THE PILGRIMAGE EVERY CRUISER FAN NEEDS TO TAKE
You know the feeling: the singular rush of passing a fellow Land Cruiser on the road.
Now, imagine seeing over 100 different Cruisers — each unique and gorgeously preserved — all in one place, accessible year-round.
This paradise exists. It’s the Land Cruiser Heritage Museum in Salt Lake City, UT.
There’s a reason this place has a cumulative 5-star rating (out of more than 800 reviews) on Google Business.
Multiple reasons, actually. The rich history and spirit of the Land Cruiser is well-captured in the bones of the building itself, the design choices and layout, and the overall ambiance of the museum.
Diehard or newbie, you’ll want to check it out.
The museum’s muse
The museum collection was curated by Utah-born Greg Miller, former CEO of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies.
Miller grew up surrounded by cars, as his father, Larry, started a career with Toyota in 1968 as a Parts Manager and opened his own store in Murray, UT, in 1979.
His family drove F J60s as demos and took F J55s on vacations to Canyonlands, and Greg Miller even took his driver’s test in an F J60.
After a successful career in the automotive industry, Miller undertook the voyage of a lifetime with overland adventurer Scott Brady. He led Expeditions 7, in which they drove the same vehicle — a custom VDJ78 — on all seven continents, a feat never done before nor since.
In 2012, while preparing for the expedition in Toyota City, Japan, Miller toured three different Toyota museums and found that there were no Land Cruisers in any of the museums, with the exception of a Willys Jeep.
That realization sparked the idea for a Toyota-sanctioned Land Cruiser museum, which he started shortly thereafter with 40 Cruisers at the ribbon-cutting in Tooele, UT.
Miller’s goal was to acquire and display one of every Land Cruiser model ever produced, and the current collection — of more than 100 — is truly a sight to behold.
The path to the perfect location
Initially, the museum housed the automobiles at the former Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, but in 2015 it moved to a warehouse on 600 South in Salt Lake that was more conducive to visitor traffic.
Now, the Land Cruiser collection is housed in a location even more worthy of its unique function and aesthetic: a retired Salt Lake steel factory that was in operation from 1912 to 2018, the May Foundry.
Renovations of the new space began in 2019 and were completed in 2021, when the museum officially re-opened in the new location.
The current location captures a spirit of nature and progress with proximity to both the Salt Lake City foothills and the Union Pacific railroad (you’ll likely hear a train horn during your visit).
A taste of what you’ll discover
In the museum, you’ll find the 104 Land Cruisers arrayed in striking rows, each vehicle complete with a plaque detailing the history, biography, and specs of that particular model.
There are also standalone engines to explore, a 13-foot tall 3D-printed topographical map of Utah, and a remote control Land Cruiser and toy model display for the RC aficionado (or to occupy your kids in tow).
Best of all?
Land Cruiser expert Dan Busey — who was Parts Manager at Larry H. Miller American Toyota in Albuquerque for 26 years — works at the museum and is more than thrilled to geek out with patrons and answer the most technical of questions about any of the models.
An evolving exhibit
Now that Miller’s vision has come to fruition, it might seem his excitement about the museum foundation would fizzle.
Both walking through the museum himself and sharing the collection with patrons is “still a thrill,” Miller explained in an interview in 2018. While he values preserving the heritage of Land Cruisers, his objective is just as much to inspire people to do adventurous things.
And the pursuit isn’t over, anyway.
The Land Cruiser Heritage Museum is continually seeking specialty Toyotas to add to the collection and will pay up to $10,000 finders fees for a particularly rare model.
More Cruiser content:
- Browse the virtual gallery of the museum’s full collection and check out the reference guide
- Check out photos from the 2021 CruiserFest, the museum’s annual celebratory, educational, Cruiser networking event