Section 8. Debut of the Toyopet Crown, a Full-Fledged Passenger Car

Item 2. Development of Large Trucks, Four-wheel-drive Vehicles, and Diesel Engines

Development of the Model BX truck

Although its engine had been improved, the 4-ton Model BM truck was essentially the same in terms of quality as the Model KB truck, whose production had commenced back in March 1942. In order to overcome the stagnation in technology and styling that had occurred during and following the war, Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. created a plan to develop a new large truck, Model BX, and commenced full-fledged design activities in November 1949.

Development proceeded according to plan for the most part, and a switchover was expected to occur in August 1950. However, a labor dispute that occurred in April of that year caused a two-month delay. This, combined with a subsequent workforce reduction and support for the Korean special procurement, ended up delaying the launch of the Model BX truck until August 1951.

Table 1-34 shows the specification of the 4-ton Model BX truck, which possessed the following features:

Table 1-34. Specifications of the Model BX Truck (1951)

Type B (3,386 cc, 82 hp)
4,000 mm
6,610 mm
2,190 mm
2,190 mm
Chassis weight
960 kg
Vehicle weight
2,970 kg
Loaded weight
4,000 kg
Maximum speed
72 km/h
Toyota Engineering Society's, Toyota Technology, June 1, 1951.
  1. 1.The body style of the driver's cabin was drastically modernized, improving the comfort level.
  2. 2.The strength of the chassis frame was increased.
  3. 3.Body processing was simplified, reducing the number of processing steps by 30 percent compared to the Model BM truck.
  4. 4.The design incorporated specifications for left-hand drive, making it easier to manufacture a left-hand drive version.
  5. 5.The driver's cab was made entirely of steel and the chassis was sold with a completed driver's cab as standard.

Until that time, trucks had been sold to dealers in the form of a chassis with an installed engine room. The driver's cab (made of steel plates on a wooden frame) and the truck bed were mounted by car body manufacturers according to customers' wishes and instructions from dealers. This method was revised beginning with the Model BX truck, for which an all-steel completed driver's cab was mounted at Toyota Auto Body before shipment to dealers as standard.

Initially, however, because of requests from dealers who were used to the conventional body mounting method, few chassis with a mounted driver cab were shipped. Subsequently, as the mass-production system for manufacturing bodies-such as stamping and welding systems-became well established, the superiority in quality and pricing of chassis with completed all-steel driver's cabs began to be recognized, and the sale of completed vehicles became more accepted. As a result, car body manufacturers became inseparable from the manufacturing process of Toyota Motor Co., Ltd.

In September 1951, the Model FX truck was launched, featuring the F engine (95 hp) instead of the B engine (82 hp) used in the Model BX truck. Furthermore, responding to the trend toward larger loading capacity, Toyota completely redesigned the 4-ton Model BX and FX trucks in April 1954.

Then in 1955, the 4-ton Model BA truck equipped with an improved B engine (85 hp) and the 4.5-ton Model FA truck equipped with an improved F engine (105 hp) were launched.1 Of these, the 4.5-ton Model FA truck was modified to become the 5-ton Model FA5 truck in September of the same year.

Beginning in the middle of the 1950s, against the backdrop of the beginning of high economic growth, truck transportation began to increase in terms of both distance traveled and load size. Responding to these needs, Toyota created the Model FA60 truck in April 1956 by vastly improving the 5-ton Model FA5 truck, and abolished the 4-ton Model BA truck. Furthermore, in response to an increase in demand for fuel-efficient diesel-powered trucks, Toyota in March 1957 launched the 5-ton Model DA60 truck, created by replacing the F gasoline engine of the Model FA60 with a newly developed D diesel engine.

To top of page