Sorry about your luck Danno. Cant figure how that happened with only the information presented to us. Is the coolant in the radiator clean and green? What color was the "water" in the engine. When you swap in the motor down the road, don't forget to ensure that the radiator is clean and clear of obstrustions, which is common when they beasts sit. Crud accumulates in the lower tank. If your going to be picking up a motor of unknown history, do a couple of things to inprove its/your chances. Obviously check the oil, if its still installed in a vehicle, work the owner to get them to start it and check oil pressure. Warm it up a little at least and do a compression test. Even if its not in a vehicle, I would still atleast try to look at the condition of the oil and pull off the valve covers. If under the valve covers is full of sludge "heavy black slime" then the engine didn't see too many oil changes.
If clean, then
you have a fighting chance. If the engine has sat a while I would pull the plugs and get a little oil in each cylinder, no more than a couple of tea spoons each. then see if it turns over with the spark plugs out. It should turn over rather easily since none of the cylinders will be under compression. If you feel any binding or catching or a lot of resistance. I would walk away. Thats not what you want in order to just drop it in. Ok, I'm done blabbing. Good luck on the new project. Keep the chin up. You get that beast running again with a new heart transplant, you'll make up for this misery the first time down the road.