With four different Land Cruisers in his collection (FJ40, an HJ60, an 80 Series and a 100 Series 50th Anniversary), Jon Beynon definitely knows a thing or two about our durable off-roader. But the undoubted jewel in the crown is his rare Land Cruiser FJ40. His passion for Land Cruisers is so infectious that even his son, Alfie, is now the proud owner of one. We spoke to both of them about why they are so passionate about Land Cruisers.
What started your love for Land Cruisers?
Jon: “It started a few years ago, I had spent a lot of time on the German car scene and my business partner recommended getting a Toyota Land Cruiser instead, so I went out and found one and have been driving one around for the past 15 years. They are some of the most trouble-free cars I’ve ever owned which is a massive positive for me.”
Would you say you have been converted to a die-hard Land Cruiser owner now?
Jon: “I never say never but the Land Cruiser is my all-time favourite model and, especially some of the older ones, they are just so iconic to me, and I think they are such a great car and a rare sight to see driving around on UK roads.”
Is that what has drawn you to your Land Cruiser FJ40?
Jon: “As a young man, there were only two cars I wanted to own, one was a Porsche 911 which I was lucky enough to own, and the other was an FJ40. I tried to find one in this country, and it proved extremely challenging as it was never officially sold in this country. Eventually, I found one on eBay for sale in Australia for about 6000 Australian Dollars (roughly £3000 at the time) and one night, in a semi-drunken state, I hit the button and bought it. I had it shipped all the way over and eight weeks later it was here.”
What sort of condition was the Land Cruiser FJ40 in when it finally arrived?
Jon: “It needed some love and care. I can remember when I first picked it up that the pins for the axles weren’t in the leaf springs and one of the axles had been pushed forward, so it needed to be ratcheted straight and then put onto a trailer and brought home. It didn’t originally come with the 1F engine but a Chevy V8 instead, which was common practice in Australia.
Sadly, the Chevy V8 didn’t last too long so I replaced it with another Chevrolet engine. Around this time, I had purchased another Land Cruiser (diesel) and after running it non-stop for a weekend’s off-roading, I realised that what I needed to do was stick a Toyota engine back into the FJ40. I managed to purchase a 3B engine, which is a rare engine in the UK and slotted it and converted the gearbox to a five-speed manual to bring it up to the 21st Century and that is how it has been running, untouched, for the past five years and it has been faultless.”
Is that the biggest modification that you have done to the Land Cruiser FJ40?
Jon: “It is the biggest conversion I have done to any of my Land Cruisers, I like to try and restore all the Land Cruisers I have back to their original condition, and any modifications that I do end up doing are the type that can be reversed. The FJ40 is the only one that has had its engine changed, first to the V8 and then back to a Toyota unit. It was when I was on Parkamoor bouncing around and the Chevrolet engine kept cutting out, despite being tuned by a specialist to make sure it was running properly, that I decided I needed to put a Toyota engine back into the FJ40.
The 3B is an ultra-reliable engine and is known as the million-mile engine and will undoubtedly see me out so this will be the final engine modification I’ll do. I’m quite happy going 60mph because speed is not what my voyage of ownership is all about. For me, it’s about getting there and back in one piece.”
Does this mean you are happy with the Land Cruiser FJ40 Series as it is?
Jon: “There’s still a couple of restoration bits I’d still like to do to the FJ40. I’d like to put in some Toyota inertia seatbelts because it currently has aftermarket inertia seatbelts and it’s not supposed to have inertia seatbelts, it’s supposed to have rigid seatbelts but with those you can’t reach anything, so I want to add some later seatbelts into it. There are holes where a rev counter used to be for the chevy engine so that needs to be sorted.
Back to standard is really want I am aiming for, putting it back to what it was supposed to be, I believe the term is resto-mod. The most important thing is that anything that I do to it is for my own personal reasons, not because the car needs it.”
Is the Land Cruiser FJ40 your favourite out of your collection?
Jon: “It’s like choosing between your children. The FJ40 is the most fun to own in terms of how it makes other people feel. It is a long way away from a modern Toyota with its leaf springs, no foam on the seats. It has a very back to basics type feel to it, which is because it is. It is essentially a truck from the 1970s. The HJ60 is my favourite one now, I like how boxy the design is but my go-to car every day is the 100 Series. It is very comfortable, it’s automatic and it’s powerful. The 80 Series is basically an off-road touring rig that is built for a purpose.”
Alfie, what made you decide to buy your dad’s car?
