2019 Shannons Melbourne Spring Classic Auction

1988 Toyota Century 4.0 Sedan (RHD)

$15,000 - $20,000

No Reserve


Engine 4 litre V8
Gearbox Four-speed automatic
Engine No. C1716BTS
Chassis No. VG40007925
Body Work Sedan
Colour Dark Blue
Interior Maroon
Trim Leather
Wheels Dunlop Chromed Wires
Brakes Disc/Disc

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Toyota’s Century is a large four-door limousine hand-built to special order for the Japanese domestic market by its subsidiary, Kanto Auto Works. Serving as Toyota's flagship car model between 1967 and January 2017, receiving only minor changes along the way until a redesign in 1997. The Century derived its name from the 100th birthday of company founder Sakichi Toyoda (born 14 February 1867) and model was often used by the Imperial House of Japan, the Prime Minister of Japan, senior Japanese government leaders, diplomats and high-level executive businessmen. The original Century (G20) was based on the 1964 Crown Eight which featured the 2.6 litre V8 Toyota V engine, and the design remained largely untouched during its 30-year production run, apart from minor cosmetic changes and engine upgrades. The 1967 Century was equipped with an upgraded version of the Crown Eight engine, the 3.0 litre 3V, then 1973 saw the introduction of the 3.4 litre 4V, replaced by the 4V-U two years later. The engine was once again changed, to the 4.0 L 5V-EU in late 1982 with the VG40 model (as here), an engine known as Toyota’s Hemi because of its hemispherical combustion chamber design. It was exclusive to the Century model. Built as the absolute ultimate in automotive luxury, these Toyota Centurys always had every conceivable luxury appointment, as well as the very latest in innovative driving and safety technology. It is a source of national pride and an example of the country’s technological innovation and commitment to quality and refinement. Only 2000 Centurys were ever built in 1988, making this car rare even in Japan and possibly the only example in Australia.


  • Possibly the only Toyota Century in Australia
  • Superb condition throughout
  • Rare even in Japan hand-built limo 
  • Former museum car
  • Unique opportunity to purchase 
Delivered to its original Japanese owner via the flagship Tokyo Toyota dealership in 1988, this Toyota Century was lightly used and always garaged before being imported into Australia in 2013. Two years later it became an exhibit at the Gosford Car Museum and was then purchased by the vendor in 2016. Since then it’s had a full body respray in its original Midnight Blue, the front suspension has been rebuilt and a new windscreen fitted. The air-conditioning has also been re-gassed. British Dunlop-brand chromed wire-spoke wheels have been fitted, but the original steel wheels and wheel covers come with the car. Our Century is also factory fitted with maroon leather – most cars built were trimmed in wool cloth, preferred by executive buyers – and has window curtains in the rear compartment, and real lace seat covers throughout. It’s all in near-perfect factory fresh condition. Appointments include every luxury feature you can imagine, even power-assisted quarter-vent windows front and rear. Incredibly the fold-down rear seat central armrest also includes a clipboard, a dictation machine and a phone! There’s separate climate controls, radio controls, and separate lumbar cushions for the rear seat passengers. A possibly unique feature is the left rear passenger footstool, which folds out from a section of the front passenger seat! This Toyota Century has covered an indicated 28,816km at the time of cataloguing, has its original Japanese paperwork with first owner details and purchase date, plus the original owner’s handbook and engraved original factory keys. Produced from 1982, the VG40 Toyota Century remained unchanged in design until it was replaced by the second generation VG50 Century, which was powered by Toyota’s first and only production V12 engine. The VG40 offered here for sale boasts the equally impressive 4.0L 5V-EU engine. This V8 power plant features a hemispherical combustion chamber and as such, is referred to as the ‘Toyota Hemi’. The 5V-EU engine was used exclusively in the Century and not adapted across any other cars in Toyota’s range.
 An amazing car the likes of which we haven’t seen before and may not again, this represents the ultimate opportunity for the Japanese car fan or collector looking for something truly unusual. Being sold because of a collection rationalisation, previously on club registration, the Century will be offered for sale unregistered and with No Reserve. 

Note: Shannons advise that all potential buyers research all vehicles before purchase to authenticate originality.


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Saturday 21 September

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Sunday 22 September

10.00am - 4.00pm


Monday 23 September

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