From Sex to Shrimp, How One Used Car Dealer Scrubs Away Any Vehicle’s Gross History

A crime-scene investigator puts Starmark's system to the test

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It’s a used car, so it had a life before you came along. But exactly what kind of mischief happened in there? And what’s that funky smell?

If you really don’t want to know, and would prefer to have all traces of lewd behavior, food products, sweat and stank removed from the vehicle, a company in Denmark says it can help. And it’s willing to put its work to the test by bringing in a seasoned crime scene investigator to inspect some of its freshly scrubbed cars.

Starmark, billed as Denmark’s largest dealer of pre-owned premium cars, has made a short film about the experiment, dubbed the “Sex, Prawns and Rock ‘n’ Roll Test.”

It starts with the company befouling three perfectly nice vehicles. There is, indeed, passionate lovemaking, pounds of shrimp and a half-naked heavy metal band involved. Separately, of course.

Then after a 60-step cleansing process, it’s time to bring in the big gun—Jorn Moos, a CSI expert with nearly four decades of experience and a record of high-profile crime-solving in Denmark. He cracked one of the country’s most notorious terrorism cases by finding evidence in a getaway car.

“The reason I’m different to the other investigators is that I’m extremely curious,” he says, “and I’m also very thorough.” He searches for things like “organic traces.” Yeah, gross.

Can he tell, using microscopes, UV lights, fingerprint dusting and other sophisticated police techniques, what happened in those cars?

You may be able to guess answer since Starmark’s tagline is, “Whatever happened, didn’t happen,” and the brand’s promise is to wipe away a car’s possibly sordid history. But it’s a forensic geek’s dream to get there, via the five-minute mini-docudrama from filmmaker (and Cannes Silver Lion winner) Laurits Munch-Petersen.

Even when you know how it’ll end, it’s an understated delight to watch it unfold. And Moos should land a role in the inevitable CSI: Scandinavia spinoff. That guy’s a star.

@TLStanleyLA T.L. Stanley is a senior editor at Adweek, where she specializes in consumer trends, cannabis marketing, meat alternatives, pop culture, challenger brands and creativity.