By Otsile Kadiege
The Toyota Land Cruiser celebrates 70 years of existence this month. It was launched in August 1951 and was originally known as the “Toyota BJ” – a four-wheel-drive vehicle equipped with a powerful engine. Initially, the Toyota BJ was designed for military use but quickly earned an enviable reputation as a ‘go anywhere’ vehicle. The name Land Cruiser was coined in 1954 as the model expanded into the civilian market and went head-to-head with the British-built Land Rover.
Since then, the Land Cruiser family has grown significantly and the range now consists of a pick-up, wagon, station wagon and luxury SUV variants. While the model range has expanded, the core DNA of the popular nameplate remains intact.
GR Heritage Parts Project
As a further celebration of the marque’s 70th birthday, Toyota Gazoo Racing has announced the inclusion of Land Cruiser in its GR Heritage Parts Programme. The parts will be reproduced for the 40 Series Land Cruiser, which was produced between 1960 and 1984. The project reproduces spare parts that have been discontinued and sells them as genuine parts through a special collaboration with suppliers, in order to support customers who wish to continue driving older vehicles that bring back fond memories and that they truly love and cherish. These parts will be supplied as “heritage parts,” and will include engines, drivelines, and exhaust systems. Availability of parts will be launched as preparations have been completed, with a target launch date of the beginning of 2022.
The Land Cruiser Prado is next in line for a specification update, which will come in the form of stylish new 19-inch alloy wheels fitted to VX and VX-L models, which are shod with 265-55-R19 tyres. TX models inherit reverse tilt mirrors – aiding convenience. The revised models should reach showroom floors during Land Cruiser’s celebration month of August.
70th Celebration Model
Toyota South Africa Motors will also be releasing a special 70th Special Edition model based on the 70 Series. While development is still under way, customers can register their interest at their nearest Toyota dealer – with the celebratory model earmarked for a Quarter 4 debut.
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