I would KILL for a 1.4 60' time. My 65" has run 10.80's with a 1.59 short time.
I understand what you mean though. A set of M/T's new drag radials on some 15" or 16" wheels (whatever clears the calipers) should be the majority of the solution for the weekend warrior.
I think that anyone who is going to seriously campain a GTO drag car will probably backhalf the car anyway. I am pretty anxious to see what the potential really is.
The cartek guys are cutting 1.4 60' times to run the mid 10 sec. passes... Brent did a 1.4X to get the 10.52 on his H/C independent suspension... I would imagine a solid axle transplant would cost around 5-6 for a chevy rear end a ford 9 inch a little bit more but you could always find a cheap camaro one and bring it to a reputable tuner to do the work