Each year the Oregon Trail Chapter of the ATHS, along with the Pacific NW Truck Museum, put on a great show in Brooks, Oregon. This year, their 26th annual event, held on August 24-25, was another huge success! With 331 total trucks – 190 antiques and 141 working trucks – the place was packed with some of the finest rides the Pacific Northwest (PNW) has to offer. Each year the hosts pick a brand to highlight, and this year it was Freightliner and Western Star.
Arriving in Oregon on Thursday night after a long 12-hour drive from Central California, we hit the grounds early on Friday morning to begin setting up our booth. Sitting on the main road that went right through the middle of the show, our booth was a great place to just sit and watch the trucks roll by, as they headed to their designated parking areas (the antiques park in one area and the working trucks park in another). We were fortunate to have our bright red party tent (booth) flanked by two of the finest rigs – Trevor Hardwick’s cool brown Freightliner cabover and Steve Chandler’s blue and gold W900L (our August 2018 cover truck).
The weather on Friday was perfect. After leaving the 100-degree temps in California, the 60-degree morning in Brooks was brisk and refreshing – and a little surprising. With blue skies and thin clouds, you couldn’t ask for a better day to be outside at a truck show. After a busy day of taking pictures, handing out magazines and posters, and selling t-shirts, we headed down the street for a nice prime rib dinner with the folks from Schott Truck Parts & Accessories, along with some other good friends from the trucking industry. After dinner, we headed back to the show grounds for the much-anticipated light display.
Getting back to the show around dusk, I started taking pictures at the beginning of the first row of working trucks. Three hours later, I was still in the same place! Taking lots of photos of the three or four trucks around me, which were all looking top-notch, many friends and fellow photographers joined me in shooting pics and talking. There was so much talking, in fact, that I never walked away from that spot. Thankfully, the two trucks that won awards for their lights were two of the trucks I shot tons of pictures of! What luck!! Jake Bast and his white 2001 Peterbilt 379 took 1st place, while Dan McElhaney and his silver Pete 388 log truck with green and black stripes (and lots of green lights) earned the 2nd place spot.
After getting a little rest on Friday night, Saturday morning came fast. With overcast skies and temps in the low 70s, it was another good weather day – not as good as Friday, but I’m not complaining. Some of the other vendors around us included Dynaflex, Schott Truck Parts & Accessories, RoadWorks, Valley Chrome Plating, Amsoil, Ratco, Logging World Magazine and, since Freightliner and Western Star were the featured brands this year, Freightliner and Western Star both had booths and trucks on display.
As part of their displays, several of the Freightliner and Western Star trucks from the Transformers movies were on display, including Optimus Prime (a highly-modified red and blue Western Star 5700 EX), Onslaught (a green and white Western Star wrecker), and Galvatron (a black and silver Argosy cabover). Freightliner also had several of their newest aero trucks on display, including the latest Cascadia, which is actually pretty slick (in my opinion), along with their stunning and historical pearl and metallic silver 1942 Shovelnose cabover.
Walking the field with the working trucks on Saturday afternoon, there were some amazing rigs out there from all walks of life – flatbeds, log trucks, car carriers, hay haulers, reefers, tankers, dump trucks and roll-tops, just to name a few. There were also some beautiful bobtails in attendance, as well.
A few that caught my eye included Jake Bast’s white 2001 Peterbilt 379 (the light show winner), Hays Hauling’s pair of white and yellow fuel tankers (one is a Peterbilt and the other is a Kenworth), Austin Johnson’s turquoise 2019 Pete 389 with white stripes and a roll-top trailer, Bill LaBrocca’s 1999 Peterbilt 379 and MAC roll-top trailer (our cover truck this month and the winner of the People’s Choice Best Combo award), Rusty Bradeen’s blue and silver 1996 Peterbilt 379 with a load of beams on his flatbed, and a clean rust-colored 2019 Peterbilt 389 dump truck (I did not get the owner’s name). An owner operator from Sherman Bros. (Team Transport) won the People’s Choice Best Bobtail award with her 2007 Peterbilt 379.
Walking over to the area with the antique trucks was like stepping back in time. Not only the old iron, but all the old-timers, as well, standing around and sharing those priceless trucker tales from days gone by. This event originally began as an antique show, which is why there are so many neat old trucks every year at this event. Many are the same year after year, but that does not make them any less spectacular.
A few standouts for me included Jason Hill’s black and white 1956 Pete 351 hay hauler (with decked trailers), Joanie & LeRoy Bracelin’s teal-colored 1960 Diamond T log truck, restored in honor of its late owner Roy Ligons, Dale Callen’s yellow Peterbilt RV, which graced our cover way back in June 1995, and Mark Long’s red 1990 Kenworth K100 cabover with tri-colored stripes.
The winner of the People’s Choice Best Antique went to Gary Bean. Many of you have seen Mike Stoneman’s brown “Let’s Roll” 1951 GMC, with a patriotic theme, at the antique truck shows for years. Unfortunately, Mike passed away this year, so Gary brought his rig out to the show in his honor – and ended-up taking home the trophy in the antique class! No doubt, many of those people’s choice votes came from folks who wanted to further honor Mike and his stellar old patriotic truck.
Over in the antiques area, there was also a kid’s area set up, with toy trucks, and wood shavings to play with them in. The kids loved it, including Bryan Welsh’s little boy Lincoln, who flashed me the cheesiest big grin of them all, as he played with his truck!
As the day wound-down, after the awards and raffle prizes were handed out, the show came to a close. We sat in our booth and enjoyed a few cold ones, while the parade of rigs made their way by us, on their way out. Once everything was torn down and packed up, we headed over to a local watering hole called “The Hitchin’ Post” for a great celebratory dinner with a good group of friends, including Derek Williams, who came down from Portland to help us run our booth. Derek is the guy who delivers our magazines throughout the PNW, and he is always a huge help. For that, we’d like to thank him. Thanks also to Trevor and Alicia Hardwick for their help, along with Steve and Diane Chandler for bringing their cool rig down to the show to park it next to our booth.
Next year, the show is scheduled for August 23-24, 2019. In honor of Peterbilt’s upcoming 80th anniversary, Peterbilt will be the featured brand next year, so you know there will be a lot of amazing west coast Peterbilts at this event. Mark your calendars now, because you won’t want to miss this one!