Drag Races to Electric Sparks: Kyle Meziere's 1953 Jeep Willys M38a1
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Drag Races to Electric Sparks: Kyle Meziere’s 1953 Jeep Willys M38a1

Photo of Kyle Meziere's 1954 Jeep Willys M38a1 at Electrify Showoff in Long Beach, CA
  • Kyle Meziere electrified a 1953 Jeep Willys M38a1, winning Best SUV at Electrify Showoff in Long Beach.
  • From a drag racing background, Kyle’s Jeep restoration turned electric, inspired by a coworker’s joke.
  • The revamped Jeep boasts 280+ horsepower, 7,800+ ft-lbs of torque, and features like Orion BMS and TorqueMountain driveshafts, igniting an electric off-road movement.

In a world where cars are evolving faster than ever, one man’s journey into the electrifying world of custom car building stands out. Meet Kyle Meziere, the mastermind behind TorqueMountain EV and the proud owner of the award-winning 1953 Jeep Willys M38a1. The torque connoisseur recently stole the spotlight at the Electrify Showoff 2023 in Long Beach, CA, where his creation was awarded the Best SUV, proving that the future of custom cars is electric, and it’s looking brighter than ever.


From Drag Racing to Electric Racing: Kyle’s Story

Photo of Kyle Meziere's 1954 Jeep Willys M38a1 at Electrify Showoff in Long Beach, CA

You might say Kyle was born with gasoline in his veins. Growing up in the dynamic drag racing world, he was a pit stop regular before he could even walk straight. His parents’ performance automotive component business in San Diego made sure of that. “My life revolved around cars from day one,” Kyle shares. “It started with drag race cars and muscle cars, but as I grew older, my interests branched out into off-road racing and off-road cars.”


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The Spark: From Dust to Electric Power

Curiosity and the itch to restore cars to their former glory played catalyst to Kyle’s electrifying journey. The Jeep that would become his canvas was gifted to him by his grandparents, who had a yard brimming with cars. “I intended to restore it from the moment I laid eyes on it,” he confesses. The project faced some setbacks due to life’s curveballs, but it was a coworker’s cheeky suggestion that set the wheels of transformation in motion. “Why not go electric?” they joked, and that single quip sparked a revolution.

Powered by Collaboration

Kyle’s garage wasn’t a one-person show. “Countless people have put their hearts into this project,” Kyle acknowledges. His dad and a former coworker, Cody, laid the blueprint for the Jeep’s revamped design. Online forums and Michael Bream from EV West became invaluable sources of advice. His family’s business offered unwavering support, while Jimmy’s welding skills became the heart of the project’s artistic side. “My brothers, mom, wife, grandpa, and friends all lent a hand,” Kyle smiles, showcasing the unity that powered this electrifying journey.


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The Buzz of Uncharted Territory

“I have a drive to prove how fast I can build things,” Kyle admits, a twinkle of excitement in his eye. Immersed in the race car culture from a young age, the need for speed became his second nature. However, what truly set his heart racing was the unexplored terrain of electric hot rodding. “Living in this exciting time in automotive history is a dream come true,” he shares. The challenge of designing a puzzle-like electric drivetrain for his 4×4 conversion excites him. “It’s like a cutting-edge, multi-dimensional puzzle… that ends up having 280hp and does burnouts,” he chuckles.


Photo of Kyle Meziere's 1954 Jeep Willys M38a1 at Electrify Showoff in Long Beach, CA

While the journey was electrifying, it wasn’t without its hiccups. The seemingly ordinary seats became the most formidable challenge. “Modern seats don’t fit easily in an old Jeep,” Kyle reveals, recounting the many times he wrestled with seat installations. Space, too, posed a challenge. “Building in Southern California is no walk in the park,” he admits, considering the limited working space.


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Rolling Thunder: The Specs That Roar

Under the hood of this electrified beauty lies a symphony of performance components. The Orion BMS, Elcon’s charging systems, and Chevy Volt Battery create a symphony of power. Custom Dana 44 Axle Shafts, TorqueMountain Driveshafts, and a host of Meziere Enterprise parts define the soul of this electric chariot. With Ironman All Country AT2 tires hugging OEM Chevy Avalanche wheels, this 1953 Jeep Willys M38a1 roars with 280+ horsepower and over 7,800 ft-lbs of torque.


Preserving a Family Legacy and Paving the Way to a Greener Future: The 1953 Jeep Willys M38A1

Photo of Kyle Meziere's 1954 Jeep Willys M38a1 at Electrify Showoff in Long Beach, CA

“My grandfather’s journey with the United States Armed Forces make this automotive journey even more special,” Kyle reflects. The Jeep, a familial gift, carries stories from generations past. As for the future, Kyle sees a world of opportunity in electric off-roading. “The electric off-road scene is about to explode,” he predicts, eager to push the boundaries of what’s possible.

Sparking a Bright Future

In a world of cars and dreams, Kyle Meziere stands as a beacon of change, showcasing that electric vehicles can roar just as loud as their combustion counterparts. With unity, ingenuity, and a dash of electric magic, the TorqueMountain EV team has lit up the road to the future. As the roar of electric engines grows louder, the automotive world braces for an electrifying ride ahead.

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 Kyle Meziere accepting the award for Best SUV for his 1953 Jeep Willys M38a1 at Electrify Showoff in Long Beach, CA

OWNER/VEHICLE DETAILS

Owner:Kyle Meziere
Location:Irvine, CA USA
Company/Team:TorqueMountain EV
Vehicle:1953 Jeep Willys M38a1
Horsepower:280+ horsepower, 7,800+ ft-lbs of torque
Instagram:@torquemountain
Twitter:@TorqueMountain
YouTube:@TorqueMountainEV-iw1xd
Website:https://www.torquemountain.com
CategoryComponent/Modification
Performance ElectronicsOrion BMS
PowertrainElcon 3.3kw onboard charger
Elcon TDC-IY-320-12 DC-DC converter
Tesla Motor 3 swap
Chevy Volt Battery
Orion Battery Management System
Custom length Dana 44 Axle Shafts from Dutchman Axles (rear axle shafts are 4130)
Custom TorqueMountain Driveshafts
Meziere Enterprise WP136 water pumps (one for battery loop, one for drive unit loop)
Meziere Enterprise fittings and chassis components
Brown and Miller Racing Solutions Custom Cooling lines
TorqueMountain Model 3 to 1310 Driveshaft Adapters
TorqueMountain Model 3 to AN -16 Coolant Line Adapters
Wheels & TiresOEM Chevy Avalanche
Ironman All Country AT2 LT235/80R17
Chassis & SuspensionBilstein Shocks
Ruffstuff Specialties Chassis and Suspension Parts
Speedway Motors Steering Box
1975 Jeep Wagoneer Dana 44 axles
ExteriorGenright CJ7 roll cage kit
LightingBaja Designs Squadron auxiliary light pods
InteriorCJ Pony Parts Steering Column
SponsorsMeziere Enterprises
TorqueMountain EV
Shops & MechanicsMeziere Enterprises
TorqueMountain EV
RJ’s Paint and Body, Garden Grove, CA
San Diego Gear and Axle

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IMAGES: ELECTRIFY EXPO, JOSE VALDEZ PHOTO

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

AUTHOR: 

RANDI BENTIA

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