Bill Nissley’s 1965 Ranchero

Found my Ranchero in February 2016 after searching for over a year.

Finding the right Ranchero took me quite a while. After searching craigslist, ebay and everyplace online, I saw this red ’65 in Oceanside. I had seen it before but the price was more than I could afford. The owner who was getting desperate to sell had reduced his price $3000 since I had seen it 6 months before. I was a little concerned on why it hadn’t sold in that time, but was happy with what I saw when I went down to look at it. It definitely needed a lot of work, but it looked good and drove smooth, it had a 302 under the hood so it was a good start to produce ample power.

Since I purchased it, I have been slowly making upgrades. I’ve added an aluminum radiator with an electric fan, rebuilt the front of the engine from the timing chain forward, fixed the wiring and added LED lights to the dash. I own a graphics company so I made new gauges faces for the speedo and tach. I stripped off the red paint from the VIN plate and re-printed it so now it looks factory fresh. I changed the old worn out plates to freshly refurbished YOM black/yellow plates.

Some of the parts on my Ranchero I have designed using Autodesk’s Fusion 360 software and produced with my Prusa 3D printer. These parts include the mount for my dash mounted tablet, The housing for my Speedhut gauges and auxiliary switches, the package shelf guides for my 3-point retractable seat belts, the LED mounts for my underdash lighting and the riser for my center brake light.

After now having my Ranchero for a couple of years, I’ve had the chance to really do a lot of improvements. I still have a lot of plans for upgrades, that’s half the fun.

  • 302 V8 SB from ’72 Torino or Fairlane
  • Holley 570cfm Street Avenger Carburetor
  • Edelbrock RPM Air Gap Intake Maniford
  • MSD E-Curve Distributor, Blaster SS Coil
  • and 8.5mm Spark Plug Wires
  • Dougs Tri-Y Ceramic Coated Exhaust Headers
  • C4 Auto Trans from a ’77 Maverick
  • ECP Aluminum 22″ Radiator
  • 17″ 2 spd Derale Electric Fan
  • Dakota Digital Fan Controller
  • CVF Serpentine Pulleys Kit
  • Currie 9″ Rear End with 325 gears
  • Wilwood Front & Rear Brake System
  • Viking Warrior Rear Adjustable Shocks
  • US MAG Rambler Gunmetal Face / Polished Lip Wheels
  • BFG G-Force Sport Comp 2 Tires
  • Craftec Vinyl and Aluminum Frame Tonneau Cover
  • w/electric actuators
Falcons in Flight • 38th Annual FCA Convention
July 12-15, 2017 • Sacramento, California
Class Winner – Daily/Street Driven 60-67 Utilities
07-16-2016 167 / 5200 226 / 3050 17.9 sec 2654.0 ft
08-05-2017 207 / 5300 234 / 3600 13.9 sec 1951.7 ft