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The Luxury JDM Legend Toyota Employees Have To Work Years Before They Can Touch

HotCars logo HotCars 8/14/2022 Waheed Ashraf
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Non-motoring enthusiasts will be unfamiliar with the Toyota Century model. Moreover, this exclusive luxury sedan was never developed for export outside of Japan. Produced in 1967, the Century has been Toyota’s company flagship and Japan’s official state car, positioned at the very top of Toyota’s hierarchy of luxury vehicles, above Lexus.

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In Japan, the Century’s status is comparable to that of Rolls-Royce and Mercedes-Maybach. Indeed, the exemplary craftsmanship and high standards of producing such a car are on another level. What’s more, the workers have to acquire several years’ experience in the Toyota company before they can even work on the car.

Although efficient and high-quality production methods have always been synonymous with the Japanese marque, the Century moniker comes embedded in the company’s history as the pinnacle of automotive engineering and craftsmanship. Indeed, the discipline and belief of the selected craftsmen are purely driven by one thing only, that is, to build ‘the best car in the world’.

The ultra-luxury limousine made a comeback after twenty years in 2018, with the third installment of the Century. In keeping with tradition and cultural heritage, the current iteration embodies the same principles of providing superlative luxury and comfort, while acquiring some modern upgrades. Toyota limits the production of the Century to 50 cars per month.

These luxury cars were never intended to be sold out of Japan, but some have managed to find their way into the US and other parts of the world, thanks to eager importers. You can fight a few specimens popping up now and then in the used car space, and currently, there are a few 1990s models on sale on AutoTrader ranging from $10,000-20,000.

Updated August 2022: The Toyota Century is the cumulation of Japanese precision and luxury, and is rightfully called the Rolls-Royce of Japan. We have updated this article with more information on the added values and importance of building a Toyota Century, and how people have to prove their worth to get their hands on this Japanese luxury car.

Related: 10 Toyotas That Make Great Project Cars

Modern-Day Toyota Century

Remarkably, only two generations have succeeded each other since its conception. However, the current Century takes a good part of the architecture from its predecessor, somewhat nuanced in approach and unobtrusive, yet aesthetically pleasing. Indeed, It appears to have retained its retro silhouette.

Interestingly, the second-generation Century was the only Japanese production car fitted with a twelve-cylinder engine. However, an ‘eco friendlier’, 5.0-liter V8 Hybrid system in the newer car replaces the 5.0 V12 power plant. Moreover, the 394 horsepower V8 supports a 224-horsepower electric motor, giving a total output of 439 horsepower. What's more, it’s the same engine found in the Lexus LS600H.

The Japanese limousine is bigger than its predecessor, measuring 5.3 meters in length and 1.5 meters high. Weighing 2.4 tonnes, the luxury sedan can propel from 0-60 mph in a respectable six seconds and, for those interested, limited to a top speed of 155 mph.

However, the Toyota Century is not about achieving record sprint times. It’s the transportation for Japanese government officials, members of the Royal family, and CEOs from point A to point B in optimum comfort, exceptional silence, and unique hand-crafted design.

The latest Century comes with improved levels of comfort and more space in the rear. Furthermore, the cabin features wood trim and high-quality materials. At the front, a sweeping dash that’s exceptional, well-built, and if you’re a chauffeur, excellent driver ergonomics.

Interestingly, the Toyota Century features specially upholstered seats in one hundred percent pure wool, although customers can opt for leather, but why would you? Rear occupants, of course, receive preferential treatment and get massaging seats, a 20-speaker system, leg rests power curtains and a 16-inch touch screen. Indeed, Toyota has gone to great lengths in making the cabin incredibly silent.

Related: 2022 Cadillac Escalade Premium Luxury Review: Still The Most Luxurious SUV Around

Exquisite Automotive Craftsmanship

Unlike conventional mass-production car plants, Toyota’s Higashi Fuji plant does not have an assembly line. Moreover, each Century is meticulously created by a few highly skilled craftsmen in a quiet, spacious area, as if they are creating works of Japanese art. The entire production process is carefully carried out in five steps. This includes Stamping, body, painting, assembly, and inspection.

Without a doubt, the intricate workmanship on the exterior is exceptional. Each crease and line is masterfully formed using traditional chamfering methods which require precision and utmost concentration. Indeed, the craftsmen are somewhat obsessed with perfecting each part of the bodywork. Each panel gap, for example, must be identical in every Century.

A Lucky Few Can Work On The Toyota Century

Only four workers are specially qualified to work on the Century’s paint. Moreover, the traditional black exterior paintwork is painstakingly applied to the huge body of the Century in seven layers. Each layer requires four and a half hours of wet sanding. What’s more, the body panels of the Century must have a mirror-quality paint finish.

Furthermore, every car is painstakingly inspected thoroughly to ensure there are zero imperfections. The Fuscicho logo, representing a mythical bird, appears on the front grille. During the production process, one craftsman works on the logo, which can take up to six weeks to complete. Unequivocally, the craftsmen take pride in the history of their car which spans over fifty years.

It’s true to say, this over-engineered luxury limousine is the pinnacle of Toyota’s car manufacturing capabilities. The Toyota Century costs approximately $180,000. As aforementioned, they are not available to countries outside of Japan. However, the previous generation Toyota Century somehow found its way out of the country and is worth a look!

Source: Toyota

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