The 'no thermostat ' thing is an old 'race car' trick from like the fifties and sixties when different temp thermostats were not widely available and yes it's seen today as a way to mask running hot issues by hacks and 'quick fixers'.Hopefully it will be fired up this weekend. Finally got the wonderful bbk fuel rails to stop puking gas everywhere. I pulled the thermostat housing off since I had the lower intake off and found no thermostat . Easy fix I just don’t understand why you would run without a thermostat. Hopefully the previous owner wasn’t trying to correct a overheating problem. The car was free and it’s rust free so throwing some dollars at it if needed is fine.