The Toyota Land Cruiser (Japanese: トヨタ ランドクルーザー Toyota Rando-kurūzā?) is a series of four-wheel drive vehicles produced by the Japanese car maker Toyota Motor Corporation. The Land Cruiser series is the longest running series in Toyota history.
Development of the first generation Land Cruiser began in 1951 as Toyota's version of a Jeep-like vehicle and production started in 1954. The Land Cruiser has been produced in convertible, hardtop, station wagon, and utility truck versions. The Land Cruiser's reliability and longevity has led to huge popularity, especially in Australia where it is the best-selling full-size, body-on-frame, four-wheel drive vehicle. Toyota also extensively tests the Land Cruiser in the Australian outback — considered to be one of the toughest operating environments in both temperature and terrain. Main rivals include the Range Rover, Land Rover Discovery, Mitsubishi Pajero and Nissan Patrol.
BJ and FJ
- 1950 - The Korean War created demand for a military light utility vehicle. The war put a Jeep on Japan's doorstep. The United States government ordered 100 vehicles with the new Willys specs and Toyota was asked to build them.
- 1951 - The Toyota "Jeep" BJ prototype was developed in January 1951. This came from the demand for military-type utility vehicles, much like the British Land Rover Series 1 that appeared in 1948. The Jeep BJ was larger than the original U.S. Jeep and more powerful thanks to its Type B 3.4 L six-cylinder OHV Gasoline engine which generated 63 kW (86 PS; 84 hp) at 3600 rpm and 215 N·m (159 lb·ft) torque at 1600 rpm. It had a part-time four-wheel drive system like the Jeep. Unlike the Jeep, however, the Jeep BJ had no low-range transfer case.
- 1951 - In July 1951, Toyota's test driver Ichiro Taira drove the next generation of the Jeep BJ prototype up to the sixth stage of Mount Fuji, the first vehicle to climb that high. The test was overseen by the National Police Agency (NPA). Impressed by this feat, the NPA quickly placed an order for 289 of these offroad vehicles, making the Jeep BJ their official patrol car.
- 1953 - Regular production of the "Toyota Jeep BJ" began at Toyota Honsya Plant (Rolling chassis assembly), and body assembly and painting was done at Arakawa Bankin Kogyo KK, later known as ARACO (now an affiliate of Toyota Auto Body Co.). The "Toyota Jeep BJ" Series was introduced alongside the following:BJ-T (Touring),
- BJ-J (Cowl-chassis for a fire-engine).
- 1954 - The name "Land Cruiser" was created by the technical director Hanji Umehara. "In England we had another competitor - Land Rover. I had to come up with a name for our car that would not sound less dignified than those of our competitors. That is why I decided to call it 'Land Cruiser'," he recalls. The name had already been used on the US Studebaker Land Cruiser car from 1934 to 1954 but this didn't cause any problems.
- 1954 - The 93 kW (126 PS; 125 hp), 3.9 L Type F gasoline engine added for the fire-engine chassis. Models are renamed as:
BJ-T (Touring), BJ-R (Radio), BJ-J (Cowl-chassis for a fire-engine), FJ-J (Cowl-chassis for a fire-engine).
- 1955 - The Second generation, 20 Series was introduced. It was designed to have more civilian appeal than the BJ for export reasons. It also had more stylish bodywork and a better ride thanks to longer four-plate leaf springs which had been adapted from the Toyota Light Truck. It had a more powerful 135 PS (99 kW) 3.9 L six-cylinder Type F gasoline engine, but still only had a three speed gearbox. The interior of the vehicles were made more comfortable by moving the engine 120 mm (4.7 in) forward. The 20 Series still had no low range, but it had synchromesh on the third and fourth gears.
- 1958 - The first Station wagon Land Cruiser was introduced with an even longer 2,650 mm (104.3 in) wheelbase (the FJ35V; wagon and van). The FJ25 production started in Brazil being the first Toyota vehicle built outside Japan.
- 1957 - A 4-door Station Wagon was added as the FJ35V. Land Cruisers were first imported into Australia by B&D Motors as FJ25/28 cab chassis with Australian made bodies. They were the first Japanese cars to be regularly exported to the country and a few were initially used in the Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Scheme, by sub contractor Theiss Constructions.
- 1960 - The 20 Series was upgraded to the now classic 40. Toyota made many production changes by buying new steel presses. Mechanically, the FJ40 was given a new 93 kW (126 PS; 125 hp), 3.9 L F engine and the Land Cruiser finally received low-range gearing, but continued the three speed main gearbox. The Brazilian model was rebadged the Bandeirante and received a Mercedes-Benz built Diesel engine generating 58 kW (79 PS; 78 hp).
- 1965 - Global production surpassed 50,000 vehicles.
- The Land Cruiser was the best selling Toyota in the United States.
- 1968 - The 100,000th Land Cruiser was sold worldwide.
- 1972 - The 200,000th Land Cruiser was sold worldwide.
- 1973 - The 300,000th Land Cruiser was sold worldwide.
- The first diesel Land Cruiser was introduced for export on long wheelbase models with a six-cylinder H engine.
- 1974 - A four-cylinder 3.0 L B diesel was offered. The introduction of this engine boosted sales in Japan by putting the Land Cruiser in a lower tax compact Freight-car category than its 3.9 L gasoline version. Note: the new B diesel engine was different from the B gasoline engine used in the original BJ.
