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Spotted: a 1978 Toyota Land Cruiser

August 18, 2023

Earlier this month, Toyota pulled back the curtain on a new model generation Land Cruiser: the J250. For the first time, Toyota is giving the model an emphatic retro design, incorporating several elements of previous Land Cruisers. We have already had a brief introduction to the model. As far as we are concerned, the new Toyota Land Cruiser is as an SUV should be: tough, square, luxurious and convenient for daily use, but also still perfectly capable of standing its ground off the beaten path.

Three types of Toyota Land Cruiser

Although Land Cruiser history began with one model in 1951, it has long since gone beyond a single model Toyota Land Cruiser. Several types are supplied side by side. The primal model belongs to the so-called Heavy Duty series, aimed at heavier off-road work. After new model generations in 1955 and 1960, generation J70 entered the market in 1984. Did you know that this model is still in production? In all those years, the model underwent only two real facelifts, in 2007 and this year, along with the arrival of the new J250.

In addition to the Heavy Duty series, there has also been the Station Wagon series since 1967. While this model line has never lost its off-road capability either, the focus of these larger models is much more on luxury. Especially with the last few model generations. The Station Wagon series has now reached its sixth model generation, the J300, which was introduced in 2021.

The third model line Toyota Land Cruiser was added in 1984 and is best known internationally as the Land Cruiser Prado. The first model generations were still very similar to the Heavy Duty series, albeit with slightly more luxury. Starting with the third generation from 1996, the Prado is primarily a more compact alternative to the Station Wagon series. Here in Europe, among others, the Prado was delivered simply as “the” Toyota Land Cruiser, and the larger model was actually given a different name: Land Cruiser V8. In recent years, the “Prado” has been the only Land Cruiser model still officially delivered in Europe. Fortunately, that is no different for the new J250.

The spotted specimen

Back to our spot of the week. Last month we saw this 1978 Toyota Land Cruiser BJ40 in a business park in Purmerend. The BJ40 was one of the variants of the J40 generation. The B indicated that the 3.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine (with 57 kW (76 hp)) was under the hood. The Land Cruiser J40 was produced from 1960 through 1984, or even through 2001 if you include South American production.

An extra nice detail is that this Toyota Land Cruiser BJ40 is original Dutch. The car has been on gray license plates from the beginning, which means it also has a real old commercial vehicle license plate. At that time it still had the initial F reserved for it, today it is the V. You really don’t see that often, a car with such an old gray license plate. By the way, this Land Cruiser has also been with its current owner since 1998. It seems that the relationship between car and owner is as indestructible as the Toyota itself.