In its previous incarnation, before becoming a beefy SUV, the Toyota Century was the epitome of an ultra-luxurious, car-based limousine. While the Century remains available as a stately four-door sedan today, the arguably coolest of them all harks back to the previous generation.
This “previous century” indeed refers to time and the second-generation luxury barge from Toyota. In 1997, the G50 Century made its debut, featuring fresh, albeit boxy, styling and a feature unseen before or since in Japan – a V12 engine. Specifically, it housed a 5.0-liter naturally aspirated engine, boasting a rating of 276 horsepower due to Japan’s famous gentleman’s agreement. However, outside of Japan, it was known to produce 295 horsepower. In either case, it provided ample power to propel this substantial sedan down the road.
The owner, an Instagrammer known as Diivinemedia, acquired this Century approximately a year ago, as soon as it became eligible for import under the US’s 25-year rule. During his stewardship, he introduced a Junction Produce body kit to lend the sedan a touch more attitude, and the suspension has been decidedly customized. It now features an air ride setup, borrowing components from the Lexus LS400. While the wheels are factory, they’ve undergone modifications to incorporate spinning center caps.
Inside the cabin, the reclining rear seats complete with massage functions wouldn’t appear out of place in 2023, let alone in 1997. The curtains for the side and rear windows are original equipment, and on the rear window, they operate electronically.
The owner reports that the relatively modest modifications on this Century were accomplished within just a few months. The vehicle currently boasts 54,000 miles on the odometer. Given its rarity even in its home market, it’s an exceedingly rare sight on US streets.
The Toyota Century’s legacy lives on. The 2023 Toyota Century SUV, unveiled on September 6, essentially positions itself as a Japanese-market counterpart to the Rolls-Royce Cullinan. It features a four-seat layout with reclining rear thrones, separated from the cargo area by a divider. This design ensures that the cabin remains as tranquil as possible. When it’s time to disembark, passengers have the convenience of powered steps and a choice between standard or sliding doors. While this model won’t be available in North America, if it were, it would command a starting price of approximately $170,000.
Source: AlexMartini via YouTube