Land Cruiser: The beginning

The epic story of the Land Cruiser begins as a tale of true determination. In 1950, the military needed a multi-purpose vehicle for the Korean War. Toyota and another company were asked to submit prototype vehicles, and the other company won. After being snubbed, most companies would have rubbed their wounds and walked away. Not Toyota. Toyota was committed to finishing development and bringing that vehicle to market. So, in 1951, Toyota test driver, Ichiro Taira, drove the next generation BJ prototype up to the sixth stage of Mount Fuji—making it the first vehicle to climb that high. The test was overseen by the National Police Agency (NPA) and, they were so impressed, they placed an order for 289 units and the legacy began.

Setting Records Through the years

The new Land Cruiser is powered by a 5.7L V8 engine teamed with an 8-speed automatic transmission. To enhance its off-road capabilities, it is available with a Multi-terrain Monitor and Multi-terrain Select, Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, a Torsen® Limited-Slip Differential and Crawl Control with Off-Road Turn Assist.

In 1968, the 100,000th Land Cruiser was sold, in 1971 the 200,000th was sold and, in 1974, the 300,000th Land Cruiser was sold. In 1976, The Toyota Land Cruiser Association was founded and, in 1981, Land Cruiser sales surpassed 1 million units worldwide.

In 2000, Toyota celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Land Cruiser with total global production to date of 3.72 million vehicles. Still today, the Land Cruiser continues to set records. In May 2017, with former NASCAR driver Carl Edwards at the wheel, a specially prepared Land Cruiser hit 230.02 mph to smash the land speed record and become the world’s fastest SUV.

The cult of Land Cruiser

Six decades + millions of units + Toyota reliability = a huge cult of fanatic owners. Land Cruisers have always been known for their durability and capability, that's why they have been such a success over the years. That made these vehicles legendary—and collectable. One reason collectors love the Land Cruiser, it has had a full life. It started as a small multi-purpose vehicle with no top and no doors. Regular production of the Toyota BJ began in 1953, but it wasn't until 1954 that the name "Land Cruiser" was created.

In its original form, the military and government used the Land Cruiser for multiple tasks, including mobile communications (before cellular communication, the military would have one vehicle dedicated to carrying the radio so troops in the field could communicate back to the base), as a touring liaison (carrying around the "top brass"), as a fire fighter, and a jack-of-all-trades pickup. These different models are part of the reason Land Cruiser has attained cult-like status—because they were unique, while at the same time, appealing to a broad audience.

TRD Accessories: Land Cruiser

New or old, TRD offers a variety of accessories to improve performance and appearance. TRD has been creating parts and accessories for the various models over the years. For the current generation, there are TRD Air Filters and TRD Oil Filters that provide exceptional filtration, lower flow restriction and added durability. For Land Cruisers produced in 2011 or before, you could opt for TRD Alloy Wheels to improve the appearance and off-road durability, or add TRD Brake Pads to improve stopping performance. TRD, Toyota and Land Cruiser—the perfect fit.

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