Me and the history of Trollhole

Trollhole

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Joined
Mar 6, 2005
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20,819
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Mauldin, SC
Get ready for a long but somewhat entertaining story.

I was born in Asheville, NC back in 1971 to a father who was in the lumber industry and a mother who was and still is a pharmacist. Moved to Kansas City, Kansas shortly thereafter and lived there till I was 5 when we moved to a small town called Diboll, Texas. I lived there for most of my childhood in a town of only 15,000 people who were mostly minorities. It was here where I fell in love with taking things apart. I'll never forget taking my fathers radio apart into a million pieces at the age of 6 and having him yell at me. It was then my parents gave me my first tool set. A hammer, a screwdriver and a pair of pliers. I still have those pliers. For the next 11 years I took just about everything apart and for the most part fixed everything I touched. There were a couple times though where my parents would have to cut the breakers back on because one of my inventions failed turned into a pile of smoke. But my parents kept helping me do what I loved to do, which was fix things. My father used to bring lawn mower motors home and ask me to fix them knowing they would keep me busy for days at a time.

My bug for all things off road came when my father bought an 1981 CJ5. Brand spanking new. We were part of a hunting club and he would take me and my brother hunting all the time. I can remember to this day what that jeep smelled like and all those logging trails we traveled on. My first rollover came behind my house when my dad thought the cj5 could take an off camber road. It didn't and we were on our lid. A few bucks and the wrecker had us upright. Soon after that my father sold the jeep for a S-10 blazer and our 4x4 days were over but I always thought one day I would own a jeep like my fathers. In Jr High I placed first in the state of Texas for small engine repair. Took a hunk of junk motor and made it new again. At the age of 14 I bought my first stick welder. I have been collecting tools every since and have a very capable shop.

We moved to Greenville, SC when I was 16. My father bought me an 87 Mazda B2600. I wheeled the crap out of that truck. There wasn't anything I wouldn't try to do. Even with 29" mud tires on it I would take it anywhere. Shortly after I went to college in Anderson, SC for 4 years of getting in trouble and having as much fun as humanly possible. There I was known as "Macgyver". I was the guy that could take a ceiling fan, a roll of duct tap and some tinfoil and make a helicopter.

4 years of getting in trouble I decided I needed to start over and enrolled in another college in Rock Hill, SC. There I became friends with a group of guys in a house named the Trollhole. It was an infamous house known for hard partying. It seemed as if I would never get away from this lifestyle. A year later my parents had had enough. I had supported myself all through college with full time jobs at either Radio Shacks or hardware stores but my parents were the ones who paid my tuition. After 5 years they gave me what was left of my college money and said it was up to me to figure the rest out. I decided college wasn't for me and shortly after left the Trollhole and went back home. 2 weeks later and I had a job as a maintenance man at an apartment complex. This is where I learned my HVAC experience. I was the go to guy when one of my other coworkers couldn't fix something. I grew tired of the job 2 years later and took a job for an HVAC company for a few years.

My father started a new company back in the mid 90's. He was designing and importing area rugs from Belgium, Turkey, India and China for wholesale distribution all over the America's. I started out in the warehouse as the 4th employee in the small company. Through the 90's and into the new century as the company grew so did my responsibilities. I went from unloading containers to managing the warehouse, the shipping department, the customer service department, IT, EDI, and I even had a stint at being a traveling salesman. At the height of the company I was managing over 40 people and a half dozen departments. Our company in 03 was the 3rd fastest growing company in SC. But as with most companies the down turn after the Bush era had not been good to us, especially the home furnishing industry where new house sales dropped to nothing and so did our business. It was then I knew a job change was in order and I knew I had a chance to do something I've always wanted to do. Something I was born to do. Fix things.

My grandfather was a fixer, inventor, etc... He had a 3 car garage filled with stuff where you could only get 2 cars in half way. He is where I got my fix it genes. And who would have known that one day back in 1993 my life would be forever changed to a career in Land Cruisers. That day I was driving my brothers s-10 blazer. It seems he liked my Mazda and I wanted something that could seat more than 2 people. So we swapped for a bit. I drove the hell out of that truck the first day I got it and decided to take it in what I thought was a small mud hole. After the first 10 feet I realized how wrong I was. It was deep. But I was determined not to get stuck as I knew it was a good 2 mile walk back to civilization. So I hit first and reverse gears hard. In 4wd low. I slowly walked that truck the 20 ft to safety. As I was just about to climb out of that hole, with the tach needle pegged to the right, my foot on the floor, that cam decided it had had enough and wanted to leave me and the motor. It ran screaming through the manifold and the top of the hood taking what was left of the near boiling oil. A large flame ensued and well I decided to make a run for it. I threw mud and water down that hole left in the hood till the flames went away. I was covered in mud and my brothers s-10 was dead. He wasn't mad as he knew my father would probably get him another one. My father on the other hand was not. I was told to sell the Mazda and pay my father back for the s-10. I was given the s-10 which I promptly sold somehow for $2400.

