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Image of a fresh Folksvagus beetella shell after moultation, old shell on the right.
For those without comedic tastes, the self-proclaimed experts at Wikipedia think they have an article about Ecdysis.

Ecdysis is the moulting of the body in cars and related vehicles. Since the body of these vehicles is also painted and is inelastic, it is shed after usual wear and then a newer, better paintjob is formed.

Other reasons for moulting are damaged tires and missing fenders. Over a series of moults, a missing hood can be regenerated, the cover being a little larger with each moult until it is of covering size again.


In preparation for ecdysis, the car won't start for a period of time, undergoing apolysis (separation of the engine from the frame).

For most vehicles, the resting period is misunderstood as having a leak or being broken down, with the secretion of engine fluid and the loosening of the undercarriage occuring. Following the shedding of the old body, a new layer is secreted during a second period of inactivity. All body and engine mounts are shed at ecdysis, including the frame, which includes terminal junctions of the transmission if it is present.

Then, by sticky shifting, the vehicle pushes forward in the old body, which splits at the hood and allows the vehicle to emerge. Often, this initial crack is caused by an increase in RPMs within the engine (in combination with movement), forcing an expansion across its transmission, leading to an eventual crack that allows for certain vehicles such as VW Bugs to extricate themselves.


Related to the word ecdysis is ecdysiast, a euphemism for a really, really sexy yet scientifically-minded striptease dancer.

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