Alfie: “I’ve had a couple of cars before, Toyotas and a Lexus, and never really had any issues with them but I have always loved the idea of owning a Land Cruiser. They are easy to work on if they ever do go wrong and I’ve always just been a huge fan of the model, plus Dad has always had them for the past 15 odd years so they have always been in my life.”
Jon: “It was Alfie who badgered me to sell the BJ74 to him, it wasn’t me forcing something onto him. And the beautiful thing for me with Alfie owning it is that I still get to see the car every day. I’m just not responsible for taxing, fixing or insuring it.”
Are you going to follow your dads’ path and keep it stock?
Alfie: “I’m not sure at the moment, if I do modify it then I want to make sure I can reverse it as all the modifications on it currently are easily reversible.”
Jon: “One of the great things about the BJ74 that Alfie owns is that from the factory, it has cable lockers, it has a PTO winch, it has a heavy-duty leaf-sprung suspension so it has all the mods that people would want. So apart from driving it and have fun, what other mods could you do to it? A new radio or something but out of the box, it is the perfect car. If you are happy to do that speed and not race anybody off the lights, then it is an ideal car.”
Jon and Alfie Beynon speaking to Jake Weaver
Hybrid driving tips for best fuel economy
Want to get the very best out of your ground-breaking Toyota hybrid? We’ve gathered a number of hybrid driving hints and tips that will help you to get the best from the system, improving fuel consumption and getting you further for less.Whichever Toyota hybrid you’ve set your heart on, the following tips and pointers should…
Want to get the very best out of your ground-breaking Toyota hybrid? We’ve gathered a number of hybrid driving hints and tips that will help you to get the best from the system, improving fuel consumption and getting you further for less.
Whichever Toyota hybrid you’ve set your heart on, the following tips and pointers should maximise the range and fuel economy of your Toyota.
It’s not just hybrids that benefit from the first seven tips – these will help to improve any car’s fuel efficiency:
- Clear out the boot! Keeping the boot free of unnecessary weight will give your car and immediate boost in performance and economy.
- Check your tyre pressures – dig out your owner’s manual, and do a weekly check to ensure that your tyres are correctly inflated in line with Toyota’s recommendation. Or read our handy tyre pressures article here.
- Think ahead – by planning your journeys, you can avoid traffic jams and minimise the likelihood of getting lost.
- Shut up! Closing the windows and sun roof at speeds above 45mph will reduce drag, reducing fuel consumption.
- Remove unused roof racks, boxes and bike racks – they’re a real drag too!
- Steady as she goes – maintain a steady speed and don’t go over the speed limit.
- Smoothly does it! Try to avoid sudden braking or acceleration.
Hybrid driving: hybrid-specific tips
Sorry everyone else, but these tips are for hybrids only:
- Become familiar with the hybrid information display so you can know how much energy is being used.
- EV does it! Keep the car in EV mode as much as possible by using the accelerator gently, pressing it lightly but consistently.
- Improve efficiency with ECO mode, which reduces aggressive throttle response.
- Harvest time – braking gently and early helps the regenerative braking harvest more energy, which means EV mode can operate for longer periods.
- Keep an eye on the dials and gauges to fully understand the hybrid system and manage the charge levels in the hybrid’s high-voltage battery.
- If you’re in stop-start traffic, don’t put the car in neutral (‘N’) when stationary, as electricity will not be generated and the hybrid battery will discharge.
- Consider using cruise control (where fitted) to maintain steady speeds.
- When using climate control, Re-circulate mode reduces energy usage.
- Think about the environment! Constant or heavy use of systems like air-con, lights and wipers will increase energy consumption.
Hybrid driving: drive modes
Toyota hybrids have four drive modes: Normal, EV, Eco and Power. When you first start your hybrid, the car defaults to the ‘Normal’ drive mode, which automatically manages the most efficient use of both the engine and the battery.
Drivers can also select one of the car’s on-demand drive modes to achieve better fuel consumption in certain settings.
These drive modes are: EV Mode where the car is powered by the battery only during city driving, running near-silent and with no tailpipe emissions; Eco Mode that reduces A/C output and lessens throttle response to limit harsh acceleration; and Power Mode which boosts acceleration by using the hybrid battery to assist the petrol engine.
The shift lever offers four positions: R (Reverse), N (neutral), B (engine braking) and D (drive). For normal driving, D (drive) is absolutely fine, but should you need it, position B has the effect of engine-braking handy when descending a steep hill, for example. It’s not recommended to leave the car in position B for normal driving, mainly because you’d end up using more fuel than necessary!