So I had 2400 dollars unto which I was to buy my next car. I searched high and low for something that was different. Something fun and something that I could work on. It was then in a car lot I saw what looked to be a Jeep in the back of the lot. I got closer and realized it wasn't a jeep but a 73 fj40. It was black and still had the "Just Married" shoe polish on the windows. It was perfect and better yet I got it for $2400. It broke down twice getting it home but I was in love. My father wasn't. I'll never forget the day I borrowed his car and he used mine. It promptly left him stranded on the highway and had to be towed.

For the next two years of college I drove that FJ40 everywhere. It never let me down and when something broke I just ordered a new part and was on the road again. I had my first and only accident in that FJ40. I pulled in front of a lady who was speeding. Her car promptly spun my cruiser 180 degrees totaling her car but I only had a scratch around the right rear tire where she hit. The cop couldn't believe it. I fell in love with that cruiser and it's why I promptly sold her like an idiot for $2400 a couple years later. The first guy who called said he would buy her sight unseen. He showed up within an hr and she was gone. I received probably 50 calls after that with most saying the same thing. I'll buy it. It was one of the biggest mistakes in my life. It has haunted me till this day. I'm still looking for that cruiser. I promised myself I would have another one someday.

Fast forward to 12 years ago when my wife and I sold a car and had a little money to burn. I told her I wanted another FJ40. So I started looking. I found a 1976 and promptly bought her. She got me back into the sport and I have been working on her as well as everyone else's cruisers since. My fathers company slowly went out of business and I was given a chance to pursue something I've always wanted to do and that is fix things. And as it turns out I'll be fixing cruisers, something I really love doing. As well using my importing and design knowledge to bring parts in for you the customer at a very very reasonable price. Which is why I got into the parts business in the first place. So as of the summer of 2012 I was moving full time into the business and bringing you all the parts I have promised to do as well as the level of customer service you deserve to have.

I moved into a shop shortly after starting my business realizing one vehicle at a time just wasn't going to cut it. 3 bays originally in a gated secure location with cameras. I moved into a 4th bay at the start of 2014 and by the end of the summer of that year I hired my first employee a Toyota tech from a local dealership which will give me more freedom to focus on the restorations. I now have 3 employees and need at least 3 more with the workload from some of the countries best customers you could ask for.

I have the technical powers to make anything happen you can dream up. Most everything is done in house except for paint and the engine machining. I build all the motors and can do anything from a straight rebuild to a full blown frame off nut and bolt restoration.
 
Last edited:

krzyabncanuck

USFS HOTSHOT
GOLD Star
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2005
Messages
8,720
Location
NC
Good to hear brother, now we need to talk about this fuel injection thing please. Let me know a good time to call, and maybe send me your number again as i have gotten a few new phones since we last talked.
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
8,121
Location
Kansastitty
As always, a great story. I stayed at a place like Trollhole, except it had Sigma Chi on the outside.:eek:
 

1973Guppie

Supporting Vendor
SILVER Star
 
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2003
Messages
10,019
Location
"the whale's vagina", CA
I have an old ceiling fan, a condom, a roll of duct tape, some string and tinfoil. Can you build me a helicopter for $5 bucks? LOL.

On a more serious note: For those whom have not had the PLEASURE of doing business with Marshall, he is a straight up honest guy and has some amazing customer service. I have bought several carbs through him for my customers and myself and he has always been there to help. Can't wait for that TBI Kit marshall, counting the days! where we at!!? :)

Noah
 
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
1,395
Location
Wichita
As always, a great story. I stayed at a place like Trollhole, except it had Sigma Chi on the outside.:eek:
Huh. Mine said "Kappa Sigma" on the outside. Not sure how I made it out of that stage on my life alive.

Good strory Trollhole. I have bought stuff from Marshall also and he is a heckuva guy. Good luck dude.

