This section makes note of important product features by model year (not calendar year). Such machines were generally constructed in the summer and fall of the prior year.
1960 – TAS began production of their flagship stylized 4-passenger, fiberglass-based air-sled, featuring louvered ventilation slots and a 125 HP Lycoming power plant. 15 such machines are eventually manufactured.
1963 – TAS continued production of their air-sled line with a second model featuring a steel prop guard, removable sliding canopy, interior gas heater, and the firm's standard power plant - the 125-HP Lycoming. TAS manufactured 35 such machines, 25 of which were sold to Polaris Industries of Roseau, Minnesota (models 1250 and 1250e).
Several tracked snowmobiles were also created. These machines featured squared cowlings, plywood/fiberglass construction, a cleated track and 2x4 lumber in the suspension. Multiple engine configurations were utilized, including a 8.5 HP Kohler and 6 HP Tecumseh. One such machine remains on display at the Cuyuna Range Historical Museum, in the Soo Line Depot, Crosby, Minnesota.
1964 – Having abandoned air-sled production, TAS set-up their first production run of tracked snow machines. 38 such machines were created and featured a more rounded fiberglass cowling (affectionately named a “bubble-nose”) and a fiberglass tunnel making for a completely all fiberglass body. A steel cleated track was also featured. These TAS machines carried the Scorpion brand name for the first time and were turquoise in color. A 4-cycle 8.5 HP Kohler was the featured power plant while Salisbury clutches transferred the power.
1965 – The innovative rubber track was put to good use as TAS dramatically expanded production to include 575 machines. These nimble machines continued to feature the same all-fiberglass construction and design as the 1964 model. Eight varying model types were available. The machine was offered in turquoise and pale red. 2-cycle 12 HP Hirth 300 cc and 2-cycle 10 HP JLO 247 cc supplied the power. One such machine remains on display at the Deerwood True Value hardware store. Salisbury clutches were once again used.
1966 – The often troublesome fiberglass chassis was replaced by a steel tunnel as TAS expanded production to 2,150 units. The same Hirth and JLO engines were offered in 10 and 13 HP models. An in-house steel-weighted clutch (designed by Dick Harrison) was unveiled. Buckskin tan was the most popular color but turquoise continued to be available (a line of turquoise machines was produced for Brainerd Marine).
1967 – Production was expanded to 5,000 units and included a wider range of engines and horsepower. A wide-track (from 15” to 18”) was also available. The wide-track was also 10” longer than the standard. Consolidating the firm's experiments with differing colors, the Scorpion was offered in black only (although a line of orange machines was produced for Brainerd Marine). The firm’s clutch assembly received wide praise (Dick's steel-weighted assembly) and an optional wheel kit was available. The firm’s marketing efforts were expanded and the first full-color brochures became available.
1968 – A stylish “tear-drop” hood design was unveiled, featuring sassy red on black rally stripes that became a TAS/Scorpion staple for years to come. The firm switched to the Dick Harrison designed bar-roller clutch. Struggling to overcome a tragic fire in November of 1967, TAS produced 6,000 units. Several Mark designations were available.
This year's marketing slogan: "Scorpion - The Great Snowmobile."
1969 – Leveraging their new manufacturing facility, TAS produced 16,000 tear-drop units in an industry-leading range of engine and track configurations. A popular trunk option became standard. An extensive warranty was offered as well as an improved electrical system, disc brakes, and an all new roller-spline clutch (once again by Dick Harrison).
This year's marketing slogan: "Scorpion - Above All."
1970 – A wide range of engines was again offered, including configurations as large as 800 cc. White edges were added to the red rally stripes for a more dramatic look. The Scorpion name is now embossed on the seat back.
The stylish Stinger as produced, featuring a first of it's kind red-flake tear-drop hood. The Stinger was available with a rubber track (made in-house via Rubber Drives, Inc.) or a polyurethane track (via Gates) for lighter weight and improved durability. The firm continued with the roller-spline clutch.
