In July of 1951, the Japanese based auto company Toyota unveiled their new model- the Land Cruiser as BJ. Test driver Ichiro Tiara took the luxury of taking the vehicle to the sixth station on Mt. Fuji to the steps to the Fudo temple in Okasaki City. This act convinced many that the capacity of the vehicle is unlimited. The BJ featured a large piston displacement, long wheelbase, large body, and softer suspension. It was rated as the next generation 4x4.
In 1954, the BJ was renamed Land Cruiser by the request of an English competitor- the Land Rover- to Hanji Umehara, then Toyota's Managing Director, to have a name that sounds no less dignified. Years later as Japan's economy is promising, Toyota Land Cruiser is thriving and its production reached other parts of the world. The Land Cruiser was made available to the US in 1958.
Meanwhile, the second generation Toyota Land Cruiser released several trims for its model in the 60s: FJ40, FJ45 and FJ55. The FJ40 was at its time the most advance off roader with its remarkable engineering. The FJ45 rode on the FJ40 wheelbase and was available to the US from 1963 to 1967. It was originally offered as a short bed pickup with fixed of removable top and doors. The FJ55 was manufactured from 1968 to 1979. It had a unique styling, very different from early Land Cruiser, and very durable body.
The third generation Land Cruiser was called the Sports Utility. Two trims were made available: the FJ60 produced from 1981 to 1987 and the FJ62 produced from 1988 to 1990. The fourth generation Land Cruiser which was released from 1991 to 1997 came with two trims: FJ80 and FZ80. The present Toyota Land Cruiser has never been powerful. With a 4.7L double overhead cam (DOHC) V-8 32 valves engine capable of producing 235 horsepower at 4800 rpm with 20 ft-lbs. @ 3400 rpm torque. It is a full time 4WD in a mechanical center differential and new 5-speed transmission power in 18-inch wheels.
Safety features include front and rear ventilated disc brakes 4-wheel ABS, emergency braking assist traction control, stability control front seatbelt pretensioners, rear door child safety locks child seat anchors, rear center 3-point belt 2 front headrests, 3 rear headrests 2 third row headrests, remote anti-theft alarm, system engine immobilizer, daytime running lights dusk sensing headlamps, and auto delay off headlamps front fog lights.