Marv was a giver. A generous, passionate, good-natured man with a library of information he shared freely and enthusiastically with everyone, Marv’s greatest gift was his friendship. “I never met a friend I didn’t like,” he used to say, and if you were his friend, you felt it. Marv was a mentor to many of us who regularly sought his sound and smart advice. He possessed an old wisdom, from a very young age, and people were attracted to and drew from this energy. He liked his flannel shirts, often holey, missing buttons, rolled up to his elbows covered in grease from turning wrenches on the car he loved, but he always remained a true gentleman.
Marv founded Specter Off-Road in 1981 with Kay, his partner and best friend, who was literally “the girl next door,” and who became his wife of 34 years. Specter Off-Road is Marv’s homage to Land Cruisers and the Cruising community. Marv’s passion for and knowledge of Land Cruisers is reflected in the coveted annual Specter Off Road Catalog which fueled the interest for other Land Cruiser lovers, and because of that passion, today, Specter Off Road houses the largest Land Cruiser museum in the world.
The love for Land Cruisers took Marv and Kay all over the world to meet with others who shared their crazy passion. They made many lifelong friends in countries like Japan, Australia, Chile, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Europe and the Philippines. Friends who Marv would insist stay with he and Kay at their home when visiting Specter Off-Road, for a more familial, less touristy visit with home cooked meals and personal attention. But Marv was not only generous with friends, but anyone, even total strangers, within the Land Cruiser community. Like the time, for instance, a couple travelling the world in their 70 Series Land Cruiser broke down and Specter Off Road was the only place with the part they needed to fix their vehicle. Marv insisted the couple stay with he and Kay for several days while the Land Cruiser was repaired at Specter. Many of these people they met while travelling the world are in Marv’s closest circle of friends. Marv never let distance get in the way of great friendships. He always felt humbled that the Land Cruiser brought so many good people into his life.
Even in his struggle with deteriorating health, he remained loving and giving and grateful for the many people who touched his life and helped to shape this great man we all knew as Marv Spector. From our hearts to yours, we thank you all for being Marv’s friend.
From the day we met him until the day we said goodbye, having Marv in our lives was a gift of pure friendship, and as he always liked to say, “We’ll be friends until the end!”
Marv is survived by his bride, Kay, his sister, Melinda, his faithful dog, Hootie, the dedicated team at Specter Off Road, and the thousands of lucky people to have been touched in some way by him.
Keep Cruising, Marv,
The legend of the Land Cruiser Lives On.
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