Toyota’s chief engineer paid a flying visit to Australia to celebrate the Toyota Land Cruiser Club’s 50th anniversary.

Established by a small group of enthusiasts in 1969, the club had 13 inaugural members.

Now, 50 years later, it has grown to about 3000 members whose passion for the car has made it one of the largest car clubs in Australia.

To honour the milestone occasion, Toyota LandCruiser Chief Engineer Sadayoshi Koyari made a private trip from Japan to join the celebrations.

He also took the opportunity to present members with a commemorative trophy designed by Toyota Australia’s Product Planning and Design department.

Koyari-san said he was extremely proud to be in Australia to help celebrate this momentous anniversary.

“Our LandCruiser has been sold across the globe but nowhere has it been so embraced as here in Australia and it’s the passionate members of this club that have helped build its reputation for rugged durability far and wide,” he said.

“Not only that, it has been instrumental in forging the wonderful friendships that I have seen here tonight and I wish the Land Cruiser Club all the very best for its next 50 years.”

Club president, Bob Fyfe, said he was proud to have had the strong support of Toyota both here in Australia and in Japan, right from the very beginning.

“The Toyota LandCruiser was the vehicle that gave the company its start here in Australia but as our members quickly discovered, it was far more than a workhorse, being a truly capable 4WD that was perfectly suited to exploring this great country of ours for fun,” he said.

“Whether that’s crossing the deserts of central Australia, fording deep rivers in the Top End or picking your way through dense forests on little more than a goat-track, our members have experienced it all over the past half-century.

“But it’s not just about the vehicle that you drive, it’s about the skills that you gain, and the amazing people and places you encounter and that’s what has made our club the strongest in the country,” he said.

The gathering was given a sneak peek of the newly styled special edition Toyota LandCruiser, due to land in Australian showrooms in the first quarter of next year.

Based on the top-of-the-range LC200 Sahara, this special celebratory edition features a number of exterior trim highlights and unique embossed leather-accented seats.

For more information on the Toyota Land Cruiser Club of Australia or to become a member, please visit: https://tlcc.worldsecuresystems.com/

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Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.