Friday, April 16, 2021

Firing Up A 20th Century Limo

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‘Stretched’ 1994 Toyota Century for sale for less than the price of a brand new Ford Fiesta; the rammed full of gadgets limousine comes with a food heating compartment and privacy curtains favoured by notoriously shy Japanese people even

Whilst a 1967 Mercedes-Benz ‘Dictator Car we featured in April eventually sold for £237,000 ($298,000, €264,000 or درهم1.1 million), a lover of limousines with far shallower pockets might care to bid on a Japanese example that is headed to auction this month.

 

Though the word “limousine” originally derived from the “type of carriage hood that physically resembled the cloak worn by shepherds in the Limousin region of France,” this automotive category is now sadly more generally associated with that especially ghastly, much over-used adjective “luxury.”

 

Limousines are not only considered the preserve of the aforementioned despots, but they’re also the favoured modes of conveyance of business titans, young Arabic and Russian showoffs and rappers now even. A well-known reader of ours even once stated she’d like to have several herself. This friend of royalty added that a collection of security guards running alongside with torches also would complete her ideal spectacle.

 

Coming in the form of a four-seat, stretched saloon car, the 1994 Toyota Century to be offered was imported to the UK by Mohamad Issa in 2019. It is longer than a Rolls-Royce Phantom, but slightly shorter than a Maybach at 19-feet in length, is presented in black with a black leather interior and was fully serviced in Japan prior to being shipped. The odometer reads 34,500 miles.

 

Historics Auctioneers will sell the 1994 Toyota Century limousine at their Windsorview Lakes sale on 18th July. They have set an estimate of just £13,000 to £17,000 ($16,300 to $21,300, €14,500 to €18,900 or درهم59,900 to درهم78,300) and describe the car as being: “A stunning example of a rare car even in Japan, this is a real collector’s car that is a sign of wealth and power for the price of a new Ford Fiesta!”

 

Featured earlier this year in a 19-minute video by two vloggers named Ben and Alfie of a YouTube channel named The Department of Motoring Affairs, of this particular Century they surmised: “People are surprised that this is a Toyota… If you don’t get it by now you don’t belong in the club anyway… If you know, you know” and indeed they’re right: Here is a quirky limousine that you could only originally have had if the Japanese ‘powers that be’ allowed you.

 

