When you ask many folks in Oregon where the town of Brooks is, it’s almost guaranteed that they’ll just shrug their shoulders – but to most in the trucking industry, they would say, “Hell yeah, I’ve been to that truck show!” Needless to say, the Brooks Truck Show has developed a name all its own, and not for any small reason, but because over the past 25 years, this ATHS Oregon Chapter event has grown from roughly a 25-truck yearly “get-together” to a whopping 350-truck event, featuring both the best antique classics and some of the finest working trucks, from around the country.
This year’s event marked the ATHS Oregon Chapter’s 25th year anniversary, and highlighted Kenworth trucks as their featured brand, which is different every year. And, as I pulled in to the show, I realized very quickly that Kenworth made one heck of an appearance, along with virtually all other makes and models. The first year I made it to Brooks was over 20 years ago and, back then, it was just a Saturday event, filling enough grass to hold about 100-150 trucks. Now, the area has grown five times over and has actually become a little city of its own, due to the new construction of several facilities and buildings on the show grounds, which have only added to this event’s character.
These days, trucks start showing up and parking as early as Wednesday, and this event is truly becoming a two- to three-day event! This year’s show kicked off Friday afternoon, and by then more than 250 trucks had already arrived and parked, just in time for the Friday night light show. Thankfully, Brad Russell, who drives an outstanding yellow Peterbilt 389 car hauler, was already there capturing those great night shots he loves to take so much – thank you, Brad!
I finally made it there around 4:00 AM on Saturday morning and, thankfully, my good friend Derek Louvring, with his pressed-out dark metallic Kerr Construction T800 wide hood, had already found and saved me a good spot. By the time the sun started rising, I figured just by looking around that this year’s Brooks Truck Show, in my opinion, was the best laid-out show so far. Like always, the vintage rides were parked under and around all the trees within the original show grounds, while the next field to the north provided the space for nothing but this year’s featured brand of truck – Kenworth – including one heck of a display by Pape Kenworth.
A new addition to this year’s show was actually not so new. For the last few years, the organizers of this event have used a third field to the west as an overflow area for all the added participants, but this year they decided to make that entire field the home of all the fine working trucks. There was enough room out there for everybody to be happy, with at least 10 to 15 feet of space between each truck. Truth be known, a person does have to cross over a set of railroad tracks to get to this field, leading Frank Merrill and a few others to name this working truck area as, “The wrong side of the tracks!” Perfect!!
All in all, this year’s total tally came to 349 trucks, with 203 antiques and 146 working rigs. It was nice to see that the People’s Choice awards this year included both antique and working trucks. West coast “go-getter” Norm Butler, with his maroon and charcoal W900L, brought in a 3rd, while Ken Talley nailed a 2nd with one of his dark blue and yellow A-Models. The first place trophy also went to a good home, being awarded to Ryan Van Dyke of Albany, Oregon, with his Cat-powered white and teal 2017 Pete 389.
Gus Hulstein and his wife Natalie, along with their two kiddos, son Gerrit and daughter Grae, were all-hands-on-deck getting Gus’ beautiful green 379 ready, and even our recent cover trucker Justin Troyer had his little girl, with rag in hand, out shining up his K100. Chad Iosco also made quite an appearance with his Electric Blue Kenworth T660, as well as Erick Schoen with his burgundy W900L. I could talk all day and cover 100 pages describing everybody that showed up and all their cool rides (and I wish that I could), but let’s just say “thank you” to everybody for helping to make this such a great event.
The 2017 Brooks Truck Show was a great time, and a good way to spend time hanging around trucks and people of all kinds. Thanks to Brad Russell and Mikey Thompson for all your help throughout the weekend, even though you managed to lock me in the outhouse with the cart for a while – “Hey, it happens!” I would also really like to thank the crew from Schott Parts & Accessories for putting up with us, and to the Northwest Chapter of the ATHS board that works so hard to put this great event on every year. 25 years went fast – here’s to 25 more!