- 1975 - The 3.9 L gasoline engine was replaced by a larger, more powerful 4.2 L 2F unit.
- The FJ55 received front disc brakes.
- The 3.6 L H diesel engine was optional in some markets in the HJ45.
- 1976 - United States-version FJ40 Land Cruisers received front disc brakes like the FJ55.
- The Toyota Land Cruiser Association was founded in California.
- 1977 - The Irish Army took delivery of the first of 77 FJ45 Land Cruisers. Although fast, reliable and with good off-road performance the type tended to rust excessively in the wet Irish climate. A few which did not succumb to the effects of weather were repainted in gloss olive green and survive as ceremonial gun tractors at military funerals.
- 1978 - The first BJ / FJ40 and FJ55 models were officially sold in West Germany with both diesel (BJ40) and petrol engines (FJ40 /55).
- 1979 - United States-version FJ40s were updated this year with a new wider, square bezel surrounding the headlights.
- Power steering and cooler were offered in FJ40s for the first time.
- The diesel engine was improved, evolving into the 3.2 L 2B only in Japan.
- 1980 - The H diesel engine (HJ45) was replaced by the 4.0 L 2H engine (HJ47).
- 1981 - the Diesel version received front disc brakes and the more powerful 3.4 L 3B engine, and added LWB BJ45 with 3B.
- 1983 - the last FJ40s imported to the U.S. were 1983 models (mid 1982 to mid 1983). It is unknown how many were imported by Toyota, but many guess the number to be around 300. 1983 FJ40s typically bring a premium for their rarity, though they are not much different from 1982 models (mid 1981 to mid 1982).
The Land Cruiser 55 was produced from 1967 to 1980. Toyota refers to the FJ55G and FJ55V as the first "real" station wagon in the Land Cruiser series, thus marking the beginning of the station wagon branch. It was the first Land Cruiser to have fully enclosed box frame members. Of all the Land Cruiser wagons sold in the U.S., including the FJ45, it is the only one to not have hatch & tailgate in the rear, but rather a tailgate only with an electrically operated window that can be retracted into the tailgate.
- 1967 - Production of the FJ55 began. The FJ55 was a 4-door station wagon version based on the FJ40's Drive-train, replacing the 4-Door FJ45V (I). It was colloquially known as the "Moose". It has also been referred to as a pig or an iron pig. The FJ55 had a longer wheelbase 2700 mm and was designed to be sold in North America and Australia.
- Jan 1975 saw the F engine replaced by the 2F engine. Unusually for Toyota, the model (e.g. FJ55) did not change.
- Model 56 is in Japan only, with 2F engine ( Jan. 1975 - Jul. 1980 ).
The Land Cruiser 60 series was produced from 1980 through 1990. It is a front engine, four door wagon which can seat five to eight people. Like all Land Cruiser generations, it is well known in the off-road world for its off-road abilities but was somewhat limited by its awkward departure angles. The 60 series was available in the following solid exterior colors: Alpine White, Brown, Desert Beige, Freeborn Red, Royal Blue; and in the following metallic exterior colors: Charcoal Gray, Cognac, Gray-Blue, Rootbeer, Sky Blue, Stardust Silver.
- 1980 - The 60 series was introduced. While still retaining the rugged off-road characteristics of previous Land Cruisers, the 60 was designed to better compete in the emerging sport utility vehicle market. The 60 was given a variety of comforts like air conditioning, a rear heater and an upgraded interior. The FJ60's "2F" petrol engine was left unchanged from the "40" series while six-cylinder 4.0 L 2H and four-cylinder 3.4 L 3B diesel engines were added to the product line.
- 1981 - Land Cruiser sales surpassed 1 million and a high-roof version was introduced. The 60 series was introduced to South Africa when a stock Land Cruiser competed in the Toyota 1000 km Desert Race in the punishing wilds of Botswana.
- 1984 - This was the final year for the 40 series.
- 1984 - Alongside the 60 series, the 70 series was introduced.
- 1985 - The Direct-injection 12H-T and 13B-T turbodiesel engines were introduced.
- 1988 - The petrol engine was upgraded to a 4.0 L 3F-E EFI engine. The FJ62G VX-Series was introduced allowing the Land Cruiser to be sold in Japan as a passenger vehicle.
- 1984 - 70 Series was introduced as a soft-top, hard-top, FRP top, utility, cab-chassis, and Troop Carrier (inward facing rear seats).The petrol engine was replaced with a 4.0 L 3F engine. The 70 Light had a four-wheel coil spring solid-axle suspension for better ride quality. This lighter duty version of the Land Cruiser had the 22R 2.4 L gasoline engine, 2L and 2L-T ( turbo ) 2.4 L diesel engines commonly found in the Toyota Hilux. The 70 Light was sold in some markets as the Bundera or the Landcruiser II, later called 70 Prado. The 70 Prado eventually became popular and evolved into the 90. An automatic transmission (A440F) was introduced making it the first four-wheel drive Japanese vehicle with an automatic transmission.
- 1987 - Came out with the turbo 3.9 L diesel putting out 240hp @ 4200rpm and 470nm torque @ 3000rpm.