The Toyota Century made its first appearance way back in 1967 to celebrate the centennial of the companys founder Sakichi Toyoda. As a fitting tribute designers envisioned a car that would satisfy the ideals of Japanese luxury with no compromises from outside cultures. Conceived as a Japanese equivalent to a Rolls-Royce the Century was a hand-built limousine intended for business leaders and high-ranking dignitaries. The body style remained essentially unchanged from 1967 through 1997 with only some minor styling tweaks and mechanical refinements along the way. Powered by Toyotas own light alloy V8 engine displacement grew from 2.6 liters to 4.0 liters by the end of the original series. These cars were the epitome of Japanese luxury. By the last-run G40 series equipment included luxurious cloth upholstery power adjustable rear seats electric door latches automatic climate control (introduced in 1971!) separate controls for front/rear ventilation and a host of other luxury and technological features.The final evolution of the V8 series came in 1987 with the introduction of a 4.0 liter engine four-speed automatic transmission and updated electronics and climate control. As always each Century was hand-built to order by highly trained craftsmen. The cars were not actually built by Toyota; such was the highly specialized nature of the project that they contracted with Kanto Auto Works (today a subsidiary of Toyota) a specialized body builder to handle production. There is no doubt Toyota was targeting Rolls-Royce buyers as the shape of the Century has some very Crewe-like styling cues particularly in the detail of the C-pillars. The Toyota Century is a beautifully crafted machine built with exquisite precision that conjures thoughts of both traditional English coachbuilding as well as Japanese engineering excellence. It is important not to confuse the hand-built Century as being a home-market Lexus it is in fact a completely separate and bespoke line. With increased attention in the collector market for Japanese cars this is a wonderful opportunity to acquire a rare and exceptionally engineered machine that youre unlikely to encounter anywhere else.This 1991 Century is an exquisitely presented example and one of only a mere handful of its kind in the United States. It is an exceptionally clean example showing just 21000 KM from new. The dark blue paintwork is elegant and very well suited to the handsome body lines. The body is very straight and the doors open and shut with a satisfying solidity that only the likes of Mercedes and Rolls-Royce can claim. Chrome bumpers are straight and tidy with excellent plating and free of dents dings or scuffs. Many of these cars were chauffeur driven and as such exceptionally well maintained and cared for. Wing mirrors are a signature of the Japanese market and thankfully these are power adjustable and surprisingly effective. The car rides on a set of steel wheels with Yokohama tires with distinct turbine-style wheel covers. The overall look is of subdued elegance a long low and imposing sedan that embodies quality.The opulent cabin is trimmed in high quality patterned fabrics. For the Century and the extended wheelbase Century limousine fabric was preferred for its superior comfort in all conditions as well as the ability to dampen sounds and keep cabin noise levels to a minimum. In addition it remained silent during passenger ingress and egress. The seats which are in excellent condition are adorned with custom fitted crochet lace covers a tradition in Japanese car culture particularly in the highly professional Tokyo Taxis as well as in most private limousines. Carpets and the remaining soft trim are all excellent showing very little use and made with high-quality materials.A mixture of English and Japanese labeled switchgear controls the countless functions and systems on the Century. It features cabin adjustable suspension sport and comfort modes on the transmission fully automatic climate control and power seats front and rear. One of our favorite discoveries was to find the air conditioning vents in the dash automatically oscillate to circulate the air evenly.Toyotas 4.0 liter V8 engine (known as the 5V-EU) is unique to the Crown Century line and in this late specification produces 165 horsepower and 215 ft/lbs of torque. It may not be a powerhouse but it operates in near silence wafting the big Century along effortlessly. We found it to be smooth exceptionally quiet and quite enjoyable to drive. The Century offers an altogether different kind of luxury than the leather-swathed techno-marvels from Germany; it is an experience that melds traditional old school ideals of understated luxury with the high levels of technology and precise engineering that are simultaneously embraced in Japanese culture. This lovely Toyota Century has clearly led a charmed life perhaps shuttling dignitaries or powerful executives around Tokyo in its distinctly traditional manner. It is a beautifully presented example that will surely start conversations wherever it appears providing an enjoyable and unique motoring experience along the way.
This 1991 Toyota Century was listed for sale on 9-12-17 06:47:17. The vehicle color is blue and VIN is
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