Old Sled Zone: 1969 “Tear-Drop” Scorpion Mark III – 300 model

Ray Kelly is one of Cranbrook’s most well-known snowmobile enthusiasts.

Ray Kelly's pristine condition Scorpion Mark III - 300 model sled.
Ray Kelly poses with his pristine condition Scorpion Mark III - 300 model sled. Photo courtesy Doug Williamson

"It's just like old cars...I feel you need to restore (these old machines) to preserve some history," said Ray Kelly, one of Cranbrook’s most well-known old snowmobile enthusiasts, in an earlier interview with SnoRiders.

As we have said before, Ray Kelly has owned and restored dozens of vintage snowmobiles while at the same time he has turned his friends onto collecting, restoring and owning vintage sleds as well.

At this year’s Cranbrook Snowmobile Club event, Ray and his buddies brought out some of their vintage snowmobiles out for the annual show and shine—and put on quite a show on the snow. Once again, thanks to club member Doug Williamson for taking these photos.

Here’s Ray Kelly posing with his beautifully restored “tear-drop” Scorpion Mark III – 300 model. Again, this old sled looks to be in near mint condition. We aren’t sure if Ray didn’t just ride this one off the showroom floor and tucked it in his shop for 40+ years?

One vintage snowmobile enthusiast website notes this about the mid-to-late 1960’s all-black Scorpion snowmobiles: 

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.

Congratulations to Ray Kelly on another great looking vintage snowmobile and as the company’s marketing slogan stated in 1969 –“Scorpion – Above All.”

Got a vintage snowmobile story or photo(s)? Share them with us [email protected]

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