Yellow Shark & The American Car Cemetery

There’s one aspect of Speedhunting that I enjoy above all others, and that’s going off the beaten path and exploring. Doing so, you eventually stumble upon something interesting.

Nothing gets the excitement going as much as finding a cool car, a never-before-heard-about shop or an abandoned classic. And while on a quiet weekend drive across Shizuoka during summer, I came across something that pretty much hit all of these points.


It was totally by chance too. The navigation showed pretty horrible traffic on the highway back to Tokyo, so I decided to attempt a section of the drive on backroads to see where they’d take me.

Despite what most people think, Japan is extremely rural once you venture outside the built-up areas. There’s been a real population shift over the last few generations that has seen huge migration to the big cities, slowly but surely emptying out the countryside and costal towns, leaving only the elderly behind. It’s a pity that economically, as well as politically, this is being overlooked, because it’s caused a concerning depression of these more rural areas.


Visually it can be quite evident; it’s not hard to find abandoned shops, closed up businesses, empty houses with overgrown yards, and very little movement on the roads in small towns. It’s sad and concerning to see, and makes you wonder how it’s all going to pan out in the long run. The greater Tokyo area is now home to 37 million people, which is a quarter of Japan’s total population, so I think something will eventually have to give. There’s growing hope that the pandemic and new ways of working will help alleviate things as people realize that quality of life is actually quite important. But I digress…


While travelling down one of Shizuoka’s rural backroads, in the distance I spotted a series of abandoned American cars, which immediately piqued my interest. Once I was upon them, I pulled over for a closer look.


There was a bright yellow transporter next to them which looked far from abandoned, and the sign-writing told me it belonged to a workshop called Yellow Shark.


I walked down the road a little and arrived at a business property bearing the same name.


It was eerily quiet, with only the sound of cicadas in the surrounding woods disturbing the peace.


I slowly walked into the yard in front of the main building where more weathered American cars and trucks were parked up.


It was hard to tell if this place was still in business or not, but regardless of that it kind of felt like I was intruding.


While the main share of cars were American – including some possibly salvageable Corvettes – it was obvious that Yellow Shark catered to a wide variety of makes and models.


There was a Honda Beat under a cover, a recently resprayed Sunny, and what looked like a Toyota Crown from the mid ’70s.


With so many weathered panels and random parts lying around the place, it was a bit of a dream to shoot.

There was even a little Subaru 360 sporting a custom sky blue paint job.


I made my way closer to the main entrance of the shop, wondering if someone was there. And that’s when I spotted an old Chevy Suburban parked between the posts of a rusty lift.


The fresh LS swap and clean exterior paint was enough to convince me that Yellow Shark is still very much in business.


However, on this day it didn’t seem to be open, which was a true pity because I’m sure there’d be some interesting stuff inside the large main building.


I did try knocking on the slide door of the main office followed by a few polite ‘sumimasens’ (translation: excuse me) but no luck, so I moved to the side of the shop to take a closer look at what was parked along the road.


It’s such a great feeling coming across sights like these, and as I said earlier, it’s an element of Speedhunting that has always brought so much satisfaction.

So aside from definitely having to stop by Yellow Shark again when they are open, I really hope I can find more time to roam the backroads of rural Japan to see what I can uncover. You can only imagine what’s out there…

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: dino_dalle_carbonare



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Wow Dino, I would not have thought that such a place existed... rusty American iron (and aging fiberglass) from the 80s and 90s.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Japan truly has everything!


Takes me back to the old Pick-A-Part days on Beaumont Highway. Thanks Dino!


The grey one under the Beat pic appears to be a KE30 Corolla.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Good call


Corvettes in Japan are always so interesting, especially the C4 generation. Just look at that center exit exhaust! Might just have to do that to mine...

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yeah I thought that was pretty cool too


Thank you for describing the environment. I could hear, smell, and touch the surroundings. Growing up in rural America, this scene was extremely common. Now living in the city, I can't wait to move my family back out to that life of open spaces, sounds of insects/animals, and being content to live without another soul within a stone's throw away.


Here's to a fresh wave of transcendentalism. It's no accident Newton developed calculus while living on the farm.


Don't forget the ability to own ample garage/workshop space for housing the collection of vehicles you have stored in your head!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Countryside is awesome, but in Japan it's just too isolated


Years ago cars in barns was a website I looked around on, thinking about what's still out there, waiting for someone to take the time to get it back on the road. That 1969 camaro would sell easily, depending on the engine and other parts with it, it might bring a good amount of money.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yeah but shipping it from Japan?


Sad to see all of these good cars rotting away
At least these pics are like art

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Scenes like these sure make for good subjects, but a pity yes


This is wild. Pretty neat to see that Suburban among so many beaters. Very curious about what's inside

Dino Dalle Carbonare

So am I!


A first-gen Seville SLS...IN JAPAN?!

Whoever owns this place must be a lunatic.

Dino Dalle Carbonare



Many thanks Dino for bringing this nice article.

I bet those sports car had seen better days and care from their onwners. If only I can hear them talk, there be would certainly lots of interesting tales to hear from them.


According to your story, i think this is a shop owner with a good reputation in american steel who has collected some loyal costumers. And since the shop is located in a country side, the owner is living in peace and on a slower pace than the city life style so he's not into social media and all the flashy promotions and advertisement but instead he's relying on his costumers to bring some new selective costumers just to keep the shop alive. I bet he kicked out a bunch of possible builds just because he didn't like the idea.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I have to agree, the fact they don't even have a website (at least that I could find) points to this


Hope you able to contact the business owner soon. Would love to see what they've got inside

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Like I said, if I pass by there again I'm stopping by


I did find some contact info for a shop called yellow shark located in this prefecture. Here's an attempt to post the link without the comment system blocking it: Starts with https


This just makes me want to move to Japan even more

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Please come, there is lots of space in the countryside lol, they are even giving houses and land away if you meet certain criteria


Are there professions that have shortages in japan? for example farmers, living in the Netherlands with rising costs of living and a growing shortage of living space (even in rural area's) moving to a different country is getting more interesting by the day.


Wow okay gimme a year or two and you'll see me there! Visiting Japan, let alone living there, has always been a long time dream of mine, and I technically have some relatives over there, though none that speak English, so the communication barrier would be a little difficult initially, but I have learned some of the language, so hopefully it wouldn't be too bad.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Go for it!


Free house - adjacent to JASDF base. Yay.

Is it true that Japanese zoning is such that you can sandwich a kindergarten in between a love hotel and a rendering plant and nobody bats an eye?

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Pretty much. Don't forget the odd hostess bar, maybe a concrete dispatch center and probably a sopaland, because... why not? Hey at least being Japan you'll know that you are never too far from a conbini, your chuhai & onigiri fix is never more than a short walk away (which you have to do while wearing your pajamas and your wive's massively undersized heeled slippers) :)


Really nice article and great photos! I did find something about them on the net. At least there's some contact info (a telephone number): - there is also a link to a website but it's inactive apparently. Still you might try giving them a call.


Hi Dino, Great photos, and great story, as usual!
The exodus from the rural areas to the city is everywhere but on some countries is worst then others....
I've never been in Japan but I think it's really bad over there, as well as the aging population and not enough babies being born.
People are too committed to work and not each other.