July 22, 2022
Toyota Land Cruiser Handbook
Today we have a super cool document that was loaned to us by @jomelo1 (@jomelo on ih8mud). I have never before seen this document and was super excited to get a chance to look it over and scan it for everyone to enjoy! A huge thanks to @jomelo1 and @89nolder for making this happen. Due to the odd nature of this book (its hole punched and bound construction) it was very hard to scan, so some text is not legible and some pages not perfectly square and flat. But really it doesn't matter....
Let's get into it! But first a little background to show why this sales document is important.
The year is 1964 and Toyota USA is extremely keen on growth. Despite having entered the US market (specifically California) on Halloween (Oct. 31st) of 1957, they had only achieved minimal growth. Back at home in Japan, Toyota was already a household name with its best selling, rugged and high quality automobiles. However, in the US sales were very low. From 1958-1961 Toyota USA only sold 2713 vehicles and the numbers were falling! In fact, Toyota sold 1028 Toyopet Crowns and FJ25s in 1959 alone.... but in 1960 they only sold 821 vehicles and in 1961 a measly 576! What changed? The main factor was that the big American automakers noticed the market for small efficient cars and in 1960 launched the Falcon, Valiant and Corvair. Furthermore, Volkswagen was starting to dominate the import market. Toyota had to act if it was to save itself in the US market. They cut costs and cut their staff in half to 32 people and hunkered down in their Hollywood showroom/headquarters. In 1961 they also made two very important and wise decisions. First, they decided to drop the Toyopet Crown, including the Toyopet name. The 1960 Crown, while reliable and rugged as it was, lacked the "creature comforts" and performance that the US market demanded.
The name Toyopet, with Toy and Pet in the name didn't conjure up good confidence in consumers. In withdrawing the Crown from the market they decided to wait for engineers in Japan to come up with a worthy and competitive replacement (the Corona). Risky to completely withdraw a whole model and wait for a replacement... but Toyota was smart and had an ace up its sleeve. The Land Cruiser .
From 1961-1964, the Land Cruiser was the only vehicle that Toyota USA sold! 1961 was also the first year of the 40 series, the 20 series cruisers stopped production in 1960. With its new 40 series Land Cruiser, Toyota was taking a gamble with relaying on one vehicle to carry the entire marque, but as we all know this is no ordinary vehicle, and Toyota is no ordinary company. The Land Cruiser offered something no one else could touch, and let's be frank , has never touched. The new 40 series was versatile, reliable, capable and powerful for its day. For a juxtaposition, the 1961 Jeep offered 75 hp, 114lb-ft of torque and a top speed of 60mph, Land Rovers offered about 70hp, 124lb-ft and a top speed of 67mph. The FJ40 came with 135hp, 217lb-ft of torque and a top speed of 90mph! Of course it offered way more benefits than those reductionist and basic stats!
Side note, I have never heard of anyone going 90mph in a completely stock 1961 FJ40 (w/stock size tires) and don't advise trying. hahaha
Even with just one vehicle to sell, Toyota started to see an increase in sales! In 1962, 1963 and 1964, Toyota sold 711, 1096 and 2029 Land Cruisers, respectively. Go Land Cruiser!
That brings us back to 1964! Sales were increasing steadily and it would still be another year before the new Coronas would arrive. Toyota still needed to sell lots of Land Cruisers to keep its growth going... and with their growing list of dealers around the country they set to work. To help salesmen move cruisers and show people just how awesome Land Cruisers were compared to the field. Toyota hired the advertising agency Clinton E. Frank, Inc which presented the Land Cruiser as epitome of class and the Rolls Royce of 4x4s. Furthermore, instructional information packets were made to educate them. That is where this awesome document comes in. "The Toyota Land Cruiser Handbook". Check it out... especially the sales instructions!
I love the sales instructions so much. The details it asks you to highlight are awesome. Like the 4 gallons of coolant in the radiator, the electric wipers (that are not synced and crazy), the "large" windshield giving you unusual visibility. :D Other little details are interesting, like the fact that the distributor is "high up" to allow for better water-crossing protection, the fact that the column shift not only frees up floor room, but is also appealing to the "women of the family" because its like a regular passenger car. hahaha.
In the demonstration area, the highlight for me is when it recommends showing that it will drive at 65-70mph with no strain. As the owner of a 1964 build date FJ40... even with 33" tires, going 65-70mph was definitely not a "strain" free endeavor. The scream of the inline-6 F135 engine at those speeds sounds like it will literally send a piston through the side of the block at any moment. But then again.. there are brave people that happily cruise at those speeds in their 60s Land Cruisers.... cough.. Nolen... cough.
While this document is certainly a Toyota publication, it seems to be something made either just in the US on a lower level by corporate, or by a specific more localized dealer network. It's construction and printing definitely do not indicate this was something made in Japan for the US market, but also not something made by one dealer. That makes this document exceedingly rare as internal dealer/sales documents are rarely kept as a collectible, unlike brochures for the public.
The information is solid gold for both Land Cruiser lovers as a whole and specifically early cruiser owners who want to restore their rigs. The photos and specs on how a 1964 Land Cruiser would have looked are always very helpful and interesting. In addition to the factory specs and configurations, the options list on the sales sheet is cool!
If you look at the options list you will see some very interesting items offered from the dealer! First, I love that someone filled in some things they were interested in. Cool to see what someone back then was thinking for their purchase. You will of course notice some well known names, like Con-Ferr , Warn, Eaton, Ramsey and Husky. Now the aftermarket heaters are not a surprise, what is though is that a factory heater is not one of them! We covered those here (DENSO). The form does say "other equipment" so maybe there were more options than listed.... like the factory PTO vs the aftermarket. The crazy thing that caught my attention was the air conditioner system! A Frigette for $325, an expensive option back then for sure. Anyone seen one of these in a early 40?
Some of you may be asking, what the heck is a Capehart Fuel Level Control? The person was interested for $14.65 (about $130 today)! Well apparently it was a crazy secondary float device that helped control excess gas in your carburetor fuel bowl. You had to drill holes in your carb (yikes) and install the overflow fittings. The gas would flow back down to this crazy glass bowl/float system that would then reintroduce gas back in to your fuel line. The idea is that it would reduce excess gas from going into the carb and flooding it and running rich. Nice idea but talk about introducing more crazy components to your fuel system.
The other cool item on the spec sheet that may be new to some people is the Jiffy top for the FJ45 pickups. These tops were neat in that they not only provided a canopy for cargo protection, but the bows were on a rail system so they could fold up to make cargo unloading easier. At $94 (about $800 in todays prices), it seemed like a great deal!
Here is a folded Jiffy top on a Ford pickup:
The rest of the accessories are well known and I couldn't find info on the Terra "high flotation wheels" . I wont break down everything in this document because you should just go and dive into yourself, and discover stuff YOU love, so I guess its time to leave 1964 . :(
This handbook was truly a pleasure to read and I hope you all enjoyed it as well. It was fun to imagine, if only for a second, buying a brand new FJ45LV for $3600USD! This handbook is a true gem of Land Cruiser history, especially in a category of literature we often do not get to see. The Cruiser Cult is just a conduit in bringing you access to this document, we should all thank @jomelo1 for granting us access to this cool document, letting us scan it and host it for everyone to see and learn from. It's the community efforts like these that really enrich the experience for us all and we really appreciate it.
Also a big thank you to @89nolder for facilitating this document getting to us. If you have any cool cruiser literature you want to share with us... to host and share with others please reach out. Cheers everyone!