Another Brooks Truck Show is in the books! And, like so many other years, it was a great event. Held at Antique Powerland in Brooks, OR and presented by the Oregon Trail Chapter of the ATHS and the Pacific NW Truck Museum, this one-day show, held on Saturday, August 23, is a laid-back tailgate party with no judging, no competition and virtually no trophies. Drawing in an even mix of antique rigs on one side of the property and newer working trucks on the other side, this show offers attendees the best of both worlds – cool old stuff and amazing new stuff! Add to that vendors, raffles, antique displays, a steam-powered sawmill on the premises, and a swap meet section with all sorts of odd treasures, and you’ve got the makings of one great day.
On Friday morning, before the show officially started, sponsors Schott Parts & Accessories, located just across the street from the show grounds, hosted an open house and BBQ to debut their newly-remodeled showroom to the public and introduce several new product lines. Formerly Esley Truck Accessories, Denise & Curtis Schott became the new owners and changed the name back in April of this year. In addition to the thousands of accessories already available at the store, new lines of hard parts have now been added, as well. With a celebration that went from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., longtime General Manager Debbie Hotchkiss made sure everything went smooth and everyone had a good time.
After flying in to Portland on Friday, we arrived at the show later that afternoon to setup our bright-red party tent. Once again, the Stay Loaded Apparel guys stepped-up and brought all of our stuff to the show from Southern California. By the time we rented our car and got down to Brooks, the guys had already set most of our stuff up! Once our displays were finalized, it was time to kick back and enjoy the show. After the local ATHS chapter hosted a BBQ dinner in one the buildings on the grounds, it was time for the light show. And, as one could imagine, it was awesome, as the hundreds of rigs in attendance lit-up the night to everyone’s delight. After that, it was time for some much-needed shut eye to rest-up for the long Saturday ahead.
By the time we got to the show on Saturday morning, the place was already buzzing. While we were sleeping, many more trucks had pulled in and parked, and more were still coming in throughout the morning. We also finally got to meet our new PNW route driver, Derek Williams, face-to-face. Derek, who recently helped expand our distribution network in Oregon, Washington and Idaho, came to the show to not only meet us, but offer his assistance wherever needed. We can’t thank him enough for running our booth all day long, while we were out walking, talking and taking pictures. And by the time it was all said and done, the official count was 312 trucks, so you can imagine how busy we were!
In the “antique” area of the show, tons of amazing classics including 359s, A-Models, needle-noses, cabovers of all sorts from all eras, tilt-hoods, butterfly hoods and a bevy of old log trucks filled the grounds. Just about every nameplate was represented, including Peterbilt, Kenworth, Mack, Sterling, Autocar, International, Diamond T, GMC, Dodge and more – there were even a few chain-driven Mack and Sterling log trucks! In addition to the old trucks, hundreds of antique tractors were also on display.
In the “working” trucks area, James Davis of JDT and FCT parked several of his fine rides in a long line near our booth, while our friend Bryan Welsh and his fellow Farwest Steel drivers staked a claim with their yellow and blue company trucks on the other side of the row. The George Van Dyke fleet was well-represented, too, along with nice rigs from J & S Enterprises, Oldland, Nalco and Freres Lumber (their maroon-colored aero KW was turning heads all day).
Some other notable rigs included Bill Mowatt’s slammed and stretched red Pete 379, Jesse Bounds’ bright orange hay-hauling Pete 359, and Alan Tuttle’s champagne-colored Pete 379 with dark blue accents, which was fresh out of the shop after undergoing a 22-month rebuild by Brent’s Custom Trucks. Our very own “Poetry in Motion” writer Trevor Hardwick and his wife Alicia also brought down their recently-repainted 1981 Freightliner COE from Washington. Painted brown, orange and gold in honor of a cabover Trevor’s dad drove back in the day, this thing was a real blast from the past – it even had gold-leaf lettering on the fuel tanks!
Over in the Schott booth, Debbie and her crew were hard at work selling raffle tickets for prizes donated by several of their vendors. For each ticket sold, the buyer was entered into the raffle for the prizes and was also given one ballot for their “People’s Choice” winner of the show. Obviously not a scientific system (this award can be bought), but all of the money goes to charity, so, in this case, it is okay. Raising $1,250 for Liberty House, a child abuse assessment center in Salem, OR that offers a safe place for children who may have been hurt by abuse or neglect, Schott Parts & Accessories matched all of the money collected, bringing the total donation to Liberty House up to $2,500!
The top three “winners” of the People’s Choice/Charity Vote were: 1st – Rick Mallorie of Mallories, LLC and his 1986 Freightliner COE; 2nd – Dewy Goodell of Leeway Logging and his 2015 Peterbilt log truck; and 3rd – Ned Vander Ploeg of Super Tanks, Inc. and his 2012 Pete. We would like to thank not only everyone who bought raffle tickets and contributed to the cause, but also Debbie and the crew at Schott
for making it all happen and then matching the money raised. These new owners went above and beyond what anyone expected and really made this fund-raiser a smashing success.
With the day coming to a close, it was time to pack up and head home, but we weren’t quite ready to leave yet. First, we had to hang out for a while with Ken Talley and his old-timer crew in their makeshift “Cow Trailer Bar and Grill” – an old cattle trailer that has been “converted” (sort of) into a lounge. Complete with a couple BBQ grills, plastic chairs and plenty of coolers, we spent the last two hours of the day “winding down” with Ken and his friends, listening to some amazing old trucking stories. We’d like to thank Ken for bringing us the “special beer” and, as always, for his hospitality and friendship.
Upon leaving the show, we had one more destination – dinner. After finding a Mexican restaurant a few miles east of our hotel in the small town of Molalla, ten of us headed out for some much-needed nourishment. Sharing a great meal and plenty of lively conversation with the Stay Loaded guys, Trevor & Alicia Hardwick, Frank & Diana Pangburn and our PNW distribution driver Derek Williams, we hung out at the El Charrito restaurant until they finally closed and threw us out! It was a great way to end a terrific day. If you missed the Brooks Truck Show this year, we hope to see you there next year!!