Although not as well known as Fuji or Panasonic, the Centurions were among the best Japanest imports of the '70's and '80's. Richard Ballantine chose the 1977 Centurion Pro-Tour as one of his "picks" for "best" bikes in his 1978 "Richard's Bicycle Book", and again in his 1982 book. I have a Pro Tour from around 1983 or 1984, and had two of the "Dave Scott Ironman" models. (I let one go last week...too small for me).
The best Japanese bike factories, including Miyata, Fuji, Bridgestone, and Panasonic, mastered the art of making affordable steel frame bikes that compared well with much more expensive European-made bikes. A Centurion with top-of-the line Suntour or Shimano components rides and performs as well as some mega-buck Italian bikes with Campy components, yet sold for about a third or half their price.
Unfortunately, the dollar/yen ration has made Japanese-made bike far too expensive in the USA. Rivendell continues to import some of its bikes from a small shop in Japan, but their price is WAAY out of my league.