Do I want the Toyota Century because I can’t have it?

Toyota makes an ultra exclusive, invitation only, executive chauffeur sedan for the Japanese market. It isn’t strange that I desire a rare high end automobile, but it is weird that I want it even though it seems to have been designed in the opposite way we’ve been programmed to believe a luxury car should be.  A luxury car should look modern. It should have all the newest technology. It should have either fine soft leather or high tech Alcantara. The Toyota Century is none of these things.

Source: Toyota
Source: Toyota

A passerby might see the Century and assume it’s a late eighties Rolls Royce. Why then do I think its lines and shape are absolutely perfect? It’s not quite retro, but it’s not at all futuristic. Maybe sometimes simple, clean and well thought out design are just timeless after all. I wish car companies would make more timeless designs so I could buy a new car today and in 40 years have it still look great.

Source: Toyota
Source: Toyota

How can that face be so simple, yet so desirable?  Perhaps because it makes sense, everything right where it should be and serving a logical function.

Source: Toyota
Source: Toyota

The best part is the interior. It has design elements and simplicity of an early 90’s Toyota, but build to modern tolerances and standards with super premium materials.  And yes the seats and trim are cloth! Very, very nice cloth.  I have nothing against leather and Alcantara, but I also appreciate cloth for it’s comfort, warmth and all weather practicality. Are there any other luxury labeled cars that you can even get in true cloth? I’m not talking about faux leather or fancy recycled weave fabric, but true cloth. Maybe it’s just nostalgia, but this interior aesthetic suites my tastes.

Source: Toyota
Source: Toyota

I would probably never sit in the back other than to show it off or maybe take a comfortable nap, but the bizarre Japanese chauffeur features are just fun and laughable. It sure looks like a nice place to sit and I want to try it out.

It doesn’t make any logical sense that I would want a Toyota Century, but I do.  Is it just because I can’t have one, or is the reason for appeal just hard to nail down? Beyond the sky high sticker price and unavailability, what’s the closest vehicle on sale today in the United states that matches the Toyota Century?

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