Japan’s new Emperor gets a Toyota Century convertible
The Century is Toyota’s ultra-limited, hand-built domestic market luxury sedan first launched in 1967. The third-generation debuted in 2017, and while it still comes with a hand-carved grille emblem that takes six weeks to produce, under its thrice wet-sanded paint job, it now hides a 5.0-liter V-8 with a hybrid system, instead of the 1997-2017 model’s 5.0 V-12.
Between 2006 and 2008, Toyota also built four Century Royals based on the V-12 generation, which are currently used as the official state cars of the Emperor of Japan. However, after thirty years, the Heisei-era is coming to an end on the island, and while one of the existing Century Royals is a hearse, Emperor Akihito had to make due without a Century convertible through the past three decades. Instead, the Imperial House of Japan used a Rolls-Royce Corniche III as its open-top parade car, but only twice since 1990.
This latest Century first made the news when Toyota President Akio Toyoda started showing up in a hot Century GRMN. Since then, at least two tuned Century prototypes have been spotted around Tokyo. GRMN of course stands for “Gazoo Racing Masters of Nürburgring”, which makes the Century GRMN the best of both worlds. However, as far as we know, not even Akio has a convertible Century.
As Japanese Nostalgic Car reports, following the official start of the Reiwa era this May, the convertible Toyota Century will enter service during the new Emperor’s coronation ceremony on October 22, which expects dignitaries from 190 countries. The motorcade will take a 2.85-mile route from the Imperial palace, through Tokyo to Akasaka Palace.
To get the most out of the chopped roof, the parade car’s rear seats were raised by 1.57-inch, while the seat backs are fixed at 25 degrees for unobstructed views of the royals. After the ceremony, the “royal parade car” will be used to promote the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and other high-profile events. Yet when parked, how about a call to Toyoda about those GRMN parts?