Classic Charm, Modern Power: Brian C. Dilley's 1957 Chevy Bel Air Goes Electric
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Classic Charm, Modern Power: Brian C. Dilley’s 1957 Chevy Bel Air Goes Electric

Photo of Brian Dilley of Current Electric Vehicles' 1957 Chevy Belair at Electrify Showoff in Long Beach, CA
  • Brian C. Dilley founded Current Electric Vehicles as LA’s first EV conversion shop after his daughter’s 1957 Chevy Bel Air idea.
  • The revamped 1957 Chevy Bel Air now rocks a 300hp motor, custom VDA module battery box, and Cascadia Motion inverter – merging vintage charm with modern tech.
  • Current Electric Vehicles earned acclaim, like Best of Show and MPG Award at Electrify Showoff 2023, while their EV journey went viral, sparking industry inspiration.

If you’re a car enthusiast like me, you’d agree that there’s something truly magical about classic cars. The roaring engines, the sleek designs, and the nostalgia they evoke make them timeless treasures. Now, imagine combining that vintage charm with cutting-edge technology – that’s exactly what Brian C. Dilley, the founder of Current Electric Vehicles, has done so with his electrified 1957 Chevy Bel Air. Today, I’ll take you on a ride through his journey of building this one-of-a-kind electric cruiser that’s turning heads and sparking a revolution in the City of Angels.


Photo of Brian Dilley of Current Electric Vehicles' 1957 Chevy Belair at Electrify Showoff in Long Beach, CA

In early 2022, Brian’s daughter had a brilliant idea – electrify their beloved 1957 Chevy Bel Air. Surprisingly, finding resources and local companies specializing in electric vehicle conversions was no easy task. Brian saw this as a golden opportunity to pioneer electric vehicle conversions in Los Angeles, and thus, Current Electric Vehicles was born. The 1957 Bel Air became their promotional flagship, showcasing the possibilities of combining classic aesthetics with a greener, electric future.


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Now, let’s dive into the heart of this electrifying beast. The 1957 Chevy Bel Air boasts an impressive 300 horsepower, but it’s what’s under the hood that sets it apart. The custom-built battery box houses 60kWh VDA modules, powering the Cascadia Motion SS-255-115 motor and CM200 inverter. And, of course, it wouldn’t be complete without Level 1 and Level 2 charging capabilities.


  • Photo of Brian Dilley of Current Electric Vehicles' 1957 Chevy Belair at Electrify Showoff in Long Beach, CA
  • Photo of Brian Dilley of Current Electric Vehicles' 1957 Chevy Belair at Electrify Showoff in Long Beach, CA
  • Photo of Brian Dilley of Current Electric Vehicles' 1957 Chevy Belair at Electrify Showoff in Long Beach, CA
  • Photo of Brian Dilley of Current Electric Vehicles' 1957 Chevy Belair at Electrify Showoff in Long Beach, CA
  • Photo of Brian Dilley of Current Electric Vehicles' 1957 Chevy Belair at Electrify Showoff in Long Beach, CA

Brian’s favorite aspect of the build is the puzzled looks on people’s faces when they try to figure out the “gas motor” under the hood – only to be amazed when they discover the battery box. Preserving the car’s original paint posed a major challenge, but they conquered it by entrusting the job to a top-notch paint restoration company.

When asked about the choice of brands, Brian explained, “There aren’t many options, but we chose Cascadia Motion because we wanted all new parts, not salvaged ones. We believe in giving our customers the best.”

For Brian and his team at Current Electric Vehicles, every day of progress brought them closer to their finished masterpiece. Their passion for cars and the perfect blend of classic aesthetics and modern technology fueled their motivation throughout the journey.


Photo of Brian Dilley of Current Electric Vehicles' 1957 Chevy Belair at Electrify Showoff in Long Beach, CA

The transformation of the 1957 Bel Air from a classic cruiser to an eco-friendly showstopper highlights the versatility of electric vehicles. But it doesn’t end there. Brian invites everyone to see the car up close at Bob’s Big Boy in Toluca Lake on most Friday nights, where they have a weekly car show.

This electrifying journey garnered widespread attention, with one of their Instagram posts about the build process going viral and amassing nearly 2 million views. The awards, including Best of Show and MPG Award at Electrify Showoff 2023 in Long Beach, CA, solidify their position as pioneers in the electric vehicle conversion scene.


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Brian C. Dilley and Current Electric Vehicles are paving the way for a greener future, proving that electric vehicles aren’t limited to just modern designs. Classic cars, too, can go green without compromising on style or performance. So, whether you’re a car enthusiast or an environmental advocate, their story will surely leave you electrified.

In the words of Brian himself, “Electric cars are the perfect blend, and we’re just getting started!”

For more information on Electrify Showoff driven by Yokohama Tire, visit www.electrifyexpo.com/showoff.


2023 Electrify Expo Schedule

May 19-21Long Beach, CA
June 24-25San Francisco, CA
July 22-23Washington, DC
Aug. 12-13Long Island, NY
Sept. 9-10Seattle, WA
Oct. 14-15Miami, FL
Nov. 10-12Austin, TX

Photo of Brian Dilley of Current Electric Vehicles' 1957 Chevy Belair at Electrify Showoff in Long Beach, CA

OWNER/VEHICLE DETAILS

Owner: Brian C. Dilley
Location: Northridge, CA USA
Company: Current Electric Vehicles
Facebook: /current.losangeles
Twitter: @currentla
Instagram: @current.losangeles
TikTok: @current.losangeles
Vehicle: 1957 Chevy Bel Air
Horsepower: 300hp


Performance Electronics:

  • Custom built battery box using VDA modules, 60kWh
  • Cascadia Motion SS-255-115 motor and CM200 inverter

Powertrain (12-Volt Battery, Electrical System, and Charging):

  • Level 1 and level 2 charging

Wheels & Tires:

  • 17” Truespoke straight lace wire wheels

Brakes:

  • Wilwood disc brakes

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Chassis & Suspension:

  • Ridetech airbag suspension and 4 link

Exterior:

  • Matador red, factory color

Interior:

  • Ciadella’s tri-5 interior

Audio & Multimedia:

  • Pioneer head-unit
  • Rockford Fosgate amplifier
  • Infinity speakers

Shops & Mechanics:

  • Current Electric Vehicles: Bryan Garst, Nathan Cook, Curin Wilkerson, Sam Monge, Brian Dilley

IMAGES: ELECTRIFY EXPO, JOSE VALDEZ PHOTO

FTC: We use income-earning auto affiliate links. Learn more.

AUTHOR: 

RANDI BENTIA

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