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Toyota Land Cruiser Turns 60 in 2011

Toyota’s most durable sport utility vehicle, the Toyota Land Cruiser, turns 60 in 2011. No word yet on what Toyota plans to do to commemorate the anniversary in the United States but Toyota New Zealand already has something up its sleeve.

The Land Cruiser actually has its roots in the classic Willys Jeep, according to The Land Cruiser made its debut in August 1951 when it climbed to the sixth station of Mt. Fuji -- the first motor vehicle to perform this feat. The first orders for the vehicle were from police and forestry departments because of its off-road abilities, according to a complete history of the Land Cruiser.

In New Zealand, Toyota is mounting an adventure dubbed ‘Top to Bottom – Off road’ that is a tribute to the legacy Land Cruisers have forged after 60 years, says Neeraj Lala, Toyota’s Assistant General Manager of Marketing and Product, in a news release. As a key part of its celebrations, Toyota is challenging television presenter (or host as we Yanks like to call them) Marc Ellis to drive a new FJ Cruiser, “which is unashamedly a tribute to the original FJ40,” from Cape Reinga to Bluff – entirely off paved roads.

In the United States there is bound to be some kind of Special Edition 60th Anniversary Land Cruiser that will hit the market in August. (Maybe it’s time to trademark that name?) It would be fitting because the Land Cruiser is all new for 2011.

For those of you wondering, the photo accompanying this article is of a 1958 FJ25 Land Cruiser. The photo is from the Toyota USA media archives.

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