Happy President’s Day from JNC! Now, which classic sedan would you most want to be seen emerging from as you conduct your official government business/captaining of industry/illicit yak duties? In other words:
What’s the greatest VIP sedan?
What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “How will Scion be remembered in 25 years?”
We received a mix of opinions regarding the legacy of Scion. Some, like Ryan, think it’ll be a Geo. Others, like Ant, think it will be of no consequence whatsoever. And while we don’t necessarily agree with the sentiment, the most entertaining answer came from ahja, who declared:
It was a time when boring old corporate bean counters in Aichi thought to distill the term “econobox” to its most literal form. A time when cynical marketing departments attempted to sell it to a target demographic that couldn’t afford it, with patronizing ads about special snowflakes or something. A time when the only exciting cars Toyota Motor Corp made were called Lexus. A time of facebook, American Idol, and bullshit corporate rap. It was the most banal time ever for Toyota. Then Akio Toyoda came, and he demanded that the LFA be born. And then the FR-S, and then the LC500. And he realized Scion was a foolish mistake, and banished it forever, its mediocrity and phoniness never to be repeated again.
Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!
As a humble head of state (a man of the people, if you will) my VIP sedan of choice would be equally humble.
A V12-engined Century wouldn’t really be on-message, but Toyota does still produce the right tool for the job: The Crown Sedan. Humble, economical, and comfortable, and exuding an air of subtle class in a coat of black paintwork. With some wing-mounted, chrome-finished mirrors for good measure.
My only problem is that despite styling suggesting 1980s roots, it isn’t *technically* a JNC. The Comfort, on which the Crown Sedan is based, is only a product of 1995. But by buying new, I would be supporting my country’s economy, and that’s good with the voters…
toyota crown has been in continuous production since 1955
You can’t get more old school VIP than the Emperor of Japan himself. And his Nissan Prince Royal.
Okay, it’s a lengthy Gloria, and the transmission is American, but still, imagine tooling around in this. Plus it’s already modified for luxury! Get a chauffeur and go to town!
Toyota UCF 10 Celsior…lots of parts, and in North America it is a Lexus.
(Would need some slammage and maybe a Junction Produce kit).
Hurray! As for this weeks question… Non JNC would be Verdigris Mica LS600h. For JNC, a Toyota Century is obvious, but really in this context its as flashy as an orange Lamborghini Diablo. So maybe an early Mitsubishi Debonair. Maybe “You Only Live Twice” has something to do with it, but they come across as a very formal and intimidating sedan.
As a fan of bizarre JDM badge engineering I want to say Mitsubishi Dignity, but really Toyota Century is the only answer. There’s a reason Toyota has kept it around despite launching the Celsior/LS.
I was fortunate enough to see a few Centuries on the road during my time in Japan. It’s hard to describe the feeling, but upon seeing one at an intersection you know it’s something special. The brightwork, the paint – they’re finished to a level like nothing else on the road, and you can see this from 30 feet away.
Never mind the V12 – it could have half the cylinders and still be as special.
I don’t know if the styling is timeless, or that we’ve simply come full circle and retro designs are “in” again, but the current one still looks great almost 20 years on.
I see 10 ~ 20 per day and have done for decades. They are still special…
There can be only one answer to that: the Mitsubishi Debonair V 3000 Royal AMG!
This car actually is the source of the VIP style: over the top more exclusive and luxurious car than what it was supposed to be in the beginning. If the AMG badge wasn’t impressive enough: the bonnet featured a Mercedes like cirlce but this time with the triple diamond wedged in its center. Everything was adjustable: suspension, front seats, rear seats and any thinkable 80s option was available: phone, tv, fridge, etc.
The Debonair has comforted many (yakuza) bosses and inspired many kids in the 90s to apply similar treatment to their Crowns, Glorias and Cedrics that they grabbed up for less than a handful of money.