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A 20th Century Limo – £13,000 to £17,000 ($16,300 to $21,300, €14,500 to €18,900 or درهم59,900 to درهم78,300) for 1994 Toyota Century limousine at Historics Auctioneers Windsorview Lakes sale on 18th July 2020 – ‘Stretched’ 1994 Toyota Century for sale for less than the price of a brand new Ford Fiesta; the limousine comes with a food heating compartment and privacy curtains favoured by notoriously shy Japanese people even.
The passenger “compartment” is described as “richly appointed” and includes not only “soft and supple” heated power, leather seats with variable speed massage functions, but also gadgets galore. Most importantly for the notoriously shy Japanese market, the compartment has all-round curtains as well as an electric privacy partition to separate it from the driver’s compartment (with an intercom communications system).
A 20th Century Limo – £13,000 to £17,000 ($16,300 to $21,300, €14,500 to €18,900 or درهم59,900 to درهم78,300) for 1994 Toyota Century limousine at Historics Auctioneers Windsorview Lakes sale on 18th July 2020 – ‘Stretched’ 1994 Toyota Century for sale for less than the price of a brand new Ford Fiesta; the limousine comes with a food heating compartment and privacy curtains favoured by notoriously shy Japanese people even.
There is a cordless 1990s mobile telephone, a television (described as “working but TV to Japanese specification”) with a VHS player, as well as a tape deck built into the rear centre armrest that even has an in-built recording device. A mini fridge also has a heating function for hot food and there is a cabinet containing crystal glasses and a decanter even.
A 20th Century Limo – £13,000 to £17,000 ($16,300 to $21,300, €14,500 to €18,900 or درهم59,900 to درهم78,300) for 1994 Toyota Century limousine at Historics Auctioneers Windsorview Lakes sale on 18th July 2020 – ‘Stretched’ 1994 Toyota Century for sale for less than the price of a brand new Ford Fiesta; the limousine comes with a food heating compartment and privacy curtains favoured by notoriously shy Japanese people even.
A desk can fold out for a mogul who wishes to work whilst on-the-road inside their Toyota Century limousine. It is made of mahogany and for those that wish to ‘drink-and-ride’ there are mahogany glass holders as well.
A 20th Century Limo – £13,000 to £17,000 ($16,300 to $21,300, €14,500 to €18,900 or درهم59,900 to درهم78,300) for 1994 Toyota Century limousine at Historics Auctioneers Windsorview Lakes sale on 18th July 2020 – ‘Stretched’ 1994 Toyota Century for sale for less than the price of a brand new Ford Fiesta; the limousine comes with a food heating compartment and privacy curtains favoured by notoriously shy Japanese people even.
The chauffeur also gets to sit in luxury (unlike in many other limousines). Whilst in original limousines, the chauffeur’s compartment was open, here they get not only a roof, but a leather seat also.
A 20th Century Limo – £13,000 to £17,000 ($16,300 to $21,300, €14,500 to €18,900 or درهم59,900 to درهم78,300) for 1994 Toyota Century limousine at Historics Auctioneers Windsorview Lakes sale on 18th July 2020 – ‘Stretched’ 1994 Toyota Century for sale for less than the price of a brand new Ford Fiesta; the limousine comes with a food heating compartment and privacy curtains favoured by notoriously shy Japanese people even.
Technology is the order of the day given this Toyota Century limousine was manufactured in Japan. The car has automatic transmission, cruise control and a fully functional digital dash.
A 20th Century Limo – £13,000 to £17,000 ($16,300 to $21,300, €14,500 to €18,900 or درهم59,900 to درهم78,300) for 1994 Toyota Century limousine at Historics Auctioneers Windsorview Lakes sale on 18th July 2020 – ‘Stretched’ 1994 Toyota Century for sale for less than the price of a brand new Ford Fiesta; the limousine comes with a food heating compartment and privacy curtains favoured by notoriously shy Japanese people even.
The soft-closing boot contains the original tyre and jacking equipment.
A 20th Century Limo – £13,000 to £17,000 ($16,300 to $21,300, €14,500 to €18,900 or درهم59,900 to درهم78,300) for 1994 Toyota Century limousine at Historics Auctioneers Windsorview Lakes sale on 18th July 2020 – ‘Stretched’ 1994 Toyota Century for sale for less than the price of a brand new Ford Fiesta; the limousine comes with a food heating compartment and privacy curtains favoured by notoriously shy Japanese people even.
The engine is a Lexus 4-litre 5V-EU V8. Of it, Historics Auctioneers remark: “We are informed by the vendor that [it] starts well and pulls strong with the temperature gauge reading a little below half and the automatic transmission shifts are firm and smooth.”
A 20th Century Limo – £13,000 to £17,000 ($16,300 to $21,300, €14,500 to €18,900 or درهم59,900 to درهم78,300) for 1994 Toyota Century limousine at Historics Auctioneers Windsorview Lakes sale on 18th July 2020 – ‘Stretched’ 1994 Toyota Century for sale for less than the price of a brand new Ford Fiesta; the limousine comes with a food heating compartment and privacy curtains favoured by notoriously shy Japanese people even.
From the front; this Toyota Century stretched saloon is described as “clean and straight, the chrome trim and bumpers are all intact and gleaming.”
A 20th Century Limo – £13,000 to £17,000 ($16,300 to $21,300, €14,500 to €18,900 or درهم59,900 to درهم78,300) for 1994 Toyota Century limousine at Historics Auctioneers Windsorview Lakes sale on 18th July 2020 – ‘Stretched’ 1994 Toyota Century for sale for less than the price of a brand new Ford Fiesta; the limousine comes with a food heating compartment and privacy curtains favoured by notoriously shy Japanese people even.
And from the rear; here is a car that Historics Auctioneers laud as having a look “denoting conservative success.”
Historics Auctioneers have produced a video tour of the vehicle to market it to potential purchasers during the coronavirus lockdown.
The 1994 Toyota Century limousine to be auctioned featured in an amusing 19-minute long YouTube video in March this year by vlogger Alfred Munkenbeck and his co-host Ben (surname unknown). They plainly loved the vehicle.
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Matthew Steeples
A graduate of the London School of Economics, Matthew Steeples is a writer and marketing consultant. He conceived The Steeple Times as a media arena to fill the void between the Mail Online, The Huffington Post and such organs as the New York Social Diary in 2012.

8 COMMENTS

  1. I love it – so much better than a generic and frankly dull Phantom. Worth every penny. The video by the lads was a joy to watch too.

  2. This looks like a bargain!!!!!!! Send it Down Under!!!!!!!! I would enjoy cruising around in it with my Sheilas very much!!!!!!!!!!!!! And glad it has a fridge for the Castlemaines too!!!!!!!!!!!!

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