Jaguar E-type: the poor man’s Ferrari 250 GTO?

The title of this post is a bit provocative. A Jaguar E-type is by no means a 'poor man's' car. On the contrary. The 'E' is a true legend, one of the most iconic classic sports cars and a valuable collector car. As a thought experiment, let's try to compare it to the most valuable car in the market: Ferrari's 250 GTO. Both these cars were introduced in the early 1960's and had a significant impact on sports car design. One car might even have inspired the creation of the other.

While unfortunately I have never had the chance to drive a GTO (nor will I probably ever), I have first hand experience with 6 and 12 cilinder E-types. I am also a bit biased, both as an E-type owner and as a Ferrari aficionado. For the sake of a rational thought experiment, I attempted to compare the two on a couple of factors: styling, performance, value and motorsport laurels.

Styling

In 1961, Enzo Ferrari called the E-type the most beautiful car ever made. That was before he crafted the GTO and the 275 GTB, the latter of which was clearly inspired by the Jaguar. The E-type had been styled by an aircraft engineer and aerodinamist, Malcolm Sayer. Sayer is known to have been inspired by the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante - a futuristic concept car from 1952. He used mathematical furmulas and an instinctive design approach to come up with an initial concept, further developed by primitive wind tunnel tests. The whole approach was quite revolutionary in the pre-CAD, pre-wind tunnel era.

Before then, Ferrari's designers had never paid much attention to scientific aerodinamics. They simply trusted on the superbly engineered V12 engines. When Enzo first saw the E-type, he probably scratched his head in reflection of his earlier quote:

Aerodynamics are for people who can't build engines.

Enzo Ferrari

It is said that the rumoured arrival of the lightweight E-type racer led to the prioritisation of the 250 GTO project. Ferrari's design team used the university of Pisa's wind tunnel to blend its brilliant engine design with aerodinamic efficiency. The result was a road legal racer that defied competition and raised the bar. It became the first Ferrari with such an emphasis on aerodinamic design.

Nowadays, both these cars are still seen as design icons. The E-type is part of the MoMa's permanent collection, having defined the paradigm of the modern sports car. Both cars are frequently found on various top 10 lists of iconic and legendary automobiles.

Performance

Under the Series One E-type's long bonnet lied the 3.8 litre straight six XK engine from the 1950's, tuned to 265 bhp. The gearbox was an old-fashioned 4-speed Moss box. Power was distributed to the D-type's independent rear suspension, that continued to be used in the Jaguar XJS and Aston Martin DB7. Top speed was tested at 241 kph, with 0-100 kph in 6.4 seconds. In standard road trim, the car weighed 1315 kg.

The GTO was powered by a 3 litre V12, essentially the same as in the 250 Testa Rossa. It offered 296 bhp and was linked to a 5-speed gearbox and a solid rear axle. Curb weight was only 880 kg, thanks to a lightweight tube frame and aluminium body work. Top speed was tested at 237 kph (although Ferrari claims it to be 280 kph), with 0-100 in 6 seconds.

Clearly, the GTO beats the standard E-type when it comes to performance. The on-paper comparison does not seem fair, as the GTO was a road-legal homologation model of a thoroughbred racer. Jaguar had its motorsport equivalent: the 1963 lightweight E-type and the 1962 low-drag coupé. The lightweight produced 300-340 bhp, with a 1009 kg curb weight. It would be more than interesting to get these cars together for a direct comparison.

Motorsport career

The GTO was built to be raced, both by the Ferrari factory team and in the hands of privateers. The car was not as dominant as some other Ferraris though. It finished second in the 12 hours of Sebring, reached two wins in the Tour de France and won three consecutive FIA touring car championship titles. Although GTO's often met E-types on smaller events and classic car races, they were never direct competitors on the race track.