Hybrid driving: read the road ahead
Another great hybrid driving tip is to use the car’s battery whenever possible.
Another great hybrid driving tip is to use the car’s battery whenever possible. You can do this in town and urban driving by accelerating to your required speed, easing off the accelerator and then gently easing the accelerator on again. By doing this, you can activate EV mode – indicated by the dashboard light – which means that the engine has switched off and you are using the electric battery.
Try to maintain a constant speed and, as always, it’s important to read the road ahead. By doing this, you can reduce the amount of unnecessary braking and accelerating, using less fuel. Braking slowly and gently also maximises the amount of energy recovered by the regenerative braking system on the car.
Other factors to consider
Bear in mind that there are many factors that can affect a car’s performance, hybrid included. On cold days, your car will use more fuel as it warms up, but once it’s reached its optimum temperature, the MPG figures will increase.
Also, during the winter, you’re more likely to be using the air-conditioning, lights and wipers, all of which will use some electrical power from the battery. If you regularly travel the same route, don’t be surprised if you get better MPG figures during the summer than in the winter!
If you’d like more hybrid driving tips or want to discuss your driving technique with other hybrid owners, it’s worth visiting the Hypermiler website.
As a final note, please remember that these hybrid driving tips are published as general guidance on how to get the best fuel economy from your Toyota hybrid. Toyota encourages and supports safe driving at all times – please adhere to the rules of the road.
Read more: Toyota hybrid – how does it work?
September Production Plan | Corporate | Global Newsroom
We at Toyota would like to again apologize for the repeated adjustments to our production plans due to the parts shortage resulting from the spread of COVID-19, and for causing considerable inconvenience to our customers, who have been waiting for the delivery of vehicles, suppliers, and other parties concerned. The global production volume for September…
We at Toyota would like to again apologize for the repeated adjustments to our production plans due to the parts shortage resulting from the spread of COVID-19, and for causing considerable inconvenience to our customers, who have been waiting for the delivery of vehicles, suppliers, and other parties concerned.
The global production volume for September is expected to be approximately 850,000 units (approx. 250,000 units in Japan and 600,000 units overseas). In last month’s production plan, we announced that the average monthly production plan for the next three months (August through October) would be approximately 850,000 units, and that the planned production volume for September is in line with this plan.
At the time of this announcement, the global production plan for September through November has been revised to a higher volume, estimated to average about 900,000 units per month. This plan is based on careful confirmation of parts supply and the personnel structures and facility capacities of our suppliers. However, it remains difficult to look ahead due to the spread of COVID-19 and other factors, and we will continue to make every effort possible to deliver as many vehicles to our customers at the earliest date while closely examining the situation.
The production forecast for the fiscal year remains unchanged (approx. 9.7 million).
The following is the revised domestic operations suspension schedule for September.
Toyota and its eclectic Cruiser collective
Toyota can trace the ‘Cruiser’ nameplate to June 1954, when technical director Hanji Umehara revealed that the new name for the off-road vehicle that had become known as the Toyota Jeep would now be the Toyota Land Cruiser. An evocative description as much as a name, Land Cruiser was also felt to resonate well within…
Toyota can trace the ‘Cruiser’ nameplate to June 1954, when technical director Hanji Umehara revealed that the new name for the off-road vehicle that had become known as the Toyota Jeep would now be the Toyota Land Cruiser. An evocative description as much as a name, Land Cruiser was also felt to resonate well within the export market, which the model was about to pioneer on Toyota’s behalf.
Learn more: History of the Toyota Land Cruiser
Since then, more than ten million examples of the Land Cruiser have been sold, and through almost 70 years of continuous production, it has become the world’s most customer-trusted vehicle. But did you also realise that during this time some of that etymological magic has been sprinkled on a number of other Toyota models?
As you will see below, the Cruiser name has been associated with a further six distinct models. These have been bigger, smaller, roomier, retro-inspired and conceptual, yet all are connected by that common Cruiser heritage. And what’s more, one of these vehicles will see the designation go much, much further than any Land Cruiser has ever been before.
Toyota Urban Cruiser
Introduced in Europe in 2009 in response to growing customer demand for urban-friendly SUVs, the Toyota Urban Cruiser distilled the rugged, go-anywhere qualities of its distinguished big brother into a new B-segment model that was close in spirit to the original three-door RAV4.
But more than simply being compact and practical, the Urban Cruiser provided an important milestone in the motor industry. The top-spec 1.4-litre D-4D AWD model achieved the world’s lowest CO2 output for a four-wheel drive car, and in its relatively short, four-year life in the UK market played an important role in helping Toyota continue to reduce its overall emissions levels.
