A little rest and relaxation is good for the soul.  Sometimes a little truck themed rest and relaxation is better for the soul.  Recently while on a long overdue vacation, my wife and I pulled into a truck stop for fuel, propane and to lighten the load in our holding tanks.  Before leaving I noticed a trucking magazine that I hadn’t see in the past, yes sometimes I lead a sheltered life.  I picked up a free copy of 10-4 Magazine and tossed it in our travel trailer to read later.  A couple evenings later I was thumbing through the magazine and noticed a full page ad for a truck show near my home town that I never knew occurred.  My wife and I decided we wanted to attend this show and see what it had to offer and how it compared to other shows.

I can honestly say it’s not anything like MATS or GATS, but it’s amazing none the less.  It’s more of an outdoor show, low key and relaxed but very entertaining and interesting and did not disappoint either of us.  It is the Brooks Truck Show located at the Pacific NW Truck Museum on the grounds of the Antique Powerland, 3995 Brooklake Rd NE, Brooks, OR.  This is just north of Salem, OR, ¼ mile west of I-5 at exit 263.  It bears noting the Antique Powerland is an award winning heritage museum site that is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 AM to 5 PM.  The truck show was presented by The Oregon Trail Chapter of the American Truck Historical Society and sponsored by Schott Parts and Accessories, All American Toy Company and Cummins Northwest.  There is a Pilot truck stop within easy walking distance.  The cost was $10 per person and in my opinion well worth the money and this is definitely a family-orientated event with many things geared toward the younger generation, such as riding the Willow Creek Miniature Railroad, pedal tractor pull, free trolley rides for ages 12 and under, and 1/12th scale steel trucks in a large sawdust area supplied by the All American Toy Co. of Salem, OR.
According to their website posted at the end of the article, the truck museum is open seasonally from April 4th through September 27th and the truck show occurred on August 22nd.  That Friday evening they had a truck light-up Night Glow that started at 9:00 PM with the main truck show on Saturday.  They have an impressive permanent museum display of trucks, over 75 from 1899 to 2004 and many are one-of-a-kind or prototypes.  They have an antique hearse truck from the turn of the century with hand carved wood, a fully road worthy 2/3 scale 1960 Freightliner COE hand made by Ken Self, retired CEO of Freightliner; a 1950 mini Freightliner; and a 1971 Paymaster just to name a few.  In addition to the impressive museum display there were many trucking companies and owner-operators that entered their trucks in the show.  You could spend several hours (which we did) just walking the grounds looking at all the beautiful working trucks on display, many with loads to be delivered after the show.  The trucks on display ranged from a little rustic to immaculately polished; however, this is not a pride and polish event.  Trucks of all makes, models, ages and polished levels are welcome, running or not.
In addition to the truck show, and on the same grounds, there are several other museums we spent time walking through:  The Northwest Vintage Car and Motorcycle Museum, Caterpillar Museum, a working steam-powered sawmill, blacksmithing, and the Willow Creek Miniature Railroad.  We also spent time watching several steam-powered engines of varying sizes that were running, including a Fairbanks Morse engine and a Miami engine which are operated by the Antique Implement Society.
Separate from the truck show weekend, there are a couple weekends the Antique Powerland hosts an Annual Great Oregon Steam-Up which are events that also involve all the museums at the facility with many antique pieces of equipment operating.  In addition to the items listed above they also have train and trolley rides, tractor pulls, machinery demos, threshing, flour milling, fire apparatus demos, kids pedal tractor pulling, Brooks Depot Museum, Country Store and many other exhibits.
If you find yourself in the area and need a little break, I highly recommend stopping at the Pilot truck stop in Brooks, OR, get a little exercise with a short walk to the Pacific NW Truck Museum and Antique Powerland museums and exhibits.  It’s a great way to spend a few hours and take a walk back in time.  There are some interesting videos on YouTube of events at this site and take a look at the links below.

Comments (4)

Craig McCue

Business owner and part-time operator of a seasonal business.

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Some day I would love to make it to the Iowa 80 truck show. I've heard a lot about the truck stop and the museum. It's always enjoyable to be around great people with the same interests.

October 08, 2015 8:12:46 AM

One of my favorite shows is the Iowa 80 truck show. ATHS meets there every year. The antique trucks outnumber the "custom" trucks. I enjoy the passion, history and the stories behind these trucks and their owners. Then there is the museum. Learning the history of the industry helps my perspective.

October 08, 2015 5:03:49 AM

It was very interesting and we really enjoyed it. Most of it is outdoors and it was warm that day but we had a great time. So many trucks to look at, both unique and beautiful. There is so much to see that it's hard to take it all in during the one day show on Saturday. I'm sure you could be there Thursday and/or Friday to see many of the other museums and exhibits. We were talking about taking our trailer up there and camping at the show next year, they have plenty of room. There is also a truck show (ATHS National Convention and Antique Truck Show) May 26th - 28th, 2016 at the Oregon State Fair and Expo Center in Salem Oregon and I'm thinking about putting my truck in the show.

October 06, 2015 8:17:26 AM

Craig that sounds like a show we should attend next year! Sounds like a lot of fun and also educational.

October 06, 2015 4:31:42 AM