The E-type was more of a GT tourer than a thoroughbred racer, even though it was inspired by the race-bred C- and D-type. Jaguar's factory team only used the lightweight E-type briefly. The factory team was planning on competing in the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1963, with Peter Lindner as lead driver. A fatal crash at Monthlery halted the Le Mans project, as the car was wrecked beyond repair. After the tragic event, Jaguar's attention shifted to the mid-engined V12 XJ13 racer. The E-type's motorsport career was mostly in the hands of privateers, leading to victories at Silverstone, Goodwood and a class victory in the Sebring 12-hours.

Jaguar E-type Lightweight Low Drag Coupe, By Brian Snelson from Hockley, Essex, England - CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18252781

Value

Putting things in simplified perspective, let's say a decent but scruffy driver quality Jaguar E-type can be bought for around US$ 100.000. The latest GTO sale was a spectacular $ 48.405.000, while rumour has it that another one was sold for $ 70.000.000 in a private sale that same year (2018). One GTO therefore has a value of anywhere between 484 - 700 Jaguar E-types. True, it is a silly comparison. Only 36 Ferrari 250 GTO's were ever made, versus almost 79.000 Jaguar E-types. This includes the 12 original lightweight E-types, a car that might be better comparison material to the GTO because of its competition origins. One of these 12 E-types sold for $ 7.370.000 in 2017.

Back when these cars were new, the price difference was a little less significant. At time of introduction, a new E-type sold for $ 5.620, while $ 18.000 plus Enzo Ferrari's personal approval were required to buy a GTO. Oh yes, and both cars could have been bought for very little money, back when there was still not much of a matured classic car market.

The GTO's value has come a long way since this advertisement.

Useability

Both cars do not qualify as daily drivers, although the dandy and extravagant might consider an E-type for their daily commute. Enjoyment is something with different facets. Some owners only get to enjoy their collector's piece by looking at it while keeping it in a maximum-security man-cave. Others take their wheeled toys to the race track, and cannot be bothered when it gets scratched or dented.

Usability of any of these classics depends on their owner's attitude and budget. A specialty car transporter once told me about the precautions taken to move a GTO a few 100 km's across France. The costs plus insurance premium were enough to take a large chunk out of a tatty E-type's restoration budget. Quite a worrisome white elephant.

The E-type definetely scores points here. It is the more sensible car that can actually be taken out and enjoyed without hours of preparation and increased stress levels. Although if you are able to spend 40+ million on a car, you probably cannot be bothered about such marginalities.

The verdict

Comparing a street legal race car to a GT sports car is a ridiculous excercise. Both these cars have become icons in their own right. Both are also dream cars, although the dream of owning an E-type can be realised. Even the more hard-headed E-type fans will admit the GTO to be a more spectacular car. However, the Ferrari 250 GTO will simply remain out of reach for non-billionaire enthusiasts, while the E-type falls into a segment that is actually reachable for moderately wealthy and frugal petrol heads. With its sleek lines and excellent performance, it gets close to being a match for the GTO. To me, the Jaguar E-type qualifies as the ultimate 'poor man's Ferrari 250 GTO'.

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(English) MGB GT restoration: shot blasting the body shell

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This white MGB GT was sold by us in the summer of 2018. Being a 1970 model, it had the typical rare split rear bumper set up, exclusively fitted on the MGB in that one model year. This was a good driver quality car, with a few cosmetic flaws. Although it was the new owner's intention to treat the car to a thorough restoration, he first enjoyed the car as a daily driver during the summer months.

 

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When autumn came, it was time to strip the car completely. The naked body was mounted onto a rotisserie before being brought back to us. We were on a mission to get the car completely rust free. Starting by chemically and mechanically stripping paint off vulnerable areas, the car was then degreased and steam cleaned. Ready for the next step: shot blasting.

 

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As expected, we did not unveil a lot of rust damage. Other than the sills and lower front and rear fenders, the MG was still as good as rust free. After shot blasting, the clean metal received 2 coats of epoxy primer. This ensures a high-quality build up, while also keeping moist outside and protecting the metalwork. The owner will now proceed with welding in new sills and repair panels and rebuilding the drive train.

