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Author Topic: Marlin Czajkowski is 1 of 6 inducted into the inaugural TLCA Hall of Fame  (Read 19104 times)

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From the May/June 2007 edition of the Toyota Trails.....

Toyota Land Cruiser Association Hall of Fame
by Tony Twiddy

During TLCA’s 30th Anniversary in 2006, the TLCA Board of Directors initiated the TLCA Hall of Fame to commemorate and forever recognize key individuals and businesses who have played pivotal roles for the association over the course of its history. We are pleased to introduce you to the first six TLCA Hall of Fame members.

The first six TLCA Hall of Fame members are:
Bob Garrett, Earl Warden, Jr., George Rice, Jim Sickles, Gary Bjork, John & Melissa Fulton, and Marlin Crawler.

Marlin Crawler
Marlin recalls growing up very poor. While his father, John Czajkowski, was an electrical technician, Marlin remembers his dad having many short term jobs because upon hearing the second Polish joke, he would often quit on the spot. John was originally from Holy Oak, Massachusetts, but found himself in California after WWII and met his future wife, Alice, from College Place, Washington, one day at church. John and Alice were married in 1953.

Marlin Czajkowski is one of three sons, his older brother Stanley living in Sonora, CA, and his younger brother Paul, who lives in Challenge, CA. Marlin was born in 1955 in Glendale, CA. When asked to describe himself as a young man, Marlin recalls “a clunky, zit faced child from a poor family.” Marlin specifically remembers wearing his older brother’s clothes during his school years at the Seventh Day Adventists High School in Glendale. He was never good at sports and spent most of his high school years working various jobs at the school to help make money. Marlin notes that growing up poor helped define who he is today—working year round and repairing anything that was broken, as opposed to buying a new one.

After graduating high school, Marlin went to college at Pacific Union College in Angwin, CA, where he studied Industrial Arts with an emphasis on automotive repair. Originally Marlin’s goal was to be a teacher. He graduated in 1975 and just missed the draft. Marlin met his wife, Christine, during high school—she was his best friend’s sister. Marlin married Chris in 1975, shortly after graduation and taking a new job. Their first child, Chrystal, was born in 1978, and their second child, Mike, was born in 1980.

After graduating from college and shortly before getting married, Marlin took his first job outside the school as an auto mechanic. Nine years would pass before he opened Marlin’s Automotive and Truck Repair on January 1st, 1985. During this time, Marlin purchased his used 1980 long wheel base Toyota truck in September of 1983, and joined the local Toyota club, Madera TLCA. He loved the little truck but wished it performed more like the Toyota Land Cruiser, which was heavier and crawled better. Burning the clutch through Little Sluice frustrated Marlin and he remembers wanting the little truck to be more respected by the dominant Jeep, Land Cruiser and full size trucks on the trail.

Right around the time Marlin was talking to Danny Warden about an adapter for an SM420 transmission conversion in his little truck, Marlin discovered the Icelandic Crawler, a combination of transfer cases mated together enabling superior low gearing. Paying cash, Marlin purchased the first unit sent to North America in April of 1995. Marlin recalls it was very difficult to assemble the unit and took him quite some time. While many incorrectly believe he created the concept of stacked transfer cases, Marlin notes he simply engineered the adapter and made assembly easy, affordable and effective.  Now his little truck had the extreme low gearing to make even the most challenging trails look easy. Marlin’s goal of seeing the little truck respected had been completed.

In 1999, Marlin Crawler went full time and separated Marlin Crawler from the automotive and truck repair business. Marlin Crawler now employees 14 people and is allowing Marlin himself to spend more time on what he feels are the two most important tasks—meeting his customers and working on research and development of new ideas and products.

Today Marlin is as busy working as he was in college. The work ethic installed as a young man is prevalent today, as evidenced by his busy schedule. Striking a balance between work, family, event attendance and new product development is always a challenge, but Marlin remains as dedicated to his goals as ever.

You can read the entire story with full inserts located at the TLCA's website:

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thats awesome, congrats marlin... marlin is an awesome guy, i met him @ the shop back in 05

Bravo Zulu!
« Last Edit: May 01, 2007, 09:17:25 PM by jimbo74 »

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I think that's cool, well deserved and as it should be one of the 1st to be inducted. Bravo MARLIN!!
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right on, congrats.
"Never make your passion your occupation. it will loose it's luster and become work. that's why i never wanted to become a gynecologist!"