1999 ls400. Its like the shady cousin who has “business affairs”. Its has a healthy V8 and huge room that accepts almost any motor you desire. Plus people like Jin Ueno and Elvis Skender have done some fantastic work.
No contest; gotta be the Isuzu Statesman De Ville. Aussie cool styling with American V8 iron under the hood, all screwed together DownUnder Rare enough to be eclectic and exclusive, tough and reliable enough to outrun any person who doesn’t have your best interest at heart, and still look good while the bodyguards are doing their thing. Not sure if the Yaks ever picked them up.
I think you will have the blessing from Daniel O’Grady for that! 😉
O’Grady has some great videos on his site; well worth checking out.
Link to O’Grady’s video on the Isuzu Statesman De Ville; very cool.
“Further to this, (a former manager of one of the largest fleets in Australia) believes that so few were sold that some may have actually been imported BACK to Australia! It would be entirely possible that a handful of unsold stock could have been returned here and sold as ex-company vehicles or demonstrators. If anyone has ever seen a HQ Statesman with extra indicators and mirrors in strange places… then it may be true.”
Here is one area the the Japanese manufactures don’t do well. None of their VIP cars compare with with German, English or American iron. Do they purposely go out of their way make this segment ugly/fugly? No class or prestige.
Let the hate speech begin.
rabble rabble rabble rabble rabble rabble rabble rab
So we’ll put you down for an LS-swapped Mazda Roadpacer then?
1st generation Toyota Century.
There are many cars with merit, but for me the greatest nostalgic VIP Sedan is the JC (86-91) Mazda Luce Royal Classic Hardtop with the 13B Turbo Rotary power plant. This mid-eighties Mazda masterpiece combined boss style with a respectable driving experience. It was fitted with just about everything the VIP passenger would need at the time – rear cool box, electrically adjustable rear recliner seats, rear audio controls, rear climate control, a rear air purifier and that plush velour trim. Not to mention, you could enjoy a smooth ride no matter where you sat whilst the super-smooth rotary engine hummed away and the electronically adjustable suspension took care of any bumps. But these cars were great for the driver, too. Perhaps Mazda learned from the Roadpacer experiment that naturally aspirated rotary engines don’t belong in big heavy sedans, because the Luce received a 13B Turbo Rotary power plant which was almost the same as you would find in the Series 4 FC RX-7 born of the same era. The Luce Royal Classic also featured ABS brakes, cruise control, electronic auto climate control, automatic headlights, electric windows and mirrors which folded too, electrically adjustable heated front seats, a fully digital instrument panel, steering wheel audio controls – you get the idea. The early short-bumper cars were the most stylish.
Although far from influential towards the modern VIP style – it’s hard to imagine anyone other than a VIP riding in the back of a Luce Royal Classic back in it’s day.
Ladies and gentleman, behold–the Nissan President!
On the outside, it speaks majesty and importance: flourishing chrome, finely detailed grille and wheels, chrome fender mirrors and parking lights, classic 3-box profile (with the long hood and big boot…to boot!), and sharp, crisp tuxedo-like edges and corners!
The President smoothly, yet confidently strides via a 4.0L Nissan V8 mated to a chauffeur-friendly 3-speed automatic. One of the automotive industry’s first-ever anti-lock brake system also comes on the President, to protect your national assets in emergency stops!
The inside of the President is phenomenal and pip-pip’s with prestige. Besides the woodgrain and bedazzled chrome-accented dashboard, there are plush, silver-sheen velour padded trim and seats with collapsible backrest inserts at the front. This is so that your client may stretch out in their 3-way power rear seats, smoke their cigarette while venting the cabin with POWER vent windows, and situate themselves even more with the President’s rear-passenger climate control AND head-unit!).
And how about a trim level called “Sovereign”?!
The Nissan President possesses so many neat features and aesthetics that are tailored specifically to yours truly!
^By Nissan President, I meant the H250 generation!
Where can I order the front bumper from picture above, NIssan President? Thank you.