Fans, former employees to celebrate Brut snowmobile
Brut? Brutanza Engineering? Bring back any memories?
Photo credit: Brad Goodenbour
“BROOTEN — Summer isn’t the time many people think about snowmobiling, but Brad Goodenbour is among dozens who are looking forward to an event this month celebrating the heritage of a sled that helped revolutionize the sport four decades ago.
In the early 1970s, Brooten-based Brutanza Engineering introduced a liquid-cooled, two-cycle snowmobile with a variety of other innovations that soon began to dominate races in the Upper Midwest. After three years, the company sold out to Scorpion. But from 1972-74, the “Brut” snowmobile made an impression that remains strong today.
Goodenbour grew up in St. Louis Park but he had family near Brooten. His uncle owned a Brut, and the sport grew on Goodenbour even more after he moved to the area to take over his grandparents’ dairy operation. He enjoyed collecting just about anything associated with Brutanza, and today he boasts almost a dozen operational sleds and a trove of sales literature, magazine articles, stockholders reports and other artifacts.
So he naturally became the point man for a group of collectors and former Brutanza employees who have banded together to remember the snowmobiles and those who designed and built them.
The Brutanza Snowmobile Reunion will happen June 25 in Brooten. At least two dozen collectors have said they’ll each bring from two to 10 sleds each. And many of the 50 employees who worked at Brutanza — including quite a few who still live in the area — plan to attend as well.
If you like vintage snowmobiles, particularly this one that is native to Central Minnesota, it could be a once-in-a-lifetime get-together.
“There are some chat sites for Brut collectors on the Internet, and I got to talking with some other people and they found out I lived in Brooten,” said Goodenbour, 48, who began gathering all things Brut about 10 years ago after seeing a vintage snowmobile show in Glenwood. “They started asking me things like where the factory was and stuff like that. One thing led to another and we figured it would be a great idea to have a reunion if somebody would step up and line something together. So that’s what I did.””
(Via .) sctimes.com
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