I also taught him how to put in 5min of hard work and then spend 15min staring and admiring what you have done...


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 :biggthumpup: Congratulations.


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Cool.  I like reading backgrounds on interesting people, and it's nice to see somebody deserving get community or industry respect.  Congrats :thumbs:

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congratulations Marlin and MC crew


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Congratulations Marlin!  If anyone deserves this, it's you. When I met him back in January, he was busy working at his shop on a Saturday.  It was the typical Marlin, telling stories and giving a helping hand....

PS:  Marlin, if your reading this, I was the guy who came up from San Diego and you helped me pile all of my new suspension goodies in the back of my girlfreinds Sentra. - We are now engaged!
"A friend will help you move.  A real friend will help you move a body."

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83 Toyota Pickup under the knife at the moment.


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:clap: awesome.  Glad to see it.  Its definitely interesting to read a little background as well :yesnod:


:thumbs:  Congratulations Marlin, you've certainly earned it.  :thumbs:
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 :woohoo: thats awesome, congrats!   :respect:


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Well Deserved.  :turtle: Congratulations Marlin!  :clap2:

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 :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :turtle: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:  :respect:
Your the man Marlin
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Awesome, he deserves it.  :respect:


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Freekin AWSOME!! :woohoo: Congrats Marlin!
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Very cool! Always great to see you get recognized for what you do!  :biggthumpup:


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Congratulations Marlin!  If anyone deserves this, it's you. When I met him back in January, he was busy working at his shop on a Saturday.  It was the typical Marlin, telling stories and giving a helping hand....

I remember  calling  Marlins  shop  on a memorial day weekend, (i think it was sunday , um 2002  i think)  I was  working almost 7 days a week  and it was raining here  so  my  days  where  "off"    but  had  read  about Marlin in Petersons Offroad mag,   anyway,   i called  the number  in the mag   and guess who answered  the :phone:

Marlin   talked  me  thru  everything i needed  to know about my L43  (that i had just got back  from my toyota dealer  :wall:  ) and  it  was  in the next  day  or  so i ordered my MC 1200  clutch.   and I've been  running that same clutch  ever since

We :love:  you Marlin   :respect:

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There are two companies out there in the industry, Marlin and all the others!  I will always come to Marlin for parts, because I buy from people who I respect and admire.  I've heard many awesome stories about what Marlin has done for them on the trails, each and every one is a good image that reflects on the 4x4 industry.   Everybody has a story to tell when they meet Marlin for the first time, or even on the phone!  Mine was under sad times, but still very inspiring to meet him!  My wife still talks about meeting Marlin, and the fact that he wanted to meet her. 

Keep up the good work!   :biggthumpup:
Miss ya Dean (4THEWKN) & Kyle (KYOTA)!!

4THEWKN~9/17/2006  If it wasn't for you, I'd be driving something other than a Toyota!

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Congratulations Marlin  :thumbs:


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Congratulations Marlin!  CrazyYota-->:bowdown:   :king:<---- MARLIN!!
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Congrads from Team Rhino ........... Pat, Nick & Tyler
Thanks for all your help
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Congratulations from the Cejas in Coalinga. It is well deserved  :thumbs:

ps MC05 #'s 19 and 20 are still running strong  :bowdown:
« Last Edit: May 04, 2007, 06:28:26 PM by mudguts »
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Well deserved! Congrats Marlin!   :beerchug:
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Way to go Marlin, keep up the good work, people do notice. :thumbs:
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Making Of http://board.marlincrawler.com/index.php?topic=6472.0  
Sightings Of  http://board.marlincrawler.com/index.php?topic=10805.0

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Congrads! Its always a pleasure to chat with him!


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Well deserved! It gives me an idea for the next "commemorative" product...shift knobs in the likeness of his bronze HOF bust!
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 It is nice to see people get notice for there hard work. Marlin your the man :bowdown:


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 :thumbs: Congratulations Marlin. Happy for yah.
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