By on January 12, 2010

moss blooming

In the drippy, gray winters of the northwest, its hard keep things from growing, even on your car. Park it under a big fir tree, and the microscopic pollen sticks even to the paint. The greenish film attracts other species: lichen, moss, and even weeds and grass. That moss is pushing up through the holes on this vinyl roof like an alien invader. These are not junkers, but regular drivers. Even my ’05 xB has a bright green sheen on the outside bottom window seal. They were here first, and they’re determined to reclaim their territory.

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24 Comments on “Curbside Classic Outtake: Bio-Cars...”


  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    It’ s not so much the cars I’d worry about, it’s your lungs.  Geeze…

  • avatar

    Who needs a compass?  After all, the moss always grows on the north side of the car, right?  BTW, there must be something special in Vanagon paint, ‘cuz I’ve seen similar growth on one parked near me in Woodstock, NY.

  • avatar
    educatordan

    Almost as ugly as the rocker panel rust my 1982 Celebrity had (Ohio car).  God I love New Mexico and only having to worry about sun damage!

  • avatar

    well that is impressive. No, we don’t get anything like that in New England that I’m aware of. And if we did, the winter salt would kill it.
    That said, there was a wonderful story in the NYer a few years ago about the redwood forest canopy in CA. There’s a whole ecosystem up there, with various animals and plants living in the dirt that has accumulated in the treetops from the existence of all these hitchhikers.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Reminds me of the TV series Life After People, on the History Channel.  Yuk.

    Uncontrolled biology and man-made objects do not mix well.  I never thought I’d say this, but I’d rather deal with rust.

  • avatar
    Juniper

    I grew up in the northwest, we had a remedy for this. We washed our cars!!!
    Really don’t want to see their kitchens or bathrooms.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    All we get is salt crust and black icicles.

  • avatar
    SacredPimento

    I guess I wouldn’t feel so bad about driving an SUV as long as it had its own ecosystem.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    At some point, doesn’t the organic matter begin to lever-off the trim (like a tree growing up thru concrete)?

  • avatar

    SacredPimento should get a prize for humor. That’s the funniest thing I’ve seen this year so far.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    We’re in Vancouver Canada, and have a car that’s kept on the street and gets very little sun exposure during the winter.  Despite regular washings, every spring all the nooks and crannies are infested with black and green slime.  It has to be power washed, and then gone over with a toothbrush etc. to get all this crap out of the trim, door thresholds etc.  If it’s not thoroughly cleaned, moss and plants are not long in growing.

    These pictures reminded me of the tv show “Life After Humans”.

  • avatar
    newcarscostalot

    The same thing happens here in WA State. This stuff grows on wood, such as decks, and makes them very slippery. My neighbor has an older car that she drives reguarly and it has that green moss stuff on it. However, as Juniper pointed out, if people would wash their cars this would not happen. Just noticed the comment above. I would not have the motivation to go through that! My car would probably look like Swamp Thing…

  • avatar

    I’ll enter the Northwestern market with a Weed-B-Gone car wash and wax line. Now with extra SOLVER!

    The standard bleach treatment (for decks and cedar shake roofs) is probably a bad idea, no?

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    I’ve seen all of the above in the shade canopies of Florida and Georgia. Then there’s the kudzu situation in Northern Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas. You’d be surprised at how well that Japanese plant covers old American iron.

  • avatar
    Contrarian

    Consider yourself lucky that stuff actually can grow during your winter.  Only our snowbanks grow here in Central NY.

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    I just can’t imagine my car being so filthy and covered in that crap! Right now my ride’s dirty because it’s been too cold to wash it for a few weeks, and it’s making me insane. I couldn’t deal with stuff growing on it!

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    If the background of the first photo didn’t clearly show trees, I would have believed that the picture was taken underwater. This stuff makes the salt crust forming on my midwestern car seem much less troubling.

  • avatar
    obbop

    We need “Roundup Ready” vehicle paint.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    I have a vague memory of being given a lift in an old Talbot driven by a a family friend. The back windscreen seal leaked and the back seats were missing most of their fabric. The resultant wet foam had got covered in some sort of seeds at one point and the tops of the seats sprouted what looked like cress which grew up in the direction of the light. Back then I thought it was funny, now I just feel slightly sick about what other kinds of mold would have been growing in that rot box of his.

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