The prototype, the BJ, appeared in early 1951 and promptly crawled up Japan's Mount Fuji to demonstrate it's abilties. And in June 1954 this short wheelbase machine was renamed the LandCruiser.
But it was the FJ40 from the 1960s through the 1980s which wrote the legend; more than one million were sold around the world, 121,000 to Australian farmers, miners and adventurers.
Early LandCruisers arrived here from 1958 and among first customers was construction magnate Sir Leslie Thiess who used the rugged, go-anywhere machines during construction of the Snowy Mountains Scheme. These FJ25 and long wheelbase FJ28 modelshad a cnavas hood, 3.6 litre engine, four-speed transmission and part-time four-wheel drive.
The FJ40 series arrived in 1962 but the first LandCruiser designed for civilian use didn't arrive until the FJ55 wagon in 1969. A HJ45 ute arrived in 1975. And so it went until the LandCruiser range now spreads from this FJ Cruiser, through utes and troop carriers and Prados to the LandCruiser 200 series.
Toyota's range, and reputation, of four-wheel drives has long been popular here. To date some 765,000 LandCruisers have been sold in Australia, the world's largest single market for the Cruiser and taking 12 per cent of production.