Toyota FJ25 Land Cruiser
From Toyota press: In 1955 development of the BJ concept led to the BJ25, which featured a metal top and doors, along with roll-down door windows.
Amazingly, air conditioning also was available.
These attempts to bring a bit of civility to the BJ signaled that Toyota had in mind larger markets than those represented by Japan's National Police or public agencies in other countries. It intended to penetrate the civilian market. And not just with this vehicle. According to the tenets of "The Land Cruiser Strategy," the Land Cruiser was much more than merely another vehicle to be sold. It was the point vehicle that established a base in each new country into which Toyota moved so that the Land Cruiser could be followed by Toyota passenger cars.
Meanwhile the old B-series engine was being phased out of production. Its replacement was the F-type engine, a 3.8L (231.9 c.i.) 105 hp overhead-valve six-cylinder gas unit. Use of that engine, starting in 1955, created the FJ25. For a time, both BJ25s and FJ25s were produced, but with the end of B-series engine production, production of BJ25s came to a close.
Much of what the world knows about Land Cruisers came from the 20 Series as it was developed into an impressive variety of types designed to fit the needs of each country into which it was imported. There were the standard hardtop models, of course, but also pickups, station wagons, with long and short wheelbases, with two doors and with four.
Land Cruisers quickly found their way to Venezuela, Malaysia, Kuwait, Jordan, Dubai and Australia, where they were ideally suited to challenging driving conditions. Finally, in 1958, Land Cruiser came to the United States. Just one unit was sold in that first year.
That was about to change. In 1958 Land Cruisers were known by the model-name FJ28V. But model-year 1960 brought engineering and styling changes that heralded the birth of an icon. That's when the 20 Series took an evolutionary step into the 40-series. The familiar fold-down windshield, solid axles and sturdy leaf springs of the 25-series remained. But design revision provided the FJ40 with its now-familiar flat, white top, angular lines, wrap-around rear windows and fold-out rear doors, short overhangs, a horsepower boost to 125, a three-speed transmission and the introduction of a two-speed transfer case. The change worked, especially here in the U.S. From 1961 to 1965, the FJ40 was Toyota's best-selling vehicle.