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David Lucsko

David Lucsko



David Lucsko

Contact Me


307 Thach Hall

Office Hours

Wednesday, Friday 2-4 pm


PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

About Me

Before joining the Auburn faculty in 2010, David Lucsko was managing editor of Technology and Culture and taught history of technology at the University of Detroit Mercy. He received his BS from Georgia Tech in 1998 and his PhD from M.I.T. in 2005.

Lucsko's research focuses on the history of the automobile (manufacturers and users, particularly enthusiasts). His first book, The Business of Speed: The Hot Rod Industry in America, 1915-1990 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), examines the development of the hobby and business of high-performance automotive modification (a.k.a. "tuning" or "hot rodding"). His second book, Junkyards, Gearheads, and Rust: Salvaging the Automotive Past (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016), analyzes the relationship between automobile enthusiasts and salvage yards by examining the ways in which out-of-service or junked cars have been re-used, recycled, and re-purposed in the twentieth-century United States. He is currently working on a monograph about the automotive restoration hobby.

Research Interests

history of technology, transportation history, history of manufacturing, environmental history



  • Junkyards, Gearheads, and Rust: Salvaging the Automotive Past (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016)
  • The Business of Speed: The Hot Rod Industry in America, 1915–1990 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008).

Articles and Essays

  • “‘Proof of Life’: Restoration and Old-Car Patina,” in The Persistence of Technology: Histories of Repair, Reuse, and Disposal [working title], ed. Stefan Krebs and Heike Weber (Transcript Verlag, forthcoming [2020])
  • “‘Junkyard Jamboree’: Hunting for Treasure in the Twentieth Century,” IA, The Journal of the Society for Industrial Archaeology 39 (2013 [published in 2016]): 93–111.
  • “Of Clunkers and Camaros: Accelerated Vehicle Retirement Programs and the Automobile Enthusiast, 1990–2009,” Technology and Culture 55 (April 2014): 390–428.
  • “American Motor Sport: The Checkered Literature on the Checkered Flag,” in A Companion to American Sport History, ed. Steven Riess (Wiley Blackwell, 2014), 313–33.
  • “Automobile Racing and the American Hot Rod,” in Motorsports and American Culture: From Demolition Derbies to NASCAR, ed. John Miller and Mark Howell (Scarecrow Press, 2014), 25–37.
  • “Hot Rodding,” in Sports in America: From Colonial Times to the Twenty-First Century, ed. Steven Riess (M.E.Sharpe, 2011), 461–63.
  • “John Bell Rae and the Automobile: 1959, 1965, 1971, 1984,” Technology and Culture 50 (2009): 894–914.

Courses Taught

  • HIST 1210: Technology and Civilization I
  • HIST 1220: Technology and Civilization II
  • HIST 3570: The Automobile in History
  • HIST 3970: Undergraduate Special Topics: Garbage and Waste in History
  • HIST 4950: Senior Thesis
  • HIST 5500/6500: The Great Transformation: The Industrial Revolution
  • HIST 7970: Graduate Special Topics: Waste and Waste Management in History
  • HIST 7510: Introductory Seminar in the History of Technology