Cliff Weichelt founded N1 4X4 in August 1995 after he recognised the need for original, reconditioned and replacement parts for Toyota Land Cruiser and Toyota 4x4 Vehicles. The first store was situated 25 kilometres north of Pretoria next to the N1 highway, which is how the company derived its name. Originally the focus was on used parts and as demand grew, new parts were included in the offering.
Today N1 4x4 is one of the largest importers and suppliers of original, reconditioned and replacement parts for Toyota Land Cruiser and Toyota 4x4 Vehicles in South Africa. We import parts from China, Japan, Taiwan, Italy, Dubai, India and Australia and ship parts across South Africa and Africa as well as internationally. It is our mission to provide Toyota Land Cruiser and 4x4 enthusiasts with a one-stop solution for all their 4x4 needs.
We are grateful for the support of our customers on this journey. Without you N1 4×4 would not be a success story. We will continue to strive to meet the needs of our Land Cruiser and Toyota 4×4 owners and we welcome any suggestions on how we can serve you better.
The history of the Toyota Land Cruiser began just after World War II in 1950. On June 25 of 1950, North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) suddenly invaded South Korea (Republic of Korea), and the Korean War had begun.
At that time Japan played a role as a supply base for the US Military, and with the Korean War, all military production went into full-time operation.
When the Japanese National Police Reserve Forces (now called the Self-Defense Forces) was first established it depended entirely on the U.S. Military for all of its equipment, however very quickly the need for domestic sources of supply was recognised. Part of the motivation was to create a base in Japan through which the U.S. Military could procure military vehicles for use throughout the Asia region and Japanese automakers were asked to produce prototypes for compact 4X4 trucks and other vehicles.
In response, Toyota began designing such vehicles in August of the same year and by January of 1951 had produced a prototype. At the time there were many Jeeps being driven in Japan, which had been brought in by the occupying forces and the Jeep came to be the symbol of the 4X4. For this reason, Toyota called its prototype the Toyota Jeep and the combination of a B-type engine with a Jeep model was known as the BJ.
The National Police Reserve Forces ultimately selected the Willys Jeep and rejected the Toyota Jeep BJ. In July of the same year test driver Ichiro Taira did a test run of the BJ under the supervision of officials from the National Police Agency and performed brilliantly, climbing by car all the way up to the No. 6 checkpoint on Mt. Fuji. The test run was viewed favourably and in August the model was officially adopted as the patrol car for the National Police Agency.
Large-scale production of the Toyota Jeep BJ did not begin until August of 1953. In the first year, 298 Toyota Jeep BJs rolled off the production line. Later, in addition to the patrol car for the National Police Agency, Toyota also received orders from the Forestry and Agricultural Agency and from Electric Power Companies.