The Brooks show, which happens each summer in Oregon, is always a great mix of old and new rigs. Held at Powerland Heritage Park in Brooks, OR on August 27-28, 2021, the 28th Annual (and nearly normal) Brooks Truck Show was again hosted by the Oregon Trail Chapter of ATHS, the Pacific Northwest Truck Museum, and Schott Parts & Accessories. Every year they highlight a different manufacturer, and this year it was Mack and International.
Making the 12-hour drive from Central California to Northern Oregon on Thursday, almost the entire trip was engulfed in smoke from large wildfires. Thankfully, once we got north of about Medford, the smoke slowly began to clear. Heading over to the show grounds on Friday morning, we set up our booth next to Schott Parts & Accessories, Dynaflex, Valley Chrome and Howes Lubricator. There were other vendors spread out in different places around the show, but these were the ones around us. There was also a swap meet area, food vendors featuring corn dogs, street tacos and smoked BBQ, and plenty of old and new trucks to check out and enjoy.
Since this show originally began as an antique show, there is always a huge collection of old iron – especially log trucks. Later, working trucks were allowed to come, and over the years, the working trucks have become half or more of the trucks on display. The show has always put the old trucks in one area, the working trucks in another area, and now they reserve an area specifically for the highlighted manufacturers for that year. So, there are three separate areas to see trucks. And since the show is held at a location with several museums, you can tour those if you choose, as well.
With temperatures in the low 80s, the weather on Friday was awesome, except for some wind. At one point, our 10-4 canopy tried to fly away, but thanks to Trevor and Alicia Hardwick, who found us some weights, we were able to keep it in place for the rest of the day. Having a broken foot and wearing a “boot” for the entire summer while it healed, I would like to thank the show producer, Frank Merrill, for supplying me with his personal golf cart for the duration of the event. This show encompasses a large amount of space, and there would have been no way for me to get around to see it all (and take my pictures) without that cart, so thank you, Frank.
In our booth, along with all the free magazines, truck centerfolds and posters, we also had some 10-4 hats and a new t-shirt to sell. And I have to say, our stock did not last long at all – we sold it all! As the evening approached and the temps began to drop, I was pretty excited to put on a hoodie, as it was the first time I was able to do so since about the month of April. Driving down from Northern Washington on Friday afternoon, our son Parker and his girlfriend Alyssa joined us at the show to help run the booth and take pictures. Thanks to both of them for coming and helping out!
Around 9:00 PM on Friday evening, it was time for the “Light Glow” light display. This show always has a really incredible light show, and this year was no different. Closing down the booth and heading out in the golf cart around 9:30, most of the trucks in the working area were lit up. Most of the old-timers call it a night early, but the younger working truck drivers typically make a party out of the light show, which often goes until midnight. This year, however, it was kinda quiet, and by 11:00 PM, most of the trucks had gone dark. Thankfully, by then, I had already got a lot of great night shots of the glowing rigs.
Being busy taking pictures during the light show, we didn’t have time to eat dinner. As we made one last pass by the rows of trucks, we found our friend and contributor Bryan Welsh grilling burgers in a barbecue on his deck plate. When he offered us a late-night dinner, we couldn’t resist. So, there we were, at almost midnight, standing around his Farwest Steel Kenworth, enjoying what seemed to be some of the best cheeseburgers we had ever eaten! Thank you, Bryan, for feeding the troops – it was perfect. After a fun but long day, we headed back to the hotel for a short nap before starting all over again on Saturday.
On Saturday, we got another helper to join us in the booth. One of our past magazine distributors up in the Pacific Northwest, Derek Williams, who lives near where the show is held, came down to hang out and help. It was great to see him, and we can’t thank him enough for the help, which freed up our time and allowed us to get out of the booth and see and do other things. The weather on Saturday was similar to Friday, minus the wind, which was nice.
Since trucks are allowed to enter the show until noon on Saturday, a steady stream of rigs paraded by our booth all morning, on their way to their parking spots. To dodge some oppressive Covid protocols that the State of Oregon had recently put in place, show producers did not charge anyone to enter their trucks in the show, making it instead just a fun get-together and display. There was also no parking or spectator fees, so the public could come out and enjoy the show at no charge. All told, there were almost 300 trucks at the show!
With this show being held in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), there are a lot of log trucks, hay trucks, and lumber haulers. With the show not being held in California, there are a lot of cool older trucks like A-model Kenworths, 359 Petes, and cabovers, still being used and earning their keep – and still looking good doing it! Many of these types of trucks can be found at the Brooks Truck Show. Plenty of our past cover truckers were there including Norm Butler, Greg Zehner, Gary Ross, George Van Dyke, Ed Rocha, Larry Lemmons, and others.
A truck that stood out for me was parked right across from our booth, so I was looking at it a lot during the event. It was a 1937 Mack log truck owned by Bob Hild. Originally shown at the 1936 World’s Fair in Chicago, the truck was then driven home to Marysville, WA by Vern Hild. This dark green and black log truck was restored to perfection and absolutely flawless! Another rig I liked was Lyndon Troyer’s white and blue A-model KW, hooked to a matching set of painted high cube MAC pneumatic trailers. I have to say, all those Troyer boys really know how to ride in style.
At 3:00 PM on Saturday, as the show began to wind down, a raffle was held in the Schott Parts & Accessories tent next to ours. My wife really wanted an American-themed corn hole game that was part of the raffle, so she gave me fifty bucks to donate for tickets and I proceeded to “stuff” the ballot. Guess what… we won! I never win anything, so I was pretty excited. All told they raffled off about 25-30 items – from shop lights to coolers to polish kits – and raised $1,500 for Liberty House, a child abuse assessment center in Salem, OR that provides special services in a safe and child-friendly environment.
Once the raffle was finished, the folks at Schott handed out some awards. Although this is not a “judged” type of show, they do give a couple trophies out for the light show, and a few People’s Choice awards for best bobtails and combos. For the “Night Glow” display, 1st place went to John Moberg and 2nd place was awarded to Mark McLeroy. In the “Best Bobtail” category, 1st place went to Brandon Davis, while 2nd place was given to Johnny Blair. And in the “Best Combo” class, 1st place went to our buddy Norm Butler, and 2nd place was awarded to Brandon with Chuck Bracelin Trucking. Our congratulations go out to all the winners!
Every event needs good sponsors to survive, and the Brooks Truck Show is no different. This year’s sponsors were Schott Parts & Accessories, Walsh Trucking, Peterson International Trucks, Jackson Group Peterbilt/GMC, McCoy Freightliner, and we at 10-4 Magazine. Thank you to all of the show’s sponsors and supporters – we are proud to be part of this elite group of companies.
Once the raffle was over and the awards were handed out, the place started clearing out fast (as it always does). We had a great time hanging out with our friends in the PNW and seeing all the amazing equipment – both old and new – that rolls around up there. After a photo shoot the following day with Gus Hulstein and his family (featured on the cover this month), we headed home on Monday. But, as always, we can’t wait until next year when we get to head up north and do it all over again!