The Toyota Century screams luxurious and mafia vibes, particularly whenever you see one with the manufacturing unit black paint however is it higher than a Lexus LS400? Toyota started producing the Century in 1967 as its flagship ultra-luxury sedan sitting above its smaller brother, the Toyota Crown. It was made for the rich and high-ranking authorities officers and businessmen in Japan.
In Japan, the Toyota Century symbolizes wealth and calls for respect. There’s a hearsay you can depart your Toyota Century with open home windows and doorways, but nobody will attempt to peep inside. However what does a Toyota Century must demand respect? In any case, to most, It’s only a Toyota.
The Century is likely one of the few vehicles which have maintained originality because it was first produced. The resemblance between the first-gen Century (G20, G30, G40) and the third-gen (G60), made in 2018, is uncanny. However that is anticipated when a automobile has solely been produced for 3 generations because it was first produced.
In contrast to different Toyota sedans, the Century was solely offered in Japan. To this point, no export left-hand-drive items have been made. Apart from experimental and ambassadorial items for Japanese ambassadors. So, what do it’s important to do to get your self a Toyota Century?
There are some items on the market within the US, however homeowners have a love-hate relationship with their Toyota Centuries. They’re enjoyable vehicles to drive and personal, particularly whenever you suppose that there are few items within the US, however on the subject of upkeep, most homeowners are inclined to promote primarily due to the prices.
Shopping for from JDM car importers or on-line listings is the best manner to purchase a Toyota Century. However importing one from Japan is an alternative choice if you happen to can’t discover the right spec.
A Toyota Century may be the most effective Toyota you possibly can ever personal, to some, even higher than the Toyota Supra. However earlier than you resolve to purchase one, it is best to think about some professionals and cons. Not each JDM automobile has a candy cherry on prime.
Execs and Cons
Glorious Construct High quality
The Toyota Century was constructed to commemorate the 100th birthday of Toyota’s founder, Sakichi Toyoda. It needed to be distinctive and symbolize Toyota’s model in Japan because the main automotive producer. To this point, Toyota Nonetheless makes the Century the identical manner it was first produced.
With high-ranking businessmen and politicians because the goal market, Toyota needed to make the Century stand out amongst different luxurious sedans they had been producing and people from different producers.
There’s not a lot you can provide the Century credit score for from the outside, because it seems like some other luxurious sedan. Other than the chrome bits, alloy wheels, and gold Century badges, there’s nothing a lot to go about. However the paint job will final a lifetime as all generations have 7 coats of hand-painted paint. However paint is only a minor figuring out issue when shopping for a JDM limo.
Sure, the Toyota Century is extra of a limo than a sedan. You’re welcomed within the inside by not material or leather-based seats however woollen ones. You may even discover one with the unique cotton seat covers, a attribute of New York taxis. Woollen seats are higher than leather-based seats as they provide higher consolation and last more. However leather-based seats had been supplied at no additional price. The seat covers defend the wool from getting soiled and pilling.
It makes extra sense being within the Toyota Century as a passenger than being the driving force. Not that being the driving force is horrible since you continue to get pleasure from that clean V8 or V12 engine, however you’ll get pleasure from all options just like the rear seat passenger. You additionally get some enjoyable controls on the driving force’s aspect, akin to controls to the entrance passenger seat, all home windows and a lit instrument cluster, not like the analog instrument cluster in most JDM vehicles.
Within the rear seat, you get massaging seats with heating and reclining performance and ashtrays on every door if you happen to want lighting a cigar and a separate stereo from the principle stereo.
Tech used within the Toyota Century was forward of its time. The most recent mannequin, G60, has related options however is up to date to fashionable tech. It won’t make sense at this time, however you get a cassette recorder with Century branded earphones to hearken to recordings.
