A 1997 Toyota Century, the only V12-powered front-engine, rear-wheel-drive production car from Japan, has made its way to the United States and is currently up for sale. Titled in Massachusetts, this right-hand drive luxury limo offers a glimpse into the exclusive world of high-ranking business people, government officials, and even the Japanese Royal family, who have traditionally been the proud owners of the prestigious Century series. And it does so at a reasonable price.
The odometer of this particular car reads approximately 218,700 kilometers, translating to around 135,900 miles. A testament to its well-maintained history, the selling dealer highlights that no modifications have been made to the vehicle, preserving its originality. The car has a metric instrument cluster and comes equipped with factory features that include 16-inch wheels, a soft-close trunk, leather upholstery, a digital instrument panel, heated front and rear seats, a front passenger’s seatback pass-through, massaging and reclining rear seats, automatic climate control, power-operated rear curtain, and rear air conditioning and radio controls.
Under the hood, the 1997 Toyota Century has a robust 5.0-liter V12 engine, delivering about 276 horsepower and 340 pound-feet of torque. The power is transmitted to the rear wheels via a four-speed automatic transmission. The selling dealer has ensured the vehicle’s readiness for sale by performing necessary maintenance tasks, including an oil and filter change, and the replacement of valve cover gaskets and rear control arms.
However, like any vintage vehicle, this Century does come with a few known faults. These include some exterior imperfections such as chips and scratches, as well as cracks and dings on the front bumper. Additionally, there’s evidence of peeling and bubbling in the side mirror finish, scratches, and cracks in the wheel finish, as well as creases and cracks on the leather upholstery. All in all, it’s in a very good condition considering its relatively low price of $8,250 with about 24 hours left until the end of the auction on Car and Bids.
The V12-powered VG50 model, introduced in 1997, marked an era of unparalleled luxury. This model was eventually succeeded by the V8-powered VG60 Century in 2018, bringing an end to Japan’s only production twelve-cylinder engine.