What started out as a simple trip to the mall turned into a brand-new lifestyle for then 16-year-old TaLisa Ohmer from Harrison, Ohio. She thought she was going to shop for prom attire but ended up jumping behind the wheel of her high school sweetheart’s F250 Power Stroke.
“I always thought it was too huge and I could never drive it,” laughs Ohmer. “But that day, when we got to the mall, he just stopped the truck and got out.”
After encouraging her into the driver’s seat, Ohmer spent the afternoon driving around the mall parking lot. Even though she couldn’t have told you the difference between a gas or a diesel truck at the time, she was hooked. She then spent the next couple of years dreaming about her own truck.
“I couldn’t stop after that. He ended up driving my car while I drove the truck,” says Ohmer. “I started to learn more about the mechanics of the engine by climbing up under the hood and messing with parts to see how they worked.”
A few years later she came into possession of a Ford F150.
“I cried because I wanted a diesel, not a gas truck,” says Ohmer. “I put $1800 into wheels and rims, which made me feel better, but it still wasn’t what I wanted.”
An Exciting Surprise
One day after arriving home from work in 2011, the same high school sweetheart—who got her hooked in the first place—told her it was time to take off the wheels and tires because he sold the truck to a friend. Obviously shocked, Ohmer reluctantly went out to help with the removal.
“He told me to cheer up because he sold the truck to buy me the truck I wanted,” says Ohmer. “I had been bugging him every day about a truck I had seen online in Kentucky.”
The truck Ohmer had her sights on was a 1995 F350 7.3L Power Stroke. The Old Body Style (OBS) had attracted her even though she wasn’t familiar with the term at the time. After she was added to an OBS Addict Facebook page, she realized she loved the style and look of the truck. She bought the truck without even seeing it in person. A 1995 with 250,000 miles didn’t scare her because “Built Ford Tough” means something to this girl.
“When we picked it up, I saw it in person for the first time and immediately fell in love,” says Ohmer. “My heart dropped and I knew this was meant to be my truck.”
The original owner had planned to do a Cummins swap on the truck and never got around to it. So the truck had been sitting unused and untouched for the last year.
Once she got the truck back to Ohio, Ohmer started her build. She added wheels and tires and painted the frame. From there, she went with a four-inch Flo-Pro exhaust from the turbo back with a 5-inch MBRP exhaust tip, a TS Performance six-position-switch chip and a K&N cold air intake.
With the exterior, she decided on a 2-inch leveling kit and 33x12.50xr16 Mastercraft Courser MXT tires. She also added pink decals to finish off the look of her truck, or Power Puff as it’s affectionately known today.
Since then, the transmission has also been rebuilt with a triple disc torque converter and shift kit. Ohmer was on her way to a pull when the truck stopped shifting and her RPMs stopped at 35. She ended up having it towed to the shop where the rebuilding process took a month.
“It wasn’t a good situation but the worse part was being away from my truck,” says Ohmer. “When I saw it, I fell in love all over again.”
Excited to have her truck back, Ohmer knew she had a nice build going on because the mechanic told her people kept offering to buy it while he was fixing it.
Since immersing herself in the diesel industry, Ohmer has become a representative of International Women's Diesel Association with Victoria Ellis and is a member of a number of Facebook groups including Ladies of Diesel.
“My goal is to get fewer people worrying about the looks of diesel owners and start thinking about capabilities of women in this industry,” says Ohmer. “I would like to see more girls who are actually willing to learn and work on their own trucks instead of looking pretty in and on them! Girls come in all shapes/sizes. We're all beautiful in one way or another. More girls should start using their knowledge behind their passion for their vehicles, not their looks. Any girl can pose but it takes a special kind of girl who will stay out in the garage 'till dawn to complete one thing or another on her truck for an upcoming event.”
With the hopes of one day owning a new F350 6.7L Power Stroke King Ranch Dually with four doors and a long bed that is brown and tan, her current truck is coming along exactly as she wants it to.
“I think it looks exactly how I want it to look,” says Ohmer. “I have more plans for customization and engine modifications, but I feel like this is a really good start.”