Another Brooks Truck Show is in the books! The small Oregon town of Brooks became the home of the Pacific Northwest’s biggest truck show again this year. Held between August 23rd and August 25th, hosted by the ATHS Oregon Trail chapter and the Pacific Northwest Truck Museum, this year’s event showcased Peterbilt trucks (over 100 of them) and featured over 335 total registered rigs! And with perfect weather – sunny and 80 degrees – the weekend could not have been better.
In the past, dedicated volunteers Shari and Mick St. Paul, along with their two daughters, have ran the registration booth for this event, and usually only register 5 or 6 trucks on the Thursday prior to the show. However, this year they registered over 35 two days before the event even started! This absolutely goes to show how much this event has grown in the last 27 years. Brooks has gone from being a medium-sized Saturday truck show to one of the best 3- or 4-day trucking “get togethers” this side of the Mississippi.
My son Lincoln and I pulled into Brooks on Friday and were blown away at how many people were already parked and ready for the weekend. Brooks isn’t just a truck show – it is also a museum, showcasing everything from Caterpillar equipment to historical trains, as well as an awesome miniature railroad course for the kids! Brooks also houses a real life fully functional steam-operated lumber mill at the site. There are many places to stop and eat throughout the museum’s “old town” and plenty of vendors selling old toys and trucking memorabilia.
Show Chairmen Frank Merrill and his hard-working crew did a fantastic job at preparing the grounds for another great event. Trucks and campers were parked everywhere. With Peterbilt being the featured brand of truck this year, most of them were parked in the grass lot before the railroad tracks, while the rest of the trucks were parked out in a field past the tracks. McCoy Freightliner, DSU Peterbilt and, of course, Schott Parts & Accessories were some of the event’s fine sponsors, and a huge part of the show, as well.
Friday night turned into a light show party as the sun went down and the lights came on. Chad Iosco’s blue Kenworth T660 was lit up like Vegas, along with several of Gary Amoth’s famous red trucks from Idaho and over half of United Hauling’s fleet (also from Idaho). Thank you to Barry of United (along with five of their drivers) and Eldin from Amoth Trucking (along with three of their drivers) for making the trip to Oregon. Travis Vermeer and his dad brought their dark green and cream Peterbilt 352 (which was on the cover of 10-4 back in February 2010) and had their area lit up nicely, as well. All in all, Friday was a great night. Gus Hulstein and his family, as well as many others, had a great time keeping everyone laughing.
Like most everyone at the show, we camped in our truck on Friday night, and by 5:00 a.m. Saturday morning, many of us were wide awake, wiping the dew off our trucks, and watching the sun come up. My son Lincoln and I finished up the truck and jumped in the golf cart, courtesy of the show, and headed into the breakfast shack for bacon and whipped cream waffles. While there, we ran into one of my favorite people, Diann Ross, who was celebrating her retirement at the show that weekend after 40 years and 3 million accident-free miles. Mama Diann is my friend Gary Ross’ mom, and she was a top driver at Gordon Trucking for years. Thank you, Diann, for being such a classy pro and a good example to us “younger” drivers.
It was warming up quickly on Saturday morning with a perfectly clear sunny Oregon day, but what warmed it up even quicker was checking out so much nice iron. Rick Mallorie debuted his new blue and red Kenworth W990 and the Van Dyke’s had their lineup in total order (which now includes a cool Peterbilt cabover they bought from the Maggini family in California). Bill LaBrocca was there showing off his new dark brown Pete 389 with a burnt orange stripe (it is the same scheme as his previous truck, which was featured on the October 2018 cover of 10-4, but the colors are reversed), and Steve Gibson from Snohomish, Washington, and his cream and gold 1986 Peterbilt 359 were standing tall, as well.
Neil McIsaac, another past cover trucker (June 2015), was in attendance with his mint green 1969 Peterbilt 358A which did more than just turn heads – it also received the People’s Choice award for best antique. Zehner Farms brought out their amazing raspberry colored 2000 Peterbilt 379, hooked to a set of loaded hay doubles, and this thing was laying on the ground. This eye-catching truck also caught the eyes of the voters, taking home the People’s Choice award for best combo.
By the time Saturday evening came along, many of the people were heading out, but not everyone. A lot of folks now stay for Saturday night, too. This may not have been a record year for this event, but the Brooks Truck Show really gets better each year thanks to everyone at the museum and the ATHS volunteers that work hard to make everything click. We here at 10-4 Magazine would like to thank the whole crew and remind everyone that we’ll be back next year!