The Emperor’s family of Japan has been driving on the same Toyota Century model for years. The flagship of the brand – as a limousine for VIPs and other machines sold in the domestic market – is made with special equipment, with the smallest details. Accordingly, it takes a long time and this is one of the main reasons for the car to come out in limited circulation. But the Japanese are famous for their patience and attention to detail.
Experienced masters spend as much time as necessary to check all lines before they start work. Everything is done by hand, once the car body has come down from the conveyor. The idea is to achieve perfectly correct proportions using special tools. The masters wake up with the idea that every millimeter of the car is perfect. They are three in number and have tremendous experience, one of whom worked in the company back in 1967 when the first Century was made. To get to their level you must spend several decades working on other Toyota models and only then have a chance to get the chance to make future Car of the Emperor of Japan.
Each worker gets his own set of tools that are made specifically for him. With them, the body of the car is polished until the smallest unevenness disappears.
The process is quite long and tiring, and the gloves on the workers’ hands are obligatory.
Special attention is also paid to the interior, which can take hours to place a single detail. However, everything must be perfectly assembled and not have the slightest deviation.
Customers can choose from several colors for Century – Asuka (black and red mica), Mashu (light blue) and Seika (silver metallic). But everyone is betting on the traditional Toyota flagship – Kamui (black). It is so glamorous that it acts as a mirror. This is evident from the reflection of Tokyo’s famous cherry trees.
The secret, in this case, is many layers of paint and varnish and much work. For this purpose, the workers have undergone special training at a school in Tajima, Isikva County, where they have mastered the technique of applying Urushi lacquer, created more than 9,000 years ago. Total 7 coats of paint are applied to the car, which is made using the latest and most modern technologies.
Since this car is for the imperial family, its needs are the first. The last layer of the Century Black must be mirrored. This applies to all body parts that can also be used as a mirror.
Placing each layer takes 4.5 hours with additional grinding. There are four workers working on it, and every black Century spends exactly 40 hours in the paint shop. The number of cars produced per month is 50.
After application of the lacquer and paint, each of the cars is subject to rigorous inspection. And it goes back if even the smallest defect is found.
The entire process until the final assembly of the car is done by hand, and each separate action is documented and fits into the “Century History Book”. Each car has a separate book that Toyota is committed to keeping forever and in a paper version.
The most important requirement for the car is to position it as a completely new model, but also to show the impact of the original Century of 1967. And to the question “Which car can compete with Century?”, The people of Toyota respond briefly and clearly – None, except for its previous generation.