image below for a heart-felt tribute to snowmobile legend
Welcome to Scorpion Trails,
the Internet’s premier destination devoted exclusively to the memory of
Trail-A-Sled, Inc. and Scorpion, Inc. creators and manufacturers of the
legendary Scorpion snowmobile.
Incorporated in 1959, Trail-A-Sled, Inc. quickly grew to elite status among
snowmobile manufacturers during the heady 1960’s when rising public demand
for these innovative little machines was creating an entirely new industry.
Along the way, Trail-A-Sled, Inc. and it's subsequent firm Scorpion, Inc.
built an industry-leading reputation for quality, dependability and design,
becoming the second largest domestic manufacturer of snowmobiles and a
leading employer in Minnesota’s beautiful Central Lakes Area. Scorpion
Trails is dedicated to the memory of that amazing time and the men and women
of the Cuyuna Range who made it happen.
Featuring unprecedented behind the scenes information and rare images,
Scorpion Trails is the Internet’s must-see destination for historians,
enthusiasts and collectors alike.
Scorpion Trails is also your on-line resource for Scorpion
Homecoming information, the largest annual event of its kind in the
world, regularly drawing large numbers of Scorpion enthusiasts from
throughout the United States and Canada. Held in conjunction with the
Cuyuna Range Chamber
of Commerce’s Ice Fishing Contest, Scorpion Homecoming is conducted
annually on the first Saturday of February. We invite you to join hundreds
of former employees and Scorpion collectors for an afternoon of memories in
the hometown of this proud brand. Registration is free but attendees are
encouraged to support the
purchasing commemorative buttons and other Scorpion memorabilia. All profits
benefit the Cuyuna
Range Chamber of Commerce. Weather permitting, Scorpion Homecoming is
held on beautiful Serpent Lake - just offshore from Crosby's Memorial Park.
An abbreviated history of Scorpion Snowmobiles:
1959 – Focusing on fiberglass-based air-sled designs, Trail-A-Sled, Inc.
(TAS) is founded in Crosby-Ironton, Minnesota by three local men. The
air-sleds utilize war surplus aircraft engines, feature a highly stylized
body design, and can reach speeds of 100 MPH.
1962 – A TAS air-sled is featured on NBC’s Today show, providing the upstart
firm with much needed publicity. TAS produces a wide range of fiberglass
products, including several components for Polaris
1964 – Recently named the “Scorpion” TAS launches the industries’ first-ever
all-fiberglass snowmobile aboard a newly patented rubber track. The little
machine is a big hit and TAS wins a large contract with Sears Roebuck.
1967 – Three unaided Scorpion snowmobiles complete an amazing endurance test
from Crosby-Ironton, Minnesota to Anchorage, Alaska in only 28 days (would
have been several less if the trio hadn't been held-up by British Colombian
authorities who didn't know what to think of these newfangled "snowmobiles."
A tragic fire slows the firm’s growth but amid enormous local support, a
modern manufacturing facility rises from the ashes.
1968 – Leveraging their new manufacturing campus, TAS management notes that,
"today we are the second largest manufacturer of snowmobiles in Minnesota
and the fourth largest in the nation." Senator Hubert H. Humphrey declares
central Minnesota to be the, “Snowmobile Capital of the World.”
1969 – Trail-A-Sled, Inc. is sold to Atlanta-based Fuqua Industries and
renamed as Scorpion, Inc.
1971 – Scorpion, Inc. continues an aggressive expansion program and launches
the first of its kind Stingerette, designed specifically for women.
1973 – Recent poor snow conditions and a global recession burst the
snowmobile bubble. Dozens of recreational firms go out of business.
Scorpion, Inc. is sold to an internal management team led by Harvey Paulson
1974 – Scorpion, Inc. purchases Brutanza Engineering and reaches a
manufacturing agreement with Massey-Ferguson. Hollywood legend Chuck Connors
produces several television commercials for the firm.
1977 – Scorpion, Inc. adds mopeds to its product line.
1978 – The firm is sold to rival Arctic Enterprises who plans to market the
Scorpion brand as an affordable family alternative to Arctic Cat machines.
Heavy Hauler trailers are manufactured at the Crosby-Ironton facility. The
firm is renamed as Scorpion Industries, Inc.
1979 – The Scorpion Squadron race team wins a head-turning series of events.
1980 – Amid the continuing difficult economic climate, the Crosby-Ironton
facility is put up for sale. Manufacturing is shifted to Thief River Falls,
1981 – Arctic Enterprises files for bankruptcy. Numerous Scorpion assets are
sold at auction.
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Thanks for visiting and come again soon!