Toyota FJ Cruiser
Visitors to the 2003 North American International Motor Show were given an unexpected treat, with Toyota’s surprise unveiling of the FJ Cruiser concept clearly inspired by the legendary 40 Series Land Cruiser. So well-received was the design study that it returned to Detroit two years later as a full production model, initially for the left-hand drive United States market.
Based on the contemporary 120 Series Land Cruiser Prado, the FJ Cruiser had impeccable off-road credentials to back up its highly styled body. This is why the model was later produced in right-hand drive for discerning off-road markets such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Japan. In fact, as of January 2020 and after 14 years of continuous production, you could still buy a brand new FJ Cruiser in the Middle East.
Toyota Tj Cruiser
Fusing the roominess of a van with the aesthetics of an SUV, the Toyota Tj Cruiser was displayed at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show as a concept designed to seamlessly dovetail work and play. The ‘T’ stood for ‘toolbox’ in reference to the vehicle’s boxlike practicality, while the lower case ‘j’ referenced the ‘joy’ drivers could experience in using its four-wheel drive chassis to reach the most inaccessible of locations.
The interior of the Tj Cruiser rivalled the Swiss Army Knife for practicality, with multi-configurable seats that could fold flat to create a double bed-size space, and sturdy side rails that could be configured to mount all sorts of accessories. The fact that the Tj Cruiser was built on the TNGA platform has led some people to predict that it is destined for production. However, we can neither confirm nor deny this assertion.
Toyota Mega Cruiser
Toyota’s answer to the American military’s Hummer H1 marked the biggest and most heavy-duty Cruiser derivative to date. In fact, similar to its US equivalent, the Japan-only Mega Cruiser was originally developed as an unstoppable infantry transport vehicle for the Japan Ground Self-Defence Force. But it was later decided that Toyota’s Gifu Auto Body subsidiary would build a very limited run of civilian models from January 1996 to August 2001.
With a footprint exceeding five metres by two metres, the Mega Cruiser must have been incredibly intimidating from the perspective of a Kei car driver. What’s more, with full-time four-wheel drive, four-wheel steering, immense ground clearance, near-vertical approach and departure angles, and grip-seeking differentials across every torque plane, there was no terrain that proved too intimidating for this monster to tackle.
Toyota Space Cruiser
The Toyota Space Cruiser was one of the first people carriers in the UK market and, despite being lauded as the only production vehicle in the world with two ‘moonroofs’, was unmistakably based on the Liteace van. That would change, of course, with its bespoke successor, the Toyota Previa of 1990. But there was still much to like about the Space Cruiser, from its eight-person capacity and (almost) mid-engine architecture to the fact it was rear-wheel drive and that the second and third row of seats could be folded flat to make a convincing double bed.
From 1983 to 1990, a grand total of 9,346 examples were sold in the UK, the majority of which were equipped with the more powerful 2.0-litre engine, as opposed to the launch 1.8-litre unit. At the time, a 2.0-litre displacement sounded generous but the Y-series engine was built for durability rather than speed. Its 87bhp output was therefore never able to propel it to warp speed.
Toyota Lunar Cruiser
This is the concept vehicle that will take the Cruiser nameplate further than ever before. The recently revealed Lunar Cruiser was given its illustrious name because the quality, durability and reliability that are necessary to keep its occupants alive in the vacuum of space are the same values that Toyota has held sacrosanct in the Land Cruiser line for 70 years.
Dwarfing even the Mega Cruiser in terms of size, proposals for the forthcoming Lunar Cruiser pitch its proportions as being approximately akin to two minibuses parked side to side. The pressurised living quarters provide 13 cubic metres of space for up to four occupants, which is about twice the size of the load volume of a long-wheelbase Toyota Proace. As the nearest refuelling station for the hydrogen fuel cell powertrain is half a million miles away, the vehicle has tanks big enough for a range of around 6,200 miles!
Toyota Compact Cruiser Concept
At the other end of the scale to the Luna Cruiser above comes this Compact Cruiser. Designed to show how the ‘Cruiser’ moniker can adapt to an all-electric and ultra-modern environment, it borrows styling cues from the first-generation Land Cruiser the Toyota Compact Cruiser Concept draws off more than 70 years of Land Cruiser and off-road heritage and even won the prestigious 2022 Car Design Award for it’s looks.
Discover more about the Toyota Land Cruiser by clicking here.
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