Series 70 through 79
In 1984 Toyota introduced an
all new model to directly
replace the aging 24 year old 40
series.  That model was the 70
series.  The 2nd longest running
Toyota model and still in
production.  Over the years,
Toyota has produced a number
of different varients.  None of
which were ever sold in the
United States.  This page will
describe each of those varients,
of one of the best off road
vehicles ever produced, in
Note to readers: Because this page was becoming so large, I created four seperate 70 series
pages which can be accessed via this 70 series mainpage.  The Landcruiser 70 series is broken
down into four main catagories.  The short and medium wheel base models  (70,71,72,73 & 74)
the original long wheelbase models (75,76,77), the new generation long wheelbase models
(78,79) and the light duty Bundera and Prado models.  Each catagory now has it's own page.
Please follow the links below.

To view my old 70-79 series page (now oudated) click HERE
The 70-series of today contains, according to Mr. Osamu Shinodu, chief engineer of the LC70 Product Planning
Division, "all of the threads of history."

The biggest change was made in the transition from the 40-series to the 70-series. The market still demanded
heavy-duty vehicles, but RV-type users were increasing and both had to be satisfied. While some people in Japan
thought that the Land Cruiser was still too heavy and overbuilt in terms of quality, people in Arab countries
complained that the Land Cruiser was becoming too soft. It was thanks to these competing needs, however, that
the Land Cruiser was able to diversify in the directions it has today.

There were limits to what could be done to modernise the old design of the 40-series. The chief engineer at the
time, Mr. Masaomi Yoshii, therefore introduced a complete overhaul in the design. In November of 1984, a new
70-series was born, bringing to a close a 29-year era during which the 40-series (and the 20-series) remained
unchanged.  Although it should be noted that the 40 series did continue in production for the limited market of
Brazil, through 2001.

The first requirement for the new series was that the new Land Cruiser should not sacrifice any of its toughness,
so a strong ladder frame was outfitted with rigid leaf springs. The body plates were thickened by 1mm for added
strength. While leaving something of the image of the 40-series, such as externally added fenders, it was also
given modern features such as curved glass. As before, there were three body types available, the short 70 (soft
top and van). the middle wheelbase 73 (FRP top) and the long wheelbase 75.

Following the addition of several engine types, including the BJ74 LX with automatic transmission, the 70-series
wagon underwent a complete makeover in April 1990. In addition to the original 2-door, a 4-door semi-long model
was introduced. Its name was changed to the Prado, and with other design changes it took on its own identity,
making the transition to a passenger vehicle and later branching off to it's own 90 series.

The design of the 70-series had little in common with its predecessor 40-series, but it did retain the heavy-duty
image using lots of straight lines.

Toyota created several variations of the 70 series through the model run from 1984 through today.  Most were of
the standard Landcruiser heavy duty frame and axles and familier body style of the 70 series.  But a few were
turned into "light duty" Landcruisers.  While retaining the same body style, these light duty cruisers used similier
axles as the Hilux, but coil springs at all four corners.  They also used the Hilux L series diesel engines or R
series petrol engines.   Most were sold in the short 70 series wheel base design, but a few were built as medium
and long wheelbase models and called the Prado.  As mentioned above, the Prado would later be redesigned and
branch off as it's own series in 1996.

Until 1999, most heavy duty 70 series models used leaf springs and solid axles front and rear and either a 6
cylinder diesel or 6 cylinder petrol engine.  Some earlier models used a 5 cylinder diesel engine.   In 1999, Toyota
introduced the most significant update to the 70 series since it's introduction in 1984.  The new series was called
the 78 and was sold exclusively in long wheelbase pick-up or wagon models (often called troop carriers).   The
new 78 series looked indentical to the older versions, but was actually wider and had more interior room.  In
addition, the front and rear suspension was revised.  Solid axles were retained, but the front now used coil
springs, while the rear had longer leaf springs.  Some models even got a snorkle as a standard factory option.   
By 2002, Toyota finally included it's most powerfull 4.2 liter turbo diesel as an optional engine in the 78 series.   
All of this,  makes the 78 series, the most off road capable Landcruiser ever built.   And hopefully Toyota will see
fit to continue production for many more years to come.  It's quite clear, this is the last off road serious
Landcruiser, unless Toyota takes the unlikely step of creating an all new direct replacement for this series.
The gateway to all the 70 series Landcruisers