding poor performance in the snow, I went out and looked at my old 300D engine, and sure enough, the engine is actually sitting slightly ahead of the front axle in the 123 chassis. This makes for a poor front/rear weight distribution in the car, which I'm sure accounts for most of the problems in the snow. I didn't experience any problems with my setup, but the engine is mostly behind the axle, and probably has close to 50-50 weight distribution, plus it's lighter on the front than the diesel powered car. I don't buy the "too much torque" idea that psfred has, because my car has MUCH more torque, and also has lower gearing in first gear, and is quite controllable. I do know that our '74 280C had the same problems in snow that others mentioned, and it also has the same weight distribution problem - the long 6 cyl inline gas engine hangs out too far in the front.
Once again, I'm hoping for constructive discussion, not just slamming for the sake of slamming...