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When restoring a car, it is essential to apply a durable paint system. Multiple layers of old paint will often hide rust problems or bad repairs underneath. Due to different chemical substances and levels of flexibility, these old coats often do not interact well with a new paint system. Common medium to long term problems include blistering and cracks, while chemical interaction can lead to lifting or wrinkling during the application process. Starting with clean metal and being precise and thorough in your approach will help the DIY restorer achieve a professional, high-quality result. Dandy Classics can help you start off with a clean canvas for your DIY restoration. We have our own media blasting facility and paint booth.

Looking for an interesting project car to restore? Take a look at our current collection of classic cars for sale.

 

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(English) Mercedes R107 Buyer’s Guide

(English) What to pay attention to when buying a Mercedes 450SL, 280SL, 380SL or 560SL?

(English) The Mercedes-Benz R107 SL-series is nicknamed 'der Pantzerwagen', the tank. Sticking this label on a sporty open two-seater, at the time the most frivolous thing Das Haus had to offer, is telling for its legendary quality. Especially because the letters SL stand for Sport Light. With an empty weight of more than 1500 kilos and a driving behaviour geared towards comfort, the R107 is more of a grand tourer than a real sports car. Introduced in 1971, the car remained in production until the end of the 80s. With a continuous production time of 18 years this is the second longest produced Mercedes of all time. The undisputed number 1 is the G-Class Geländewagen, which is still on the price lists today.

For years, the R107 series was considered to be the unloved child of the Mercedes classic scene. As with so many old prestige class cars, the image of a car is often based on the kinds of people who drive around with it just before the car reaches its lowest point in value. Or rather, the prejudice that sticks to these people. With third generation SL's, these were more often than average moustached men wearing a golden wristwatch, accompanied by a substantial bag of cash and a blonde lady dressed in panther print. Not exactly the types the average god-fearing Mercedes owner wants to associate with. With the passing of time, the R107 SL has fortunately shaken off its moustachian image and the car is now being judged on its merits. One piece of German solidity, wrapped in a chic jacket with a sober elegance. But is the R107 still as indestructible as its legendary image after 40 years? Now that the car has come of age as an emerging classic, we take a closer look at the most popular versions.

(English) Mercedes 350SL and 450SL purchase tips

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In recent years, the 450SL has been widely imported from the United States. Americans bought these large eight-cylinder two-seaters in great numbers, despite their substantial new price. In the US, the open Mercedes initially came on the market as 350SL, but the engine was considered to be too light in power. Soon the engine capacity for the American market was increased to 4.5 litres. After a year the type designation was also changed to 450SL. Initially the 350SL could still be ordered with a four-speed manual gearbox, but soon the much more popular automatic transmission became the only available transmission. A V8 SL with manual transmission is very rare and therefore also sought-after by collectors. The 450SL V8 engines are wonderfully smooth, credit to their high torque (286 - 325 Nm).

(English) Mercedes 380SL and 420SL

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The 380SL succeeded the 450SL in 1980. For the American market the power was drastically reduced, to about 155 hp and 260 Nm of torque. This makes it the least powerful of the V8 R107 versions and therefore also the least valuable. However, the build quality and reliability improved considerably compared to the previous SL's. So it will be easier to find a good 380SL. In 1985 the 380 was succeeded by the 420SL, with a slightly larger and stronger engine.

(English) Mercedes 560SL and 500SL

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Only supplied in the US, Australia and Japan and equipped with a monstrously large 5.6 liter V8. With 227 hp this car is less quick than its displacement suggests. The earliest 450SL's (pre-emission) with 225 hp come very close. The European markets got a slightly smaller top model: the 500SL. With 240 hp and more than 400 Nm of torque, this is the most powerful R107 Mercedes.

 

Mercedes 280SL and 300SL

The R107 SL with 6 cylinder in-line engine. Lighter and more economical than the V8 versions and not so much slower. These versions were especially popular in European markets. Due to grey imports, a few 280SL's ended up in the US. The latest version of the six cylinder is by far the most popular, not in the least because of the legendary type name: 300SL.

