The Land Cruiser has its roots in the American willies jeep. In 1941, the Japanese got their hands on a Bantam Mk II in the Philippines, and took it back to Japan to study.  The Japanese military ordered Toyota to make a vehicle based on the Jeep without copying it, and the result was the Model AK.  Later that year, the Japanese Government had Toyota build a light truck–that model is the AK10.

During the Korean war, the US asked Toyota to build a jeep-like vehicle, which resulted in the first Jeep BJ vehicle, and in 1954, the first FJ series were produced.  These vehicles were based on the Land Rovers from England, and at that point, Toyota officially began calling their vehicles Land Cruisers.

In the 20 series, Toyota moved the engine forward, creating a more comfortable cabin–this series ran from 1955 to 1960.  The better suspension and overall design was intended to appeal to a broader consumer market, instead of only military and utility  functions.

1960 introduced the legendary FJ40 series of the Toyota Land Cruiser.  Various versions of this vehicle remained in production through 1984, including the FJ45. Toyota began producing other versions of the popular Land Cruiser line, including the FJ55 introduced in 1967, the 60 series in 1980, the 70 series in 1985, the 80 series in 1991, the 100 series in 1998 and the 200 series  in 2008.

A red jeep with a yellow top is parked.  A black and white photo of an old jeep.  A black and white photo of an old toyota truck.