Daniel O’Grady has a thing for Japanese castles, and he’s spent the last decade touring Japan, photographing and documenting as many sites as he can. O’Grady is also a car guy, and the video above depicts the intersection of his two interests.
While en route to a castle on Kyushu Island, O’Grady came across what appears to be a graveyard of American muscle cars in Kurume City. The cars are parked in a vacant lot, seemingly without regard to decay, forgotten by their previous owners.
In any American city, such unattended iron would quickly be stripped of any valuable parts by collectors or scrappers, but the Japanese are much more respectful of others’ property (and more law-abiding, too). The fact that the cars aren’t behind a six-foot cyclone fence, topped with razor wire, speaks volumes about Japanese culture.
Given the demand for vintage American cars by Japanese collectors, this video appears to be more of a mystery than it seems on the surface. One commentator suggested the cars were abandoned when they couldn’t pass Japanese emissions testing, but we seriously doubt that’s the case.
A quick glance at the video reveals a 1969 Camaro (with a 327 V-8), a 1971-ish Camaro Z/28, assorted Mustangs, a pair of Corvettes and what looks to be a 1976 Firebird Trans Am. Judging from the foliage around the cars, they've been parked for a considerably long time.
We’re with Dan on this one. While it may not be the equivalent of watching an owner beat his dog, there’s an element of sadness in seeing what once were prized possessions cast aside by former owners. There’s a story behind every one of these cars, and we’d love to hear it.