This year's marketing slogan: "The proven snowmobile that never lets you down."
1971 – The teardrop began a phase-out as Scorpion, Inc. moved to a radical wedge redesign. Offered in black and red-flake, the wedge was a radical departure from the curved contours that had been popular for several years. The wedge was offered as a Mark II Stinger 15" track and a Mark III Stinger 18" wide-track (both featured Gates polyurethane).
The popular tear-drop was available for the last time, featuring the firm's legendary 15" rubber track (now 7 years in production). The tear-drop was available as a Mark I and a Mark II as were marketed as lower-end introductory snowmobiles. Both sleds featured white accenting borders along firm's trademark red rally stripes. A circular decal sticker replaced the traditional embossed Scorpion script logo.
An improved roller-spline clutch was unveiled.
1972 – A widening wedge to support a broader ski stance (26") was offered as Scorpion, Inc. enhanced the stability it’s machines. Expanding the scope of their "Stinger" brand, 8 major models were available, including the Super Stinger II 440, Super Stinger III 440, Stinger I 293, Stinger II 340, Stinger II 400, Stinger III 400, Stingeroo 277 and Stingerette 290. The innovative Stingerette (a first of it’s kind machine targeted specifically for women) featured a lavender hood/seat combination (Midnight Sun Magenta) and a 290 CCW (25 HP). Para-Rail suspensions and Power-Thrust clutches were offered for the first time and supplemented the firm's longstanding spring & bogey suspension. Apart from the Stingerette, the 72' line-up featured red-flecked hoods with accenting black tunnels. The tear-drop hood design was officially retired. The firm's rubber track is offered for the last time (8 years in production) on the Stinger I and Stingeroo.
This years marketing slogan: "the Big Red One is comin' thru!" Scorpion also touted the Scorpion Stinger's performance in head-to-head performance and reliability tests, filmed in early 1971 on the Cuyuna Range. These test trials (and narrated film footage) featuring President Warren Daoust were central to Scorpion sales efforts. During the trials a prototype 72 Stinger 440 JLO was pitted against the top three comparison machines from 71 including the Ski-Doo TNT, Arctic Cat Panther and Yamaha. At least in these tests, Scorpion was judged superior in each and every category.
1973 – Scorpion, Inc continued with the same general design as 72. A 15" polyurethane track is standard on all models. The all-red line-up from 72' is abandoned as the firm offered Stingers in a wide range of colors including, of all things - yellow! The ten model line-up included the Super Stinger 440 (in a variety of colors), Super Stinger 400 (in red fleck), Super Stinger TK, Super Stinger RV, Super Stingerette, Stingerette, Stinger 340 & 290 (both in deep red fleck) and the Stinger ET (trimmed-down 290 with a racing seat). Shock absorbers became standard (except for Stinger ET).
This would be Scorpion, Inc.’s final production year as a Fuqua Industries division.
This year's marketing slogans: "Total Dream Machines" and "Look out, Cat!, Look out, Ski-Doo! Scorpion Stinger is comin' thru." As a follow-up to last year's performance testing, a prototype 73 Stinger with a 440 Rockwell was pitted against a 72 Ski-Doo 440 and a 72 Arctic Cat Cheetah 440 in a grueling analysis captured by Scorpion executives for marketing purposes (filmed in early 1972). Once again, the Stinger was judged superior in every category.
For model year 1973 Scorpion Stinger also released a comedic safety film titled the "Seven Deadly Sins." In this eleven minute piece, Scorpion's blundering driver violated nearly every rule in the book, including: 1) driving while drunk, 2) colliding with multiple objects, 3) driving on thin ice, 4) traveling on railroad tracks, 5) over-driving of headlights, 6) traveling alone, and 7) wearing loose clothing.
1974 – Once again under local ownership, Scorpion modified the cowling to provide a more “swept” look. These machines were offered in a wide range of colors (10 in all). Between 18,000 and 20,000 units were built. Hollywood star Chuck Connors joined the team for the first time as the firm's marketing took on a "western" flare.
