Toyota Land Cruiser History

Toyota Land Cruiser History

Toyota Land Cruiser History


The Toyota Land Cruiser was introduced in 1951, an era when the car industry was heavily influenced by World War II transportation. Since then, the Land Cruiser’s reliability and ruggedness have allowed it to become hugely popular, establishing Toyota as a top competitor in the rugged four-wheel-drive vehicle segment.

Early History

The Toyota Land Cruiser is a lineup of four-wheel-drive vehicles, which first entered production in 1951 at Toyota’s Toyota City, Japan, assembly plant. Driven by the need for military-type utility vehicles similar to the Land Rover, Toyota created the first Land Cruiser BJ which was not only larger than the original Jeep, but also more powerful.

Recent History

Since its introduction, the Land Cruiser has seen a multitude of variants and changes, while still keeping to its off-road styling. Once offered with the choice of hardtop, soft-top, pickup truck, or station wagon, the current model is only available as a 5-door SUV that has similar styling to the Toyota Tundra.

Toyota Land Cruiser Fun Facts

  • Inspired by a Bantam Mk II jeep found by the Imperial Japanese Army in 1941 during their occupation of the Philippines
  • Japanese government specifically told Toyota to make sure the Land Cruiser looked nothing like the American Jeep
  • Has had the nicknames, “Moose,” “Pig,” and “Iron Pig”
  • Best-selling Toyota in the United States in 1965

2014 Toyota Land Cruiser Overview