Technical issues

Mercedesses from these years of construction are generally considered indestructible. The youngest 107's have passed the age of 30 and the first versions are approaching the age of 50. So it is logical that the ravages of time can cause a number of problems, even with well maintained examples. Usually these are common age-related problems: leaking gaskets, oil seals and dried out rubber hoses are common, both at high and low mileage. Vehicles with low mileage (longer periods of inactivity) regularly suffer from a clogged injection system. In the worst case this means that the tank must be cleaned, with replacement of hoses, fuel filter, fuel pump, new or cleaned injectors and a rebuild of the fuel distributor. Problems are manifested by poor starting, irregular idling and incorrect fuel pressure values. Technical wear and tear parts are not overly expensive, although the elimination of a lot of overdue maintenance can be very costly.

(English) Bodywork inspection

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Although less dramatic than many cars from the 70s and 80s, Mercedes SLs, expecially the early versions, can rust heavily. Weak spots are the front fenders above the headlights and on the ribbed underside behind the wheels, sills and the rear fenders on the underside in front of the wheels. Floor panels are other common areas for rust through damage, as are the corners of the boot floor, parts of the chassis beam and crossmembers and the boxed section in the front wheel arches. Repair panels are available in abundance, at reasonable prices. Welding skills and time are a must if you intend to fix a rusty SL.

(English) Interior

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Many SLs are imported from the sunshine states of the US. Although a dry climate is good for preserving the bodywork, it is often disastrous for the interior. Typical SL ailments are cracked dashboards (for which repair panels are available), dried out and torn seat upholstery and dried out rubbers. Keep this in mind in the purchase budget and determine whether this outweighs the price of a car with an interior in good condition.

(English) Restoring your own Mercedes R107 SL?

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Because prices of the R107 have been on the upswing in recent years, it can be interesting for enthusiasts to buy a restoration project. The price difference between project cars and SL's in perfect condition gets bigger every year. If you are not planning to work on a project during weekends and evenings, it is wise to buy the best possible car you can afford, without any cosmetic work or overdue maintenance. When this work has to be outsourced, the costs soon exceed the value of the car, something that does not bother the skilled hobbyist. At Dandy Classics we regularly import Mercedes SL's from the US, both as a restoration project and in a good roadworthy condition. Check out the current offers here.

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(English) 10 tips for selling your classic car

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There may be many reasons why you plan on selling your classic car. The most common reasons for sales include lack of space, lack of time, not using the car enough or financial difficulties. Whatever your reason, the sale of a classic car is not an everyday affair. From my experience with selling classics, I have formulated a couple of tips. Hopefully, these will help you to successfully sell your oldtimer car.

1. Prepare the car for sale

Wash your car. Too often I encounter cars under a layer of dust, tucked away in a corner of a shed with an interior full of junk. Not particularly attractive for a potential buyer. So start off by giving your car a thorough cleaning. Although most classic car enthousiasts know that there is always something to improve on an old car, it helps to fix small defects in advance. In particular, the general state of maintenance, fine tuning of the engine and proper functioning of brakes, steering and suspension are important. Also consider collecting and organising documentation. A stack of invoices for maintenance, parts, valuation reports and manuals make an oldtimer more attractive for enthusiasts.

2. Take good photos

Photograph your car in a clear way, in daylight and with a neutral background. Keep a certain chronological order. Start with the 4 corners of the car, front and rear, then the interior, mileage, engine compartment, boot area and any maintenance history and extra parts. Also add clear close ups of defects. A dent, scratch, rust bubbles or crack in the glass will not be noticed from a distance, especially on photos. You are helping potential buyers by offering your car as transparent as possible.

 

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3. Be honest and transparent in the description

This serves two purposes. It informs the buyer and helps you answer apparently simple questions. So be honest about what you offer. Has the engine ever been replaced? Does the car whine in third gear? Does the interior come from another car? Is there any rust or past repair work? Mention this clearly in your advertisements. It prevents disappointments and wasting each other's time.

