View Full Version : A Toyota Called Jeep. Say What?!

05-14-2011, 02:17 PM
Off-Road Adventures this month has a neat article on the history of the FJ - its post-WWII cousin, the BJ.

This link didn't work in one of my internet browsers:

So I attached the PDF I created from it in case you had similar problems.

Selected quotes:

The first BJ prototype was complete by January of 1951 and demonstrated to the Japanese Police Reserve Forces. Astonishingly, it was a "no-sale," despite the BJ having been demonstrated ably by climbing to the 6th station on Mount Fuji... a feat no motor vehicle had equaled at that time.

Almost from the beginning, Toyota had been calling the BJ "Jeep" (now you needn't wonder what the "J" stood for) and the name was in somewhat common usage. Brochures were produced with that name emblazoned on them. Willys-Overland made official complaints in the summer of 1954 and, somewhat embarrassed, Toyota discontinued use of the trademarked name.
By July, Toyota had a new name, one which was a shot over the bows of anther four-wheel drive producer but not one that any legal action could be taken over.

When mounting the F-Series engine, the new Land Cruisers became the FJ-20 series (various models FJ-20 thru 29). When equipped with the smaller B-Series engine, they were the BJ-20 series.


05-15-2011, 08:04 PM
From everything I have read, Toyota modeled the original BJ after the jeep and even called it the Toyota Jeep until Willys complained and it became the LandCruiser in ti's next form. Keep in mid the Jeep was not a brand but a military vehicle nickname, like the Humvee or Hummer was before GM decided to capitalize on the name.

Like most everything Toyota did, they stole the basic design and then made it 100 times better. Ever seen a GM 285 (or whatever it was the original F and 2F was modeled on) last 200-300 thousand miles with regularity across the line?