Vehicle Heritage, Land Cruiser, Model 55 Series

Appearance of the First Real Station Wagon

The 40 series had three different body lengths all with the same face as uniqueness is a necessity for a utility vehicle with typical users that desire a sense of prestige. That was the reason why the long body FJ55V was given an exclusive vehicle body.
In 1967 the FJ45V was replaced with the FJ55V, which had a 2,700mm wheelbase. The Land Cruiser made its appearance as a cross-country type 4x4 vehicle, but the market had begun to accept the idea that it also could be a utility vehicle for carrying things. For that reason the demand increased for a vehicle with a larger body that could carry more people and more cargo.
Toyota's response to this demand was to build wagons like the FJ35V and FJ45V. After that the demand became strong for a real station wagon. If all you need is a vehicle to carry people or cargo, an ordinary truck can do the job. However, even if you traveled to a work site by road, once the work was done the Land Cruiser was often expected to cross ground where there was no guarantee that the roads would be passable. Depending on the weather conditions the road might wash out or become submerged under water. It was for conditions like this that people selected a Land Cruiser.
It is often assumed that all Land Cruisers were assembled at the Arakawa Auto Body Co., Ltd. (now Toyota Auto Body Co., Ltd.), but actually the long wheelbase versions such as the FJ35V and FJ45V were made at the Gifu Auto Body Industry Co., Ltd. At that time there were orders from overseas for trucks that could carry 7 to 9 people, and the demand was rising for a wagon type vehicle. Plans for a wagon design were pursued with the assumption that it would be built at the Arakawa Auto Body Co., Ltd.
However, as Toyota had out a priority on development of passenger cars such as the Crown and the Corona, the Toyota design staff was too busy to be free to work on the Land Cruiser. As a result, up through the 40-series, the design was handled by on site technical staff working with little more than rulers and compasses. However, from the 50-series on, at last designers were again free to pay serious attention to the Land Cruiser, creating serious design sketches and clay models.
Leaving some traces of the original 40-series, they added a brand new branch to the Land Cruiser tradition and created the FJ55V. The body size was larger than that of a compact car, the ride was as comfortable as a passenger car, and it was designed not just for utility but also for leisure use. It was designed to be able to cruise at 130km/h, in view of the high-speed highways in America. It was also designed tough, to withstand the rugged treatment it was expected to get on the Australian landscape, and it was the first time that a Toyota truck was built entirely with fully enclosed box cross-section welded members. Already at this time it was engineered to meet American safety standards established through frontal crash testing at speeds of 50km/h, and all of these improvements strengthened the design of the vehicle.

It was at this time that the Honda N360 became a big hit. The Toyota 2000GT, Cosmo Sport, and other genuine sports cars appeared, and for the first time Japan's domestic annual automobile production exceeded 10,000,000 units, making Japan the second largest automobile producing nation in the world. In 1975 the F-type engine underwent further improvements, becoming the 2F-type 4.2-liter engine, which was installed in the newly debuted FJ56V. The 2F-type engine had a piston displacement of 4,300cc, an output of 140PS/3,600rpm and torque of 30kgm/1,800rpm. The FJ55V had a 3-speed transmission, while the FJ56V had a 4-speed transmission. In addition, the hood design was made rounder, the triangular-shaped window was eliminated, the signal indicator was integrated into the car side lamps, and other small changes were made, but the basic design remained unchanged.
The 50-series was made to be sold on the great continents of America and Australia, and because of its shape, in America it was affectionately known as the Moose.

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