Japan's 126th Emperor Too Cool for a Top, Orders First-Ever Toyota Century Convertible

Photo: Toyota

A new Japanese emperor ascended to the throne this week, and the newly minted Emperor Naruhito is already shaking things up. The standard, roof-having Toyota Century’s opulent luxury is fine, if you’re just a humble oligarch or zaibatsu boss, but the emperor? He needs something a little fancier for his public coronation in October. That’s why he’s ordering a custom Toyota Century convertible.


While then-Crown Prince Naruhito was accustomed to ridding in even-pricier Rolls Royces (the average Century costs about 19,600,000 yen or about $178,000) now that he’s ascended the throne, only Japan’s best domestically built luxury car will do, the Wall Street Journal reports.

A factory-built convertible version of the Century will be incredible to see as Toyota generally doesn’t like to mess with tradition; the Century has been on sale since 1967 and only updated twice so far, with the most recent generation unveiled in 2017. Sold only in Japan, you are considered an absolute nobody there if you aren’t chauffeured around in one.

This a car that proudly focuses on giving the rear passengers every luxury possible, including massage features, an automatic ottoman and a multi-operational LCD panel located in the central armrest that allows the passenger to control their seats, air conditioning, and audio controls.

There are no photos or specs for the new convertible yet, though we have to assume a specially built Century for the new Emperor of Japan will probably be just a bit higher class than even the extremely beautiful standard ones, and those cars are already fit for a king. I mean, just look at it:


It takes craftsmen six weeks to hand carve each badge on a single Century. If trained artisans aren’t toiling over ever single tiny details of your car, can you really call it a luxury vehicle? Even the paint application process is a work of art, involving layers and layers of painting and sanding to achieve a deep color based on traditional Japanese lacquer.

Every tiny detail is so deeply thought out and serious you might almost forget that there’s a car under all that perfectly sanded paint and creature comforts. So hats (and tops) off to you Emperor Naruhito for making this somber luxury vehicle just a tiny bit more fun and modern with a drop top.

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Erin Marquis

Managing Editor of Jalopnik.