4. Apply a realistic asking price

Pricing your car correctly and market-compatibly is not easy. Owners often have an unrealistic view of their car's value, especially when a lot has been invested. However annoying this may sound, the value of a car is mostly unrelated to the amount of money that has been put in. Supply and demand determine value. To be more precise because, the value of you car is based on its attractiveness to potential buyers,  compared to other cars on the market. Some vintage cars are simply not very popular. It can sometimes take years before a certain make or type is 'in fashion' again. Certain models are fortunate to take part in a popularity trend, which benefits the price. For example, a Peugeot 205 GTi that was purchased 10 years for a meagre € 1000 can fetch more than an MGB that was bought at the same time for € 10,000. Even when that MG comes with a large stack of recent specialist invoices of € 8,000. This observation can hurt, but it helps if you adjust your expectations to the market situation. Make a good estimate of the value in advance and check where comparable cars are being offered for.

5. Answer questions from interested parties with patience

If all goes well, you have already given most of the information in your ad tekst. Also, a substantial number of clear photos have been posted. Despite your careful preparation, you will notice that questions may arise that can cause irritation. Often, for example, the (lowest, last, trade, ...) price is requested. Many people also ask questions for which the answer can already be derived from your text or photos. Especially with e-mail traffic, there is often miscommunication. Keep in mind that most people, despite their lack of communication skills, have sincere intentions. So stay patient and polite and try to answer every question seriously.

 

6. Be wary of scammers and bunglers

Should we specifically address payment via Western Union or an intermediary proposed by the buyer? Often these are foreign buyers, people who are too busy to inspect the car in person and are the least critical about the car you offer. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. As long as the car stays where it is until payment is received, there seems to be little to worry about. Everything that deviates from this is, to put it mildly, dubious.

Of course there are also people whose hobby it is to browse through car ads, contacting many sellers to try and make 'a deal'. These people are not interested in buying a nice classic, but get a kick out of the buying process itself (which will never be followed up, even if an agreement is reached below rock-bottom price). It is my prejudiced suspicion that many people with mental illnesses, detainees and minors respond to car ads. I do not like putting a label on people, but this is typically a case of personal frustration. Classic cars are a dream for many, but only accessible to the few. My advice: do not get carried away by irritations. Keep communicating politely and be clear about what is and is not possible.

 

7. Beware of cash transactions

In the car trade it is not unusual when (a part of) the purchase price is paid in cash. Buyers and sellers are naturally suspicious and can consider this a safe payment option. However, this does increase the risk for the seller, as there may be counterfeit banknotes in that big stack of cash. On the other hand, a buyer may be suspicious of transferring a considerable sum of money by bank. Do you doubt the authenticity of the money? Suggest to go to a deposit machine with the buyer, or use a device with which authenticity features can be distinguished. A check is unusual in the Netherlands, but is still widely used in Belgium and France. This also involves a risk, when the check is not covered.

 

8. Patience is rewarded

Has your car still not sold after two weeks? Don't panic. The sale of a classic car usually takes longer than in the case of a modern car, for which there is a much bigger pool of buyers. From personal experience, a number of months usually pass before a serious buyer shows up. A sale period of more than a year is not uncommon either. In the latter case, there is a fair chance that your asking price is unrealistic, or that your car is of an undesirable type, colour or specification.

 

9. Fast cash = less revenue

If you do not have that time, concessions will have to be made to the price. Traders can often buy on a short term, but offer considerably less than private buyers. When selling via online or offline auctions, there is a risk that there are too few serious bidders to raise the price to a realistic market value. And when setting a too high reserve price, the car can remain unsold, while fixed fees have been charged.

 

10. Sell by yourself or through a specialist?

Selling your classic by yourself brings a few disadvantages and risks. Don't like the prospect of answering many phone calls and e-mails, having strangers at the door and disappointments due to deals not falling through? Maybe it's a better idea to sell the car on consignment by a classic car specialist. In the Netherlands and Belgium there are several specialist dealers who sell cars on behalf of their customers. Also at Dandy Classics we like to help our customers with consignment sales. Curious about how this works? Read more on our purchase and consignment page.

