This article originally appeared in the October 2019 issue.
We love our Power of Pink builds and this time we’ve found a nice, bright pink half-ton diesel named Bella! Owned by Karen Clement of Denton, Md., this is one heck of a truck. As a 2016 RAM 1500 Limited Edition powered by the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6, Bella has very special appeal, especially to the female crowd, in the world of diesels. Karen goes by @diesel_carbie on Instagram, and “Diesel Carbie” is a very fitting description of her truck. The unique bright pink color almost makes it look like a cross between a vehicle and a life-sized Barbie toy.
“My love for anything pink and sparkly is insane,” she says. “Not to mention, this truck is also pre-loaded with all the factory-offered bells and whistles that go as far as air-conditioned seats.”
Karen and her daughter Chelsey together own the female-empowering diesel club known as Diesel Hotties, the same club of which KT Joy is a member (we featured her 2007 Mega Cab 5.9L Cummins in the September 2017 issue of Diesel Tech). The club is meant for all ladies with a passion for diesels and can be easily found on Facebook. “After a year since starting the club, I had seen so many amazing builds and I wanted to start my own,” Karen says. Originally she bought Bella for something well-balanced between power and fuel economy as a daily driver and to haul her organization’s trailer to truck shows and events.
A half-ton is great to simultaneously use as a daily driver and occasional hauler, as sometimes (and certainly in Karen’s case) it seems silly to burn so much fuel just to get around when you’re not actually using so much power all the time. Eventually, she and her husband purchased a new 2018 EcoDiesel, continuing their RAM loyalty to take care of all the trailer hauling and daily driving. Now Bella, the 2016 EcoDiesel, is almost exclusively a show horse project for her organization.
As a half-ton diesel project truck, Bella is a vehicle of its kind that has become quite the trend in recent years. Thus, it appeals to a new generation of diesel enthusiasts while also gaining the attention of the female crowd; the truck breaks new ground in two areas!
“I met some amazing people during my journey who have offered to help and encourage me to build,” Karen says. Connections always make for a good place to start when you’ve never done a truck build before. She’s done quite a lot to Bella already and plans to apply many more involved mods in the not-so-distant future.
A Nice Ride
Kicking off the Bella project, Karen first went for the suspension mods. She had her husband and her daughter drive the truck down to Brian’s Motorsports (BMS Offroad) in Hendersonville, Tenn., a world-class off-road vehicle outfitter owned by Brian Hayes and committed to boasting your bigger-than-life personality in vehicle form. The shop installed a BDS 4-inch suspension lift, which Brian offered to sponsor from the get-go. “Such an amazing guy who I had just met willing to help,” Karen says. The 4-inch lift for the RAM 1500 includes replacement steering knuckles for easier and quicker installation and a differential skid plate for off-road protection. The suspension really looks tough as it sits on 35-inch Nitto Terra Grappler G2 tires with Moto Metal rims. The all-terrain Nittos are great for pretty much anything a half-ton truck can do. Bella also has AMP Research power steps from ElectricStep.com that add real character to the undercarriage in addition to making climbing into the truck not seem like climbing a huge mountain.
All Decked Out
Shortly after completing the suspension, Karen moved on to the aesthetics.
“I knew I had to put a woman’s touch on it and that was easy to decide; I wanted Bella to be my favorite color which was pink,” she says. For the colors and other artistic mods, she went to Fine Lines Wraps & Tints in Hainesport, N.J., thanks to a connection who hooked her up with the owner, C.J. Morales. She told C.J. she wanted pink with a lot of glitter, and that’s just what she got! It’s a custom blend wrap that uses 3M Gloss Fierce Fuchsia with Kay Premium Marking Films (KPMF) rainbow clear laminate and it continues through the truck’s interior. A custom lipstick wrap finishes the antenna. The bumpers and accents on Bella use KPMF’s morpheous black. That shade of pink with the black accents gives the truck a perfect image of feminine toughness. Fine Line Wraps also completed the film on her taillights, which is gloss mid-smoke with rainbow laminate. With the help of her friend Aaron Holdosi, Karen added some BAMFLed RGB color change wheel rings and a Bluetooth-controlled RGB rock light kit (with 18 LEDs per pod) to spice things up.
Karen has had a lot of fun with Bella so far and has many more fun times to look forward to, granted that Bella has transitioned to the show horse stage now. She says much of her desire for a truck build like this one comes from within her family. That’s one of the best sources of encouragement if you ask us.
“My husband and two daughters give me the most motivation for my build,” she says. “One of the most amazing things is seeing the ladies and little girls take pictures of my truck at shows, and they’re inspired to build.” The biggest mods she plans for Bella in the near future include a custom interior and new custom bumpers. She also dreams of using an Any Level Lift suspension. Wherever Karen goes next, we know she’s in for some exciting times as the owner of a decked out EcoDiesel.
Any Level Lift
Fine Lines Wraps & Tints
Kay Premium Marking Films