You may choose 3 Toyota Crowns for the worth of a Toyota Century. However the Toyota Century is an inexpensive buy in comparison with different vehicles in its class, such because the Mercedes Benz S class. There is no such thing as a base spec, and excessive spec trims for the Toyota Century, as this was not Toyota’s intention.
The one distinguishing options are the engine choices. Costs for a Toyota Century with a V12 engine begin at round $25,000, whereas mannequin years with V8 engines retail for round $10,000 or decrease. In comparison with an S-Class or Rolls Royce of the identical yr, the Toyota Century is the most affordable possibility you may have if you’re planning on shopping for a traditional limo. It’s additionally probably the most dependable, that means upkeep is cheaper.
Has a V12 Engine.
For $30,000, you may get your self a JDM luxurious limo which, on this case, is the Toyota Century, significantly the second technology (G50) made out of 1997 to 2017. It’s the one mass-produced JDM car with a V12 engine.
You get the G50 Century with two V12 engines with a 5-litre displacement. The commonest one is the 1GZ-FE, principally utilized in Japan, whereas choose export fashions have a 1GZ-FNE with a bit extra horsepower.
Smokey Nagata used the 1GZ-FE V12 engine in his Supra construct, which enabled him to succeed in speeds of over 220mph. Nevertheless, this isn’t one thing you need to do in a Toyota Century. The primary benefit of the V12 engine is to make sure fixed energy supply at each high and low RPMs; thus, the engine doesn’t wrestle to tug the Century’s large weight.
The Toyota Century is dependable for a automobile with a 4.0-litre or 5.0-litre engine. Mannequin years with V12 engines will common round 11mpg whereas these will V8 engines will common round 19mpg. Which isn’t dangerous for a 4500-pound to 6500-pound automobile. Substitute elements may be arduous to seek out and costly to purchase. Nonetheless, you don’t have to fret about vital parts breaking down.
The Toyota Century was made for patrons who bundle giant luggage and suitcases within the trunk on the best way to the airport and add reward luggage after getting back from a business trip. It makes the right tour automobile for if you find yourself doing journeys to the seashore, upcountry, or when doing long-period highway journeys throughout the nation along with associates.
Within the inside, there are small however sensible storage areas the place you possibly can maintain the automobile’s upkeep schedule, playing cards, and small instruments. Additionally, you need to use these storage areas to maintain the automobile’s pictorial or written documentation if you find yourself in a automobile present or at a automobile meet. The Toyota Century is uncommon in the US, and most JDM fanatics wouldn’t cross an opportunity to discover one.
Most are in Mint Situation
In contrast to different JDM sedans, the Toyota Century is exceptionally preserved. Whatever the variety of homeowners it has been by, you’ll discover all the things OEM intact and in pristine situation. The woollen inside was made to final a lifetime of ferrying the high-ranking members of the society. They not often spill drinks or use the automobile that a lot for the inside to wear down. Certain, the Toyota Century has plastic bits like some other Toyota, however it’s not the sort that cracks and fades over time.
Tracing the upkeep schedule shouldn’t be arduous since most homeowners doc each minor upkeep and alternative accomplished.
Additionally, the Toyota Century is just not the kind of automobile you’ll discover on a drift observe thrown round in tight corners or a tuner store being dyno tuned. Some have tried straight-piping the exhaust, however that is so far as modifications go for the Toyota Century. If you wish to absolutely max out the V12 or V8 engine, you might be higher off swapping it into one other automobile.
Secure (Rear Facet Airbags)
The Toyota Century is among the many first vehicles to have twin entrance, and side-impact airbags since most autos solely had the driving force’s aspect airbag on the manufacturing time. Additionally, the Toyota Century was the primary automobile to have rear side-impact airbags embedded on the outer edges of the seats.
Nevertheless, these security options come at a worth. However if you happen to want security above efficiency, the Toyota Century is the higher possibility, particularly if you’ll day by day drive it. Different security options embody ABS, parking help alert, pre-collision warning system, blind-spot monitor, and cruise management that are all commonplace.
