Marlin Crawler Roundup 2003
By: Harry Wagner - June 2003
|Volunteers served lunch to the hungry crowd.|
In the past, when people thought about the rugged Rubicon Trail they often pictured the Jeep Jamboree, with its long lines of short wheelbase Jeeps crossing the trail. In recent years though Jeeps have faced increasing competition on the trails from Toyota pickups. Long considered too underpowered to be competent trail vehicles, Toyotas take advantage of their longer wheelbase to stack transfer cases together. The small torque output by the motor is multiplied several times over. The man responsible for bringing this technology to the masses is Marlin Czajkowski of Marlin Crawler. Though he now sells a variety of products, dual transfer case adapters and low range transfer case gears have always been the cornerstone of Marlin's business.
Marlin's eccentric personality and unmatched knowledge of Toyota trivia have made him a bit of a cult figure in the Toyota community, as he has the following to match this cult status. For the past three years now, Marlin's customers and friends have gathered on the world famous Rubicon Trail for some fun and commeraderie. This gathering is known as the Marlin Crawler Roundup, and this year was the largest event ever with 123 vehicles and 282 participants registered. Marlin has sold over 1400 dual transfer case adapters to date, but with customers all over the world it is not possible for all of them to participate.
|Roundup participants crawling over the Gatekeeper.|
Held on June 14th in the large granite bowl near Loon Lake, Marlin's event may cater to Toyotas but it still has one common bond with the Jeepers Jamboree. The property where the event was held is owned by Mark Smith, founder of Jeep Jamboree USA. Mr. Smith was gracious enough to allow Marlin and his friends to gather on his property and his goodwill was returned by the Toyota faithful, who left the site spotless upon their departure.
|The raffle was a big hit with everyone.|
Many people came up on Friday and camped at Ellis or Spider Lake in order to take full advantage of the event's location. A few adventerous souls even ran the entire Rubicon Trail backwards from the Tahoe side of the trail. The Roundup festivities officially started at noon on Saturday with a free lunch provided by Marlin and his tireless group of volunteers. The Mountain Transit Authority provided their huge barbeque grill to cook up hamburgers and hot dogs for the hungry crawlers.
Following lunch was a huge raffle. Prizes included an ARB air locker, ARB air compressor, Budbuilt crossmember, Longfields, over $1000 in Yota Yard gift certificates, a Marlin twin stick, a Marlin heavy duty clutch, Marlin Hysteer, and a set of 37 inch Goodyear MT/Rs. A number of tools and camping equipment was also given away during the raffle. Nearly everyone who purchased tickets walked away with something, but the big winner of the day was Conan, who nabbed the heavy duty clutch and the tires.
Following the raffle all of the participants lined up their rigs for a giant group photo, filling the granite bowl. After everyone had taken their pictures, people started to disperse. A number of vehicles went back to Ellis and Spider Lakes, while others went back to Loon Lake or Wentworth Springs. Whatever direction they went, the Toyotas were crawling off at a turtle's pace thanks to Marlin Crawler.
|Marlin Crawler Roundup event participants.|