Randy
 

IndianDoc

Crazy old Biker
Joined
Mar 8, 2008
Messages
2,106
Location
Sumter SC
Birthday

Best wishes to a heck of a nice guy and it sure doesn't hurt that he is the guru on cruisers at least in the carolina's. :D Heck he and I have almost the same birthday he's one earlier than me whats not to love. :):):cheers:
 

JohnnyC

Long ago TLCA# 2231
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Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
16,133
Location
Nys
Happy birthday

Funny about the college house name... Our college house had a very similar name ... s***hole ... However I don't think anybody will use that as a screen name ... Well ...:hmm:

One day it would be great to see ya shop... I do want to check out SC ... It's full of history ... Just like you :)

I have never heard a single mudder complain about Trollhole/Marshall ... That says a lot these days.... Always praises

Enjoy it...have fun with it...you will be successful
 

Trollhole

THC
Supporting Vendor
Moderator
 
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
20,819
Location
Mauldin, SC
Could you even fix my Junk???? Many a man has tryed. I love to ride her hard and put her away wet!!!
For you I have special pricing. I charge by the bushel.

Happy birthday

Funny about the college house name... Our college house had a very similar name ... s***hole ... However I don't think anybody will use that as a screen name ... Well ...:hmm:

One day it would be great to see ya shop... I do want to check out SC ... It's full of history ... Just like you :)

I have never heard a single mudder complain about Trollhole/Marshall ... That says a lot these days.... Always praises

Enjoy it...have fun with it...you will be successful

Thanks. I try. Maybe a bit to hard.
 

IndianDoc

Crazy old Biker
Joined
Mar 8, 2008
Messages
2,106
Location
Sumter SC
Good, now you have the time to finish that fuel injection 2f setup project!! hint, hint, :flipoff2:

no, I won't let it go. :)

Noah
The prototype is running real nice, still tuning; and the mileage is awesome, but with my oversize tires and non corrected spedo I am not sure the figures are right I am going to take a run tomorrow up to see Troll's new shop and that will give me a long trip to figure the mileage from. Then we will see!
 

PabloCruise

 
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2004
Messages
18,116
Location
Northern Colorado
Get ready for a long but somewhat entertaining story.

I was born in Asheville, NC back in 1971 to a father who was in the lumber industry and a mother who was a pharmacist. Moved to Kansas City, Kansas shortly thereafter and lived there till I was 5 when we moved to a small town called Diboll, Texas. I lived there for most of my childhood in a town of only15,000 people who were mostly minorities. It was here where I fell in love with taking things apart. I'll never forget taking my fathers radio apart into a million pieces at the age of 6 and having him yell at me. It was then my parents gave me my first tool set. A hammer, a screwdriver and a pair of pliers. I still have those pliers. For the next 11 years I took just about everything apart and for the most part fixed everything I touched. There were a couple times though where my parents would have to cut the breakers back on because one of my inventions failed turned into a pile of smoke. But my parents kept helping me do what I loved to do, which was fix things. My father used to bring lawn mower motors home and ask me to fix them knowing they would keep me busy for days at a time.

My bug for all things off road came when my father bought an 1981 CJ5. Brand spanking new. We were part of a hunting club and he would take me and my brother hunting all the time. I can remember to this day what that jeep smelled like and all those logging trails we traveled on. My first rollover came behind my house when my dad thought the cj5 could take an off camber road. It didn't and we were on our lid. A few bucks and the wrecker has us upright. Soon after that my father sold the jeep for a S-10 blazer and our 4x4 days were over but I always thought one day I would own a jeep like my fathers. In Jr High I placed first in the state of Texas for small engine repair. Took a hunk of junk motor and made it new again. At the age of 14 I bought my first stick welder. I have been collecting tools every since and have a very capable shop.

We moved to Greenville, SC when I was 16. My father bought me an 87 Mazda B2600. I wheeled the crap out of that truck. There wasn't anything I wouldn't try to do. Even with 29" mud tires on it I would take it anywhere. Shortly after I went to college in Anderson, SC for 4 years of getting in trouble and having as much fun as humanly possible. There I was known as "Macgyver". I was the guy that could take a ceiling fan, a roll of duct tap and some tinfoil and make a helicopter.

4 years of getting in trouble I decided I needed to start over and enrolled in another college in Rock Hill, SC. There I became friends with a group of guys in a house named the Trollhole. It was an infamous house known for hard partying. It seemed as if I would never get away from this lifestyle. A year later my parents had had enough. I had supported myself all through college with full time jobs at either Radio Shacks or hardware stores but my parents were the ones who paid my tuition. After 5 years they gave me what was left of my college money and said it was up to me to figure the rest out. I decided college wasn't for me and shortly after left the Trollhole and went back home. 2 weeks later and I had a job as a maintenance man at an apartment complex. This is where I learned my HVAC experience. I was the go to guy when one of my other coworkers couldn't fix something. I grew tired of the job 2 years later and took a job for an HVAC company for a few years.