Older luxurious sedans just like the Toyota Century had been forward of time on the time of manufacturing. Nonetheless, some options get outdated with the ever-evolving tech. Seeing options akin to a colored sign TV in a automobile 30 years in the past is one thing that will make patrons purchase the automobile with out even considering twice. However at this time, we have now Apple Automotive Play and Android Auto, which stomps on outdated tech anytime.
For the reason that Toyota Century was primarily made for the Japanese market, all of the controls are marked in Chinese language. You’ll discover tuning the TV, Stereo, or instrument cluster arduous until you may have a translator app in your cellphone. However if you’re fortunate, you may discover a Toyota Century with the unique proprietor’s guide, which has Chinese language and English sections.
Doesn’t have Leather-based Seats
A Toyota Century with leather-based seats is tough to return throughout because it got here commonplace with woollen seats, which most patrons most popular. Leather-based seats had been modified at no additional price, however they aren’t extra comfy than woollen seats.
Woollen seats will last more however are excessive upkeep since they develop fuzzy balls and get soiled faster when used. Alternatively, leather-based is low-maintenance because it’s simpler to scrub. When you want leather-based seats, the Toyota Century is just not the automobile for you until you propose on doing an upholstery. However this ruins the originality of the automobile.
Few items can be found within the US
The Toyota Century was by no means offered exterior Japan. Only a few items had been exported to different nations for high-ranking authorities officers and experimental functions solely. Discovering one that’s LHD is a one-in-a-million chance, and also you shouldn’t dedicate your self to discovering one.
Some homeowners are reluctant to promote after growing a love-hate relationship with the Toyota Century. Upkeep prices may be excessive, however there’s an opportunity they’ll by no means see one other Century once more.
RHD items can be found however not often on the market. Therefore, the one possibility is to import one by an import company within the US or an exporter in Japan. However it’s important to think about the 25-year import rule, or else you’ll have bother with the authorities relying in your state.
Excessive Upkeep Prices
There are only a few minor points it is best to fear about concerning the Toyota Century’s upkeep. However one thing so simple as a management arm or any suspension parts will make you would like you wouldn’t have purchased it within the first place.
It’s a must to await elements to be shipped from Japan which is the one place you may get unique elements. The Toyota Century has extra OEM and aftermarket help in Japan than elsewhere. Within the US, you both must ship, wait lengthy intervals, or pay ridiculous costs.
Shopping for a Toyota Century is nothing like shopping for a Toyota Supra. The Toyota Supra may admire extremely, however the Century won’t. Most homeowners and potential patrons must face this as they count on it to understand because it wasn’t offered within the US, and few can be found.
However this doesn’t imply that the Toyota Century will plummet in worth. It’s going to both retain the worth you acquire it at or depreciate a bit bit resulting from regular put on and tear. However if you’re not planning to promote, this shouldn’t bother you. There’s additionally an opportunity you may get greater than you paid for it if an fanatic is in dire want of 1 otherwise you resolve to stay with the next worth. If patrons have an interest, you may have each proper to extend the worth and promote the automobile to the very best bidder.
The Toyota Century has only a few points you possibly can count on on a typical 30-year-old JDM automobile. Huge oil and gas consumption are anticipated when a V8 or V12 engine is beneath the hood pulling 5000 kilos. Element failure in Toyota Centuries is unprecedented until by the hands of a careless proprietor.
Nevertheless, you often have to verify the situation of the air suspension as it is a frequent failure in outdated vehicles with an air suspension. Toyota used air suspension on the Toyota Century earlier than the Toyota Crown, and earlier fashions skilled air suspension failure.
The typical beginning worth for a Toyota Century is round $20,000. You may get an imported Century with a V12 engine with out earlier US possession for that worth. Toyota Centuries with V8 engines retail for round $10,000 to $15,000 or much less if you’re eyeing an early manufacturing mannequin. The most effective place to purchase a Toyota Century is from JDM vehicle-specific importers if you’re searching for domestically out there items. You too can import one by native JDM importers or exporters in Japan.
