An early 2.3L from a Pinto or Mustang would be the
most sensible starting point, use either a Motorcraft
5200 2BBl carb, or adapt a holley 2100 to the manifold,
a tri-y header, a late model Ranger roller cam, 9:1
compression pistons, should be good for 130+HP...
I dont know of any one as "best" in factory form they are all close.Prolly within 10 HP of each other in stock trim.I do think as said before that a larger than stock cam port polish and shave to 9.0 CR is all good.And also as posted try to make it all flow headers cat removal if you can in your area.If you have a carb set up already you have a AIR or smog pump.Get rid of it if you can.
There is a bunch of stuff for it,mostly due to the mini stock racing and the use of it there.The 2.3L is very nice for aftermarket parts.Racer Walsh,Esslinger are two good ones.Also the turbo coupe T-bird and XR4TI make for great donor cars for turbo.200 HP is not that hard.
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