Toyota LandCruiser 78
FJ50 Series LandCruiser
1 Jan 1971
By CHRIS HARRIS
The FJ50 arrived in Australia in November 1972 as the FJ55. Created as Toyota’s answer to the Jeep Cherokee, it featured a four-door, six-seater station wagon design with fully enclosed box cross-section welded members – a first for a Toyota truck.
Power came courtesy of a 3.9-litre six-cylinder engine mated to a four-speed manual gearbox.
The ‘50’ was intended for passenger and recreational use, and had a big role to play as an export earner for the company, particularly to the US and Australia.
It was also the first LandCruiser to come from the passenger car design studio, even though it was essentially a truck underneath.
It was designed to meet contemporary US crash safety standards, cruise at 130km/h, yet be tough enough to handle the rugged Australian landscape.
During 1976 a full-floating rear axle and hazard lights were incorporated, while improved cabin trim marked the 1979 series.