Comparable Alternate options
Fashions and Specs
1967-1997 Toyota Century (G20, G30, G40)
The primary-gen Toyota Century was launched in 1967 as a extra luxurious model of the Toyota Crown resulting from excessive demand for a luxurious limo that wasn’t getting used as a taxi. It was the wealthy man’s limo that few might afford, however it was constructed on the identical platform because the 1967 (S50) Toyota Crown.
Nevertheless, the Toyota Century has an extended physique and higher engine choices than the Toyota Crown. You get the first-gen Century with 3 V8 engine variants. A 3.0-litre, 3.4-liter, and 4,0-liter V8 engine drive the rear wheels through a 3/4-speed computerized or a 3/4-speed guide transmission. Extra computerized transmission items had been made with a column-mounted shifter. After 1974, Toyota discontinued the guide transmission for the Toyota Century.
Toyota couldn’t use an inline-six engine within the Toyota Century as a result of weight enhance and resulting from competitors from different luxurious limos with V8 engines, such because the Nissan President.
A brand new and extra prolonged platform was launched in 1989, on which the first-gen Century limousine was constructed. The usual sedan is already an extended automobile. It qualifies as a limousine, however when the Century limo was launched, it had a extra interesting limo standing primarily due to an opera window within the heart pillar.
The Century limousine supplied a less expensive and aggressive choice to luxurious limos from different producers, together with the Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit and Cadillac de Ville, additionally being offered in Japan.
Within the inside, you get woollen or leather-based seats, though the chance of getting leather-based seats is low. You additionally get some outdated tech, akin to a cassette recorder Japan-only sign TV with a distant, and a rear seat stereo. Models produced after 1973 have computerized local weather management too.
All through the 30 years when Toyota produced the first-gen Century, few modifications had been made to it. These included engine gas injection, transmission, suspension, headlight, and taillight upgrades. Additionally, when the guide transmission was discontinued, Toyota launched a floor-mounted shifter and a brand new electronically operated 4-speed computerized transmission.
1997-2017 Toyota Century (G50)
Toyota launched a extra prolonged chassis for the G50 Century. All mechanicals had been just like these used within the first-gen Century. The chassis improve primarily was due to the brand new V12 engines launched for the second technology, which led to an enormous 1000-pound weight enhance.
You get the G50 Century with a 5.0-litre 1GZ-FE V12 or the 1GZ-FNE CNG V12 engine driving the rear wheels through a 4-speed or 6-speed computerized transmission. Toyota had no restrictions when making the Toyota Century. They might make it as lengthy and heavy and match any engine they desired for the Century to attain Japan’s top-dog luxurious sedan standing.
The 1GZ-FE engine was solely used for the Japanese market, whereas the 1GZ-FNE CNE was used for export items. These had been primarily for ambassadors and experimental functions in nations it was by no means offered, together with the US. In Japan, proudly owning a automobile with an extended wheelbase, excessive displacement engine, and heavy routinely meant that patrons must pay excessive taxes. However that is one thing that the rich don’t have to fret about.
Though the outside was redone and the inside improved, the second-gen Century nonetheless resembles the first-gen Century and shares the identical security and luxury options. The inside retains the identical options from the earlier technology however with added options akin to massaging and reclining rear seats and powered window blinders. A brand new air suspension was additionally launched with adjustable journey peak and luxury settings.
The G50 Toyota Century was produced for nearly 20 years earlier than discontinuation in 2017. A number of minimal modifications had been made all through its 20 years of manufacturing, even with fashionable expertise bettering yearly.
In 2005, 4 customized Toyota Centuries had been made to interchange the Nissan Prince Royal utilized by the Emperor of Japan. These had been badged because the Toyota Century Royal G51 and had been produced on the request of the Japanese Imperial Family for use by the Senior members of the Imperial Home of Japan.
