For over a decade now, Brooks, Oregon, a small town north of Salem, has been the home of one of the most rapidly-growing truck show events in the northwest. Although it started out as more of an antique truck show with just a few newer trucks thrown in, over the years more and more working trucks have joined in on the fun. Being held at one of the country’s most extensive and elaborate historical transportation museums on the west coast, the location of this event has always been appealing. The Oregon Trail Chapter of ATHS always does a great job on this event!
The 19th annual event was held on August 27th and showcased Freightliner and Western Star trucks. The Pacific NW Truck Museum in Brooks has always housed one of the country’s most elaborate antique Freightliner collections, with an entire warehouse dedicated solely to the nameplate. From 1940’s bubble nose COEs, to the late 70’s and early 80’s conventionals, and even a few factory donated prototype trucks never seen before – there is always plenty to see! And, for me, climbing around all of these old rides is like taking a trip back in time.
We couldn’t have had a better day for this year’s show. We arrived in the morning under clear blue skies and 80 degree temperatures, and to make it even better, we were set up right next to Esley Truck Accessories’ booth, so we felt right at home next to all of their custom and chrome inventory throughout the entire day! We were also happy to see that Bob Turley of Pacific Truck & Trailer was able to bring their trick red and black Freightliner cabover up close to the party tent, pulling their custom refurbished trailer stocked full of old truck pictures and trucking memorabilia. We were also more than happy to have Rod Pickett back his legendary Peterbilt in right beside us and hang out for the day, too!
Rod Pickett’s ride was, like always, looking top-shelf, and looked right at home beside Bryan Carpenter’s W900 and Barry Skalvem’s green machine. Once again, our booth was surrounded by “The Best of the Best” including Mike Brown’s latest creation – a “Blazer Blue” 1970 Peterbilt baby cab long hood log truck. Some other cool trucks at the show included Mike Green’s fresh out-of-the-box plum and cream Pete 379 pulling a matching equipment trailer, and Rich Stark’s slick “true blue” 359 Peterbilt long hood, pulling his new Wilson curtain van trailer. Rich came all the way from Las Vegas, Nevada to show off his fine ride, and we were glad he did.
This event broke yet another attendance record with over 241 total entries – 156 antique trucks and 85 working trucks. This year, Oregon had a very wet spring, so the grass was nice and green, which made for an enjoyable walk around (and great pictures). Speaking of walking around, I can’t forget to mention the great BBQ that Dale Latimer and his crew put on every year! Thanks again, Dale, for keeping me well-fed and fueled-up so I could walk around all day!!
There’s always plenty to see and do at the Brooks truck show besides just looking at trucks. There is a miniature train for the kids to ride, a trolley that gives rides to anyone who happens to hop aboard, and, as mentioned before, several warehouses full of old memorabilia. Inside these warehouses you’ll find antique trucks, antique railroad equipment, and, over in the Caterpillar building, anything and everything Cat-related. And let’s not forget about the neat fully-functional steam-powered lumber mill that operates entirely on steam, working away all day cutting logs and timber for all to watch!
The Brooks show, being just a one-day event, is one of those days where the time just flies by and before you know it, everyone is packing up to leave. And like all of the previous years, this year was no different. Before we knew it, Debbie over at Esley’s tent, was announcing the People’s Choice award winners and calling out the names of folks who had won a raffle prize. This year’s 1st place crown went to Diann Ross and her Freightliner Classic conventional, followed by Rick Mallorie and his dark blue 1984 Freightliner flatbed conventional tractor taking 2nd, and then Mike Brown and his 1970 Pete log truck earning a solid 3rd place. Like at most any show, if I had to decide the awards, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. There were so many exceptional rigs at the show this year, it would have taken a trailer full of trophies to award everything worthy.
A huge “thanks” goes out to everyone who shined their wagons to make the 2011 Brooks truck show so awesome! Again, I would really like to say “thank you” to the best booth partners a guy could have, including Jami Curry, Chris and Meagan Leturno from Crow, Oregon and their two beautiful children, Colton and Lilly, as well as my sister Jayme Morse for making the 10-4 booth such a fun place to hang out with the crowds this year. It was great spending the day with all of them, and a true 10-4 “thanks” goes out to each and every one of them for their hard work – oh, and for putting up with me all day, too! This show seems to grow more and more every year, and for good reason. The Brooks truck show is easily one of the “Best of the Best” shows on the west coast each and every year, and we hope to see everybody and more up here in 2012