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The Japanese Emperor’s car.

Did you know that Toyota made ultra luxurious cars that could weigh against Rolls Royces, Bentleys and Maybachs? Welcome to the Toyota Century. This chauffeur driven car has an unsung legacy, that served the luxus needs of the Japanese Emperors since generations. Yes, you read that right. The imperial family of Japan wouldn’t go beyond Toyota for their cars.

Toyota knows this, and deals with the immense responsibility and pressure in tailoring Toyota Centuries to the royals of Japan.

This car you see, is a second generation Century powered by an insane Japanese 5.0 Litre V-12!
Sadly though, the Century did not sit well with the rich folks outside Japan, when Toyota tried launching it in Germany, Austria, Great Britain, and in the Middle East, selling hardly 100 units.

Since then, Toyota never tried an international launch with its Century again.
The Century isn’t really a driver’s car, because they don’t expect their typical customers to drive it around. These cars are meant to be chaffuered, whilst the Japanese King or a high-end executive or say a business magnate who would be seated back, sips tea and reads from a newspaper without any disturbance. Oh that’s right, most of the Japanese elite folks prefer newspapers over digital or electronic media.

Toyota Century falls within the definition of overwhelming opulence derived from sheer Japanese culture.
Unlike an average Rolls Royce or Bentley with an interior dipped in leather, the designers behind the Century do not equate leather with luxury at the expense of cattle slaughter. It’s all wool inside. Respect! Besides leather is just too noisy and annoying for the Japanese aristocracy.

There’s more to the Century, than you would imagine. The paint job on a Century is by far the finest, compared to any car on the planet you name. Trust me, no Maybach, Bentley, or Rolls Royce would come close to beating the paint job on a Toyota Century. These cars are actually painted and wet sanded by hand. As of now, only four people in the world are eligible or in other words skilled enough to paint a Century. These four craftsmen were heavily trained in lacquering techniques prior to letting them having their hands on a Century. The Japanese are pioneers at lacquering objects ever since 7000 years, if you were a bit uninitiated about their history. Hence Toyota ought to remain true to the Japanese heritage and culture, when delivering cars to the Emperor.

Speaking of the second-gen Century, it is apparently the only Japanese car with a V-12. Not even Lexus was allowed to lend the V-12. This example is an insanely elaborate luxury car with an embarrassing number of switches and options in the inside. Most of the functions are printed in Japanese, which is sort of a pain in the ass to figure which switch does what. Interesting fact : there’s an effing cassette recorder ingrained inside the hand rest dividing the backseats of the limousine. The theory was that you’re an important executive who would want to dictate and record your ideas while you’re on the move and stuck in Tokyo traffic, so that you could later on hand the cassette over to your assistant to type them out for you!


Nihar Hareesh View All

Founder, Content Creator at The Krankshaft.

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