History and Photos of Scorpion Snowmobiles

Scorpion snowmobiles were manufactured in the Cuyuna Lakes region, Wisconsin. This area has held an annual winter homecoming event for Scorpion owners since 2005.

Trail-A-Sled (TAS) was incorporated in 1959, and subsequently became Scorpion, Inc. Their first 1959 model, said to have reached 100 mph, used war surplus aircraft engines. The company got its first major promotion for the sled in 1962 when a TAS was featured on NBC’s Today show.

The 1964 TAS Scorpion snowmobiles featured all-fiberglass bodies and a newly patented rubber track. With a contract from Sears to produce their snowmobiles, the company was gaining a foothold in the industry. A 1964 successful endurance run of three Scorpions from Crosby-Ironton, Minnesota, to Anchorage, Alaska, in 28 days helped establish the sled’s reputation.  By 1968 TAS was considered Wisconsin’s second largest manufacturer of snowmobiles, and the U.S.’s fourth largest. In 1969 TAS was sold to Fuqua Industries in Atlanta, which was promptly renamed Scorpion, Inc.

Scorpion was the first manufacturer to design snowmobiles specifically for women snowmobilers with their 1971 line-up. Surviving the 1973 economic concerns that started the downtrend in snowmobile production and sales, Scorpion purchased Brutanza Engineering and began manufacturing snowmobiles for the Massey-Ferguson company in 1974. In 1977 they added mopeds to their line-up.

Arctic Enterprises, the manufacturers of the Arctic and Arctic Cat snowmobiles, purchased Scorpion in 1978. Their plan was to market the Scorpion snowmobiles as a more affordable line. 1979 was probably the most successful season ever for the Scorpion snowmobiles, as the Scorpion Squadron race team took the racetrack by storm. The end of the Scorpion, however, came in 1981 when Arctic Enterprises declared bankruptcy.

Photos:

Scorpion Snowmobile

Scorpion Snowmobile

Scorpion Snowmobile

Scorpion Snowmobiles

Scorpion Snowmobile

Scorpion Snowmobile

Photography: Linda Aksomitis. Photos taken at the 6th Annual Snowmobile Round-Up in West Yellowstone in 2009.

References:

Trail-A-Sled history. (2010) Online at: http://www.trailasled.com/

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