Manufacturing started in 2006 and resulted in 2008 after 3 long-wheelbase sedans and one hearse had been made. To this point, the Toyota Century Royal G51 stays the official state automobile utilized by Japan’s Emperor.
2018-Current Toyota Century (G60)
The G60 Century was unveiled in late 2017. Toyota additionally unveiled that it was a Japanese market-only manufacturing unit because the G50 Century export experimental items by no means did effectively in different markets. Dubbed the Japanese Rolls Royce, the G60 Toyota Century is probably the most luxurious JDM automobile you should buy, carrying over the traits of its predecessors.
Nevertheless, the V12 engines had been discontinued, and a extra highly effective 5.0-litre V8 was used within the G60 Century producing 100 extra horsepower. Toyota additionally launched an electrical motor that pushes energy output to 425 horsepower and improved gas consumption to 32mpg in comparison with 24mpg within the Century G60.
On the inside woollen seats are nonetheless supplied as commonplace. However patrons also can go for leather-based seats with out paying additional. The outdated sign TV is changed by a 20-inch LCD TV which additionally shows numerous consolation settings for the rear seat passengers. You additionally get 20 Bose audio system, and the audio may be cut up 50-50 or turned off for the entrance or rear passengers.
The G60 Century takes from the Century Royal G51, giving extra legroom for the rear-seat passengers. Nonetheless, it doesn’t have a cut up opera window on the B-pillar. When driving a 5200-pound limo, you don’t need to maintain your fingers on the steering wheel. Toyota put in a floor-mounted shifter like within the first-gen Century, bettering driver consolation for the chauffeurs.
A one-off Toyota Century improved by Toyota Gazoo Racing was additionally unveiled when manufacturing started in 2018. Few items had been to be made, however solely two exist, badged because the Toyota Century GRMN. Toyota’s President Akio Toyoda owned one, and the opposite was unveiled as an idea automobile in 2019 on the Tokyo Auto Salon.
The Imperial Family Company additionally positioned a particular order for a Century parade automobile to interchange the Rolls Royce Corniche Convertible. Just one unit was made with a convertible hardtop for use solely by the Emperor of Japan.
A Toyota Century with a V12 engine will price you round $20,000, which is a stable cut price. You too can get one with a V8 engine for slightly below $10,000. Nevertheless, if you’re eying the G60 Century funds for round $180,000 plus CIF prices because it’s solely offered in Japan.
Sure. The Toyota Century is authorized for import to the US, supplied it’s over 25 years outdated.
Lexus is Toyota’s luxurious and efficiency unit, however the Lexus LS400 is nothing near the Toyota Century. It may be faster, however the entire level of shopping for a luxurious sedan is consolation. The Lexus LS400 is lush however not as luxurious and comfy because the Toyota Century.
Sure. All Toyota Centuries made between 1997 and 2017 (second-gen Century, G50) include a 5.0-litre V12 engine.
Sure, however why do it? The Toyota Century is likely one of the best-looking JDM vehicles on the market; a bit makeover isn’t too dangerous. Nevertheless, some go overboard with modifications that make the Century lose originality. You may straight pipe the V12 engine, which seems like a Lamborghini or Ferrari V12 engine, however that’s so far as it ought to go. Check out this Century with a modified $10,000 exhaust
Hypothetically, it’s attainable, however it is best to think about some limiting components. The Century weighs over 5 tonnes, and shedding off half that weight is not possible with out affecting important mechanicals you’ll want for drifting. If you’re into JDM sedans, the Toyota Chaser or Crown are beneficial drift vehicles since they’re lighter and have higher engine and transmission choices. There’s additionally not sufficient aftermarket help for the Toyota Century to show it right into a drift automobile.
The right way to Import a Nissan Toyota Century
Learn our Final Information on How to Import a Car from Japan.