The Toyota Land Cruiser (Japanese: Toyota Rando-kurūzā) is a series of four-wheel drive vehicles produced by the Japanese car maker Toyota Motor Corporation. Development of the first generation Land Cruiser began in 1951 as Toyota's version of a Jeep-like vehicle and production started in 1954. The Land Cruiser has been produced in convertible, hardtop, station wagon, and utility truck versions. The Land Cruiser's reliability and longevity has led to huge popularity, especially in Australia where it is the best-selling full-size, body-on-frame, four-wheel drive vehicle. Toyota also extensively tests the Land Cruiser in the Australian outback — considered to be one of the toughest operating environments in both temperature and terrain.
In 1941 the Imperial Japanese Army occupied the Philippines, where they found an old Bantam Mk II, and promptly brought it to Japan. The Japanese military authorities commanded Toyota to make a similar vehicle but to not model the appearance on the American Jeep. The prototype was called the Model AK and was formally adopted by The Japanese Imperial Army as the Yon-Shiki Kogata Kamotsu-Sha (type 4 compact cargo-truck).
Later in 1941 the Japanese government asked Toyota to produce a light truck for the Japan military campaign. Toyota developed a 1/2 ton prototype called the AK10 in 1942. The AK10 was built using reverse-engineering from the Bantam GP. There are no known surviving photographs of the AK10. The only known pictorial representations are some rough sketches. The truck featured an upright front grille, flat front wheel arches that angled down and back like the FJ40, headlights mounted above the wheel arches on either side of the radiator and a folding windshield.
The AK10 used the 2259 cc, 4-cylinder Type C engine from the Toyota Model AE sedan with a three-speed manual transmission and two-speed transfer gearbox connected to it. There is no mechanical relationship between the AK10 and the postwar Toyota "Jeep" BJ. Most of the AK10's were not actively used (unlike the U.S. Jeep) and there are almost no photographs of it in the battlefield.