A seven minute promotional film titled "Scorpion Super Stinger '74 - What Makes a Snowmobile Great?" was unveiled. The piece highlighted Scorpion's response to four major consumer concerns (as revealed in an industry survey), including, 1) noise (where Scorpion's new muffler design was touted, 2) performance (where nineteen other machines were compared to the Scorpion and found lacking - the newly refined Power-Thrust clutch and Rockwell engine were given credit for this discrepancy), 3) ride (the now-standard Para-A-Rail was touted), and 4) reliability.
1975 – Chuck Connors remained on-board as the innovative Whip brand was unveiled, featuring a forward-mounted engine, all-aluminum chassis, and wider 16" track. The machine's deep blue hood was a bold move away from the firm's trademark red and black. High-performance, race-tested Brut machines were integrated for the first time, featuring a liquid-cooled engine, slide-rail suspension, and wider ski stance. Further expanding the Whip brand name, the Lil' Whip was unveiled as the firm's affordable compact model. The Super Stinger remained on-board in a rainbow of colors.
This year's marketing slogan: "the shape of things to go ..."
Approximately 16,000 machines are produced and added to the existing 3,000 units of dealer carry-over.
1976 - The Whip remained but with a twin cylinder "Cuyuna" (formerly Rockwell JLO) power plant. The firm clearly staked it's future on this new, in-house aluminum engine. The mid-priced, full-sized Range Whip was unveiled and the Lil' Whip remained.
Massey-Ferguson snowmobiles were produced for the first time, including the Whip look-alike 340/440 Whirlwind (featuring dual headlights), the Range Whip look-alike (off-set headlight) 300 Chinook, and the Brut look-alike 340/440 Cyclone. Apart from color treatment and minor hood modifications, the Massey and Scorpion snowmobile lines were nearly identical.
This year's marketing slogan: "nothin' really comes close."
1977 - The Bull Whip cross country racer is introduced, with 500 manufactured in total. The Range Whip Sting was also unveiled. Massey-Ferguson sleds are produced for the last time.
1978 – Scorpion, Inc. unveiled the high performance Whip TK. Apart from cosmetic adjustments, the standard Whip remained, along with the Range Whip and Lil' Whip.
Attempting to capture the public's growing concerns regarding fuel efficiency and in a bid to diversify the firm's manufacturing base, Scorpion announces a small line of Mopeds. The SC 1 base model was supplemented by the SC 2 which added a chrome trim package. The SC 2X deluxe model featured a longer wheelbase and seat. Each sported the air-cooled 49.6 cc Cuyuna engine and automatic transmissions.
1979 – Scorpion Industries, Inc. (an Arctic Company) releases the Whip TK & TKX and drops the Range Whip. The Whip TK & TKX featured a bold new black-red look, wedge stylings, low center of gravity and a wider stance (just over 33"). The Whip was offered in a 340 and 400 and the model's reputation for reliability was featured prominently in company advertising. The blaze red Sting was available as a 400 or 440 fan-cooled and it's performance was highly touted. The Lil' Whip as marketed as an affordable sport machine. Sadly, these were to be the final production snowmobiles produced in the Crosby-Ironton facility. Additionally, as product development shifted to Artic Cat, these were to be among the firm's last home-grown designs. Quad Trac grooming machines roll off the assembly line for the first time.
1980 – Spread across three different models, 14,000 machines are produced in Arctic Cat's Thief River Falls factory, including: the 440 Whip (marketed as an affordable family sled); the 440 Sting (marketed as an easy handling sports machine); and the 340 or 440 TK (marketed as a trail sled). The Lil' Whip is dropped from the line.
1981 – Scorpion finished it's final production run with the new and strong-selling Sidewinder, a re-branded Cat El Tigre with a high-performance 440cc liquid-cooled engine. Approximately 1200 Sidewinders were produced. The TK/TK340, Sting and Whip were offered for the last time (consisting largely of model year 1980 carry-overs).