Request Inspection Copy

If you are an Academic or Teacher and wish to consider this book as a prescribed textbook for your course, you may be eligible for a complimentary inspection copy. Please complete this form, including information about your position, campus and course, before adding to cart.

* Required Fields

To complete your Inspection Copy Request you will need to click the Checkout button in the right margin and complete the checkout formalities. You can include Inspection Copies and purchased items in the same shopping cart, see our Inspection Copy terms for further information.

Any Questions? Please email our text Support Team on


Email this to a friend

* ALL required Fields

Order Inspection Copy

An inspection copy has been added to your shopping cart

Junkyards, Gearheads, and Rust: Salvaging the Automotive Past

by David Lucsko Johns Hopkins University Press
Pub Date:
Hbk 280 pages
AU$95.00 NZ$98.26
Product Status: Out of stock. Not available to order.
What happens to automobiles after they are retired but before they are processed as scrap? In this fascinating history, David N. Lucsko takes readers on a tour of salvage yards and wrecked or otherwise out-of-service cars in the United States from the point of view of gearheads—the hot rodders, restoration hobbyists, street rodders, and classic car devotees who reuse, repurpose, and restore junked cars.


Junkyards, Gearheads, and Rust is a nuanced exploration of the business of dismantling wrecks and selling second-hand parts. It examines the reinterpretation of these cars and parts by artists as well as their restoration by enthusiasts. It also surveys the origin and evolution of gearhead-oriented yards that specialize in specific types of automobiles; dissects the material and emotional appeal of the salvage yard and its contents among enthusiasts; and examines how zoning and nuisance ordinances have affected both salvage businesses and hobbyists.


Lucsko concludes with an analysis of efforts during the last twenty-five years to hasten vehicular obsolescence at the expense of salvage yards, mechanics, and enthusiasts. By examining how cars are salvaged, repurposed, and restored, this book demonstrates that the history of the automobile is much more than a running catalog of showroom novelties.


1. The Automotive Salvage Business in America, 1900–2010
2. Parts, Parts Cars, and Car Enthusiasts
3. Arizona Gold
4. Junkyard Jamboree
5. Not in My Neighbor's Backyard, Either
6. Of Clunkers and Camaros
Essay on Sources

"Junkyards, Gearheads and Rust is above all an elegy to the open junkyard and the enthusiasts' subcultures that they supported, to, in Lucsko's words, 'Saturday afternoon strolls through weed-covered relics' (p. 132)... Well-researched and clearly written, Junkyards, Gearheads and Rust is a welcome and often thought provoking, evocative, and exuberant addition to the scholarly literature on Americans and automobiles."

David N. Lucsko is managing editor of Technology and Culture and an instructor of technological history at the University of Detroit Mercy.