Maybe you want to wait a little longer and put the car in storage for a while? Continue reading our article with storage tips for your classic car.

 

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(Nederlands) Hoe monteer je kurken pakkingen bij oldtimers?

Kurken pakkingen komen veelvuldig voor in klassieke auto's. De toepassing van kurk klinkt misschien als iets ouderwets en achterhaald. Toch is dit natuurproduct een goede oplossing voor het lekvrij afdichten van technische onderdelen. Mits je je houdt aan een aantal basisregels voor montage.

Hoe wordt een kurken pakking gemaakt?

Kurk is een natuurproduct. Net als fleskurken wordt dit pakkingmateriaal gewonnen uit de schors van de kurkeik. Elke 8-12 jaar kan deze boomschors geoogst worden. Hierna heeft de boom tijd nodig om te herstellen. Aangezien dit proces de boom niet aantast is kurk een milieuvriendelijk materiaal. De meeste kurkproductie vindt plaats in Zuid-Europa, vanwege het gunstige klimaat.

 

Hoe werken kurken pakkingen?

Kurk heeft als materiaal uitstekende absorberende eigenschappen. Hierdoor wordt de olie uit de motor door het kurk opgenomen. Dit laat de pakking uitzetten, waardoor een perfecte afdichting ontstaat. Omdat hier wat tijd overheen gaat zal een nieuwe kurken pakking in het begin altijd iets lekken. Met name bij een kleppendeksel of carter moet het materiaal vaak nog wat uitzetten. Een andere eigenschap is dat het kurk oneffenheden prima kan opvullen en afsluiten. Kurken pakkingen zijn dan ook vaak wat dikker dan andere pakkingmaterialen.

Kurken pakkingmateriaal kan op rol gekocht worden en dient dan op maat te worden gesneden. Wij hebben diverse pasvorm pakkingen voor Engelse oldtimers, zoals Triumph, MG en Jaguar. Deze zijn te bestellen in onze webshop.

Kurk in carburateurs

Bij veel Britse klassiekers wordt kurk gebruikt als afdichting in carburateurs. O.a. SU en Zenith carburateurs hebben kurken afdichtingen. Wanneer deze carburateurs gereviseerd worden moeten de kurken pakkingen eerst 24 uur in schone motorolie gelegd worden. Hierdoor zet het materiaal uit en dicht het beter af.

Montage kurken pakking bij oldtimers

Maak allereerst het pasvlak aan beide kanten goed schoon. Een vlak schraapmes komt hierbij goed van pas. Let op dat je geen krassen maakt. Dit vergroot de kans op lekkage. Zorg bij de montage dat de pakking niet klem komt te zitten. Een knik, deuk of scheur betekent dat deze niet meer goed kan afdichten. Bij het aandraaien van bouten moet de kracht gelijkmatig verdeeld worden. Draai bouten of moeren dus stapsgewijs kruislings aan. Gebruik geen vloeibare pakking.

Zelf kurken pakkingen maken

Voor veel Engelse sportwagens leveren wij de meest voorkomende pakkingen, o.a. voor kleppendeksels, carters, distributiedeksels en carburateurs. Deze zijn eenvoudig te bestellen in onze webshop. Is de onderdelensituatie voor jouw merk en type auto op z'n zachtst gezegd problematisch? Geen nood, kurken pakkingen kunnen ook zelf nagemaakt worden. De betere automaterialenzaak kan dit pakkingmateriaal op rol leveren. Hiermee kunnen de meest uiteenlopende pakkingen zelf gemaakt worden. Teken het pasvlak af (of gebruik wat vet) en snijd de vorm secuur uit met een scherp mes en lineaal.  Voilà, weer een stapje dichterbij een lekvrij motorblok.

Geen zin om zelf aan de slag te gaan? In onze werkplaats helpen we graag met het oplossen van lekkages.

Op zoek naar een projectauto om te restaureren? Meerdere interessante restauratieobjecten zijn te vinden in onze collectie.

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