My father started a new company back in the mid 90's. He was designing and importing area rugs from Belgium, Turkey, India and China for wholesale distribution all over the America's. I started out in the warehouse as the 4th employee in the small company. Through the 90's and into the new century as the company grew so did my responsibilities. I went from unloading containers to managing the warehouse, the shipping department, the customer service department, IT, EDI, and I even had a stint at being a traveling salesman. At the height of the company I was managing over 40 people and a half dozen departments. Our company in 03 was the 3rd fastest growing company in SC. But as with most companies these past 3 years have not been good to us, especially the home furnishing industry where new house sales dropped to nothing and so did our business. It was then I knew a job change was in order and I knew I had a chance to do something I've always wanted to do. Something I was born to do. Fix things.

My grandfather was a fixer, inventor, etc... He had a 3 car garage filled with stuff where you could only get 2 cars in half way. He is where I got my fix it genes. And who would have known that one day back in 93 my life would be forever changed to a career in Land Cruisers. That day I was driving my brothers s-10 blazer. It seems he liked my Mazda and I wanted something that could seat more than 2 people. So we swapped for a bit. I drove the hell out of that truck the first day I got it and decided to take it in what I thought was a small mud hole. After the first 10 feet I realized how wrong I was. It was deep. But I was determined not to get stuck as I knew it was a good 2 mile walk back to civilization. So I hit first and reverse gears hard. In 4wd low. I slowly walked that truck the 20 ft to safety. As I was just about to climb out of that hole, with the tach needle pegged to the right, my foot on the floor, that cam decided it had had enough and wanted to leave me and the motor. It ran screaming through the manifold and the top of the hood taking what was left of the near boiling oil. A large flame ensued and well I decided to make a run for it. I threw mud and water down that hole left in the hood till the flames went away. I was covered in mud and my brothers s-10 was dead. He wasn't mad as he knew my father would probably get him another one. My father on the other hand was not. I was told to sell the Mazda and pay my father back for the s-10. I was given the s-10 which I promptly sold somehow for $2400.

So I had 2400 dollars unto which I was to buy my next car. I searched high and low for something that was different. Something fun and something that I could work on. It was then in a car lot I saw what looked to be a Jeep in the back of the lot. I got closer and realized it wasn't a jeep but a 73 fj40. It was black and still had the "Just Married" shoe polish on the windows. It was perfect and better yet I got it for $2400. It broke down twice getting it home but I was in love. My father wasn't. I'll never forget the day I borrowed his car and he used mine. It promptly left him stranded on the highway and had to be towed.

For the next two years of college I drove that 40 everywhere. It never let me down and when something broke I just ordered a new part and was on the road again. I had my first and only accident in that 40. I pulled in front of a lady who was speeding. Her car promptly spun my cruiser 180 degrees totaling her car but I only had a scratch around the right rear tire where she hit. The cop couldn't believe it. I fell in love with that cruiser and it's why I promptly sold her like an idiot for $2400 a couple years later. The first guy who called said he would buy her sight unseen. He showed up within an hr and she was gone. I received probably 50 calls after that with most saying the same thing. I'll buy it. It was one of the biggest mistakes in my life. It has haunted me till this day. I'm still looking for that cruiser. I promised myself I would have another one someday.

Fast forward to 7 years ago when my wife and I sold a car and had a little money to burn. I told her I wanted another 40. So I started looking. I found a 76 and promptly bought her. She got me back into the sport and I have been working on her as well as everyone else's cruisers since. My fathers company is slowly going out of business and I have been given a chance to pursue something I've always wanted to do and that is fix things. And as it turns out I'll be fixing cruisers, something I really love doing. As well using my importing and design knowledge to bring parts in for you the customer at a very very reasonable price. Which is why I got into the parts business in the first place. So as of this summer I'll be moving full time into the business and bringing you all the parts I have promised to do as well as the level of customer service you deserve to have.

On the vehicle side I'm currently taking one vehicle in at a time doing anything you can imagine or want to get done. So if you have a need please feel free to contact me and I'll see what I can do to help you fix it. I promise not to use duct tape, tinfoil or a ceiling fan to fix it either. I have the technical powers to make anything happen you can dream up.
Just found this little section, very cool write-up!
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2011
Messages
48
Location
Kershaw SC
I also just found this thread. I just wonder how much money Trollhole spent at "The Money"! And, if he was ever there, I'm sure we crossed paths at some point.
 
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