One-off drop-top Century will debut at his coronation ceremony
On April 30 of this year, Japanese Emperor Akihito became the first Japanese royal in 200 years to abdicate his throne. He cited his poor health as the reason for the transition. His departure also meant the end of the Heisei Era of Japanese Emperors.
The official transfer of power happened on May 1, but the coronation ceremony is yet to take place. That will happen on October 22, and the event will welcome envoys and dignitaries from more than 120 countries. And based on these photos first published by Japanese Nostalgic Car, it looks like Emperor Naruhito—the man set to take Akihito’s place—will be rolling up to his coronation in style.
A one-off Toyota Century convertible will be used to take Naruhito along the parade route and to the location of the ceremony. His predecessor, Emperor Akihito, showed up to his coronation in a drop-top Rolls Royce Corniche II that was both shorter and narrower than this Century. The Emperor’s new custom Century convertible is almost identical to the fixed-roof car (yes, it still has four doors), with a few dimensional and interior differences. The roofless Century is 5mm shorter than the car on which it’s based (now that’s attention to detail), and the rear seats are fixed as opposed to the reclining units found in the standard century.
The Century is also emblazoned with a gold imperial seal rather than a license plate, and for the ceremony the Emperor’s flag will be displayed on the hood of the car. According to the office of the Japanese Emperor, when the ceremony ends the car will be managed by the Cabinet Office and occasionally exhibited at the guesthouses in Tokyo and Kyoto as part of the celebration.