Toyota Models 20-100
The legend of the name Land Cruiser began prior to WW2 , the Japanese Military needed a reliable go anywhere vehicle to be produced in Japan. The simplicity and reliablity of the vehicle was a priority. At the time Japan was mostly dependent on American vehicles and trucks, the need for Japan to have their own 4x4 and other vechicles produced locally was rising. The first prototype was produced in January 1951, this first car had a B-type gasoline powered water-cooled in-line 6-cylinder 3,386cc engine, installed on a SB-type 1-ton truck chassis.
At the time there were many Jeeps being driven in Japan, which had been brought in by the occupying forces, and the Jeep came to be the symbol of the 4x4. For this reason Toyota called its prototype the Toyota Jeep, and by combining a B-type engine with a Jeep model it was known as the BJ Series. The Americans were of a lot of influence, as their reliable 6 inline gasoline engine was a vital Japan copied, redesigned and perfected for their early vehicles and up to these days.
Large-scale production of the Toyota BJ Series did not begin until August of 1953. It took 2 years from the decision to adopt the prototype to get ready for full-scale production. In the first year 298 Toyota Jeep BJs rolled off the production line.
The next year in June of 1954, responding to claims of trademark violation by the Willys Company that produced the original Jeep, then Director of Technology Hanji Umehara renamed this 4-wheeled vehicle as the Land Cruiser. The rest as they say is history, as the Land Cruiser demonstrated global competitiveness with its rival models, and carved its name in the history book by proving to be truly worthy of its name