A day to shine
CROSBY — It was a sea, or at least a bay, of mostly black and red, these Scorpions on Serpent.
Almost 200 snowmobiles strong, each shined as a classic at Saturday’s eighth annual Scorpion Homecoming on Serpent Lake near Crosby Memorial Park.
Some stood out more than others. Yes, it was essentially an eye-of-the-beholder experience for the dozens of folks milling through the maze of mostly Scorpion snowmobiles early last Saturday afternoon — a trip down memory lane for many, whether they owned a Scorpion or not. Scorpion snowmobiles were made from the early 1960s to the early 1980s, right here in Crosby, and it’s still not unusual to see a 1960s or ‘70s Scorp on and around the trails in the area.
This is regarded as the largest such ritual in the world for Scorpion collectors, and the 2012 event didn’t disappoint. Scorpion owners and collectors from Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Michigan, Oklahoma, Saskatchewan and Manitoba proudly displayed sleds and memorabilia. This year’s featured sleds were the 1979-1981 TKs and TKXs, reportedly Scorpion’s most popular models. But, not surprisingly, the older sleds drew most of the attention. And not just the classic 1960s models.
To the casual observer, Adam Galles’ two Scorpions — a 1973-1/2 Stinger 290 and a 1975 Whip 400 — were just two of the many nice sleds at the gathering. But both are much more, as is the story behind Galles and his snowmobile restoration efforts.
The 1975 Whip won the first-place trophy in the Scorpion original/unrestored category on Saturday. And the 1973-1/2?
“It was between production runs. It had some ‘73 parts and some ‘74 parts,” said Galles, 30, of Brainerd, who grew up riding a Scorpion. “So it was a little different.”
So, too, has been Galles’ efforts — Scorpion “restoration funded by area musicians.” Galles, a bassist, has played with area bands, but is more into studio work and video production these days, he said. He has a studio in the Crossroads Music Cafe in downtown Brainerd.
“Other area musicians knew that I’m into vintage snowmobiles and that I utilize my vintage snowmobile resources to benefit not only the studios but the music community as well,” Galles said. “A lot of area musicians wanted to be a part of this project. However, I don’t think any of them were mechanically inclined, but they still wanted to contribute. So instead, they would give money donations and a few people even had spare parts that they donated for the project.
“This is the third snowmobile that has been a studio-related fundraiser project,” Galles added of the Stinger. “The last two were sold and profits from those went to music education/music preservation. My studio actively supports a music education organization in California called ‘Artsboretum,’ which is led by major-label musicians and producers. My studio also supports music preservation — specifically the preservation of the building that housed The Record Plant in Sausalito in California. The studio here in Brainerd was designed and built by me and is modeled after one of the original Record Plant studio rooms where Fleetwood Mac recorded ‘Rumors’ back in the 1970s.”
Yes, even though he was too young to remember much of the 1970s, the decade holds a certain allure for Galles.
“I also have a ‘73 Super Stinger and a ‘74 Super Stinger,” he said of his stable of Scorpions. “They’re just riders. The ‘73s are my favorite year.
“I had one (a Scorpion) growing up. I liked the way it ran and the way it felt. I have a lot of good memories of that.”