Scorpion: Celebrating Cuyuna Range’s snowmobile legacy
Written by Jodie Tweed | Photos courtesy of Randy Harrison
IT’S BEEN NEARLY FORTY YEARS SINCE THE LAST SCORPION SNOWMOBILE ROLLED DOWN THE ASSEMBLY LINE AT A CROSBY PLANT. But the nostalgia and love of vintage Scorpion sleds live on. Several hundred Scorpion collectors and enthusiasts are anticipated to attend the 13th annual Scorpion Homecoming event Saturday, February 4, in Crosby Memorial Park.
Dick Harrison, along with his father, the late Eugene Harrison, and their business partner, Glen Gutzman, founded the original Trail-A-Sled manufacturing company in 1959, which later became Scorpion, Inc., of Crosby. At its peak, the company employed more than five hundred local workers, many of them who lost their jobs after the mines closed down.
“As a kid in the 60s and 70s, you grew up having fun on these sleds,”
explains Randy Harrison, Scorpion Homecoming founder whose father and grandfather co-founded the company. All three co-founders left the company in 1970. The final production run took place in 1979 at the Crosby plant.
“When it closed, it was a big disappointment for Crosby. It was a big loss,” Harrison says of Scorpion. “Now there are many people who still live in Crosby who worked for the company and they can come see these machines that they once built. In many cases, these machines are in gorgeous condition, either original or they’ve been restored.”
Each year the homecoming recognizes a specific Scorpion model or year. On Feb. 4, the unique Trail-A-Sled air-sleds will be on display. Produced from 1959 to about 1964, the air-sleds look like a small airplane and get up to 100 miles per hour. Back then they cost about $6,000, so fewer were made and sold when compared to Scorpion sleds. There will be a few air-sleds on display and making demonstration runs on Serpent Lake.