This article originally appeared in the April 2020 issue.
Sometimes the “power of pink” looks great in green. And when you see a beautiful woman driving a green 1995 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins Turbo Diesel along Buzzards Bay in Massachusetts, a simple “rock on” gesture will let her know you approve of her choice in transportation.
“I've always loved trucks,” explained Lee Anne Babineu, “ever since I was a little girl. I actually wanted a truck and a mustache when I was a kid.” Although she quickly grew out of the “mustache” wish, the desire for a truck stuck with her as she became an adult.
Lee Anne is a 25-year-old security guard at SSC, Inc. Three years ago she met Cody Santos through some mutual friends and the two hit it off. Cody also has a passion for trucks. He grew up around Dodge trucks and is very familiar with the Cummins diesel. He helped Lee Anne find the 1995 Dodge RAM, which was engulfed in weeds out in a field, and the two decided to make it a project.
Up until then, Lee Anne really didn’t know much about diesel trucks. But the more she learned, and the more power she experienced coming out of the diesel engine, the more convinced she was that this truck was perfect for her.
“It was my boyfriend who started my love for diesel,” she explained. “And now all I care about is horsepower.” This passion for power has caused Lee Anne to sometimes abandon her feminine side and get her hands dirty.
“I wasn't really that good at mechanics before [I met my boyfriend],” Lee Anne explained. But once the passion for power took her down the diesel path, she knew the only way she could afford to “feed the beast” was to do much of the work herself.
“We made this truck our baby,” she explained. “It wasn't the prettiest, but with some TLC and hard work it's come a long way. I'm so proud and grateful to have a classic like a 12-valve to show off.”
Lee Anne said one thing that makes the truck unique is that many of the modifications on it are not common for such a metropolitan area. “It’s definitely an eye-catcher,” she explained.
The truck’s original paint was green and silver … with a few patches of rust wearing through. Initially she cleaned up the truck and brought life back to the paint. But as the work progressed, she realized the truck deserved a fresh look and turned to Maaco, an auto body paint and repair shop in New Bedford, Mass.
“We do all the work ourselves except for the paint,” she said. “That was done by Maaco.” She said after looking at the colors available at Maaco, they settled on a green that they really liked. “I wanted to keep the truck somewhat similar to the color it was previously.”
Although Lee Anne loves her truck, that doesn’t stop her wandering eyes from secretly admiring other trucks she sees on the road or at truck shows.
“Honestly, once I see something another truck has, or have a vision for it, I just do the research until I find what I'm looking for,” she said. That’s how this 1995 Dodge RAM 2500 evolved into a green dream. The transformation, however, wasn’t easy.
“It was a year and half long of many nights working through the dark in the driveway,” she explained. “A garage really would have helped.” But that determination eventually paid off and Lee Anne finally achieved her goal with the truck. “I would say right now it makes about 300-350 horsepower.”
Even though her truck works great, Lee Anne still ponders about her next series of modifications.
“I'm hoping to install a 62mm turbo, Steed Speed exhaust manifold, S&B cold air intake, and build the transmission,” she explained. “Also, there are some minor things like cleaning up the interior and changing it from grey to black.”
Although it’s not common to see women in big cities driving diesel trucks, Lee Anne said she enjoys some of the looks she gets while driving.
“Other people love seeing me in the truck,” she said. “I always get ‘rock on’ or ‘thumbs up’ while driving.” She said it’s fun to see heads turning when she’s in traffic. And often when she’s getting out of her truck in parking lots people will stop and ask questions about the truck. “I'm always happy to answer,” she said. “Our friends and family love the truck.”
Lee Anne is relatively young still and has other dreams to pursue, which include a long list of interests. “I love to sing but never got anywhere with it,” she explained. However, she was good enough to audition for American Idol … but only made the commercial. She also likes to spend time out in nature, whether it is four-wheeling, mountain biking, trail hiking, long-boarding or taking pictures.
“I love to write, mostly lyrics,” she said. “I love to create things—that's where my love of the truck really synced up.” She also enjoys painting, doing plant arrangements, drawing, and doing DIY projects around the house.
For now, Lee Anne is letting her truck define her personality and artistic expression. She takes it to car shows and is excited to compete in a man’s world. Now that’s truly the Power of Pink.
LADIES, WANT TO SEE YOUR TRUCK FEATURED IN THE MAGAZINE? GO HERE!