50 Series Land Cruiser Specifications

In 1967 the 50 Series was born and was the first people and troop carrier offered in the Land Cruiser line. It was initially offered as a personal 4x4 for civilians and small military transport and was an alternative to the American military Jeep. The market quickly realized that it could be used as a family utility vehicle and as an ideal station wagon. There was significant demand for a vehicle with a larger body that could carry more people and more cargo.


Initially the demand for station wagons within the Land Cruiser line was met by Toyota building wagon bodies onto their jeep style frames. The FJ35V and the FJ45V were examples of these hybrids. Toyota lengthened the wheelbase and build custom made bodies to fit to the stock lengthened frames. Toyota knew that there was the need in the marketplace for a vehicle that could provide a way for people to get to work, often across difficult terrain, in severe weather conditions or where roads have been washed our or were otherwise impassible. The Land Cruiser was ideal for this application, especially in remote parts of the world other than in North America. This new body style on the Land Cruiser 55 series became the go to solution for these multiple needs for both on and off-road applications.

Drawing on the original design of the 40-series, Toyota released the new model, the FJ55V in 1967. This new model replaced the FJ45V. Toyota was prioritizing the production of passenger cars at the time and they did not have the staffing ability to design the original Land Cruisers. The on-site technical staff literally used rulers and compasses to make the original design. With the increased popularity of the original wagon models, Toyota actually assigned designers to create sketches and clay models, thus creating a new and fresh look to the 50 series. The body was larger than a compact car and the ride was similar in comfort to a passenger vehicle of the day. The 55 was ideal, it was both useful for work and for leasure.

The next part of the process of building this vehicle was what lead to the success of the Land Cruiser line. Toyota knew they had large markets in the US and Australia that they needed to break into. WIth this in mind, they designed the 50 series to cruise at 80 mph on US highways at the same time that it was heavy duty enough to handle the rugged Australian Outback's landscape. The 50 series also marked the first time Toyota build an fully enclosed box with cross section welded members. They also engineered it to meet US safety standards so that it would pass a frontal 30 mph crash test.

The design did not win awards, to say the least. Some thought the vehicle was downright ugly and it became affectionately known as the Iron Pig or less commonly, the Moose. The 50 series also came in a colour to be dubbed Smurf Blue.

Model FJ55
Years Available 1968-1979
Body Style 4-Door Wagon
Seating Capacity Five to Seven
Drivetrain Front Engine, 4x4
Gas Engine Inline 6 cyl. 3.9 liter F (1968-74),
4.2 liter 2F (1975-79)
Fuel System Carbureted
Horsepower 125 @ 3600 rpm (1968-74),
135 @ 3600 rpm (1975-79)
Torque 209 ft-lbs. @ 2000 rpm (1968-74) ,
210 @ 1800 rpm (1975-79)
Transmission 3-Speed (1968-73);
4-Speed (1974-79)
Wheelbase 106.3 in.
Length 184.0 in.
Width 68.3 in.
Height 73.4 in.
Track, F/R 55.3 in.
Towing Capacity 3500 lbs.
Suspension Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs
Brakes, F/R Hydraulic 4 Wheel Drums
Power Front Disc (Nov. 1975-79)
Curb Weight 3990 to 4030 lbs.
Clearance 8.3 in.
Fuel Capacity 23.8 gal.