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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We pay $50-$55,000 for a new Corvette. I look at the Lexus and some of the foreign cars and I see the quality, the way the sections line up, the fit, paint- no orange peel, and I wonder if you guys ever really looked at the Chevy dashboard. Look how wavy they are. With the leather interiror, the stitching is farther apart than on the foreign cars, and the carpeting doesn't fit snug either. I feel, the quality of the plastics used on Amercian cars are inferior to that of foreign cars. Look at the plastic trim and the way it fits. And, on American cars look at the wiring harnesses, and how sometimes they are slopped around a bit, or the tape is coming off the plastic insulator for the wiring.

What if they didn't have the UAW and the wages were low. And, they didn't have the excuse "well the labor is high in America". Would they put a better product out? For less money? I don't think so. I don't blame it on the workers, that the workmanship isn't up to par. I blame it on the management. In Japan they try to improve, not cut corners, or use cheaper material. And, it shows, we are losing the race. I am a craftsman in my field and so was my dad, and many of my colleagues that I worked with through the years also agree, that the quality of the foreign cars and the types of material used, especially the weatherstripping, on GM products starts to crack and rip.

I have a Subaru with 236,000 miles on it and the weatherstripping around the window still feels and looks like it came out of the showroom. I think American companies lean more towards the profits than product quality. Or, are we all too complacent as consumers?

Take the Z06. You have to pay more money, and they say "well, you have a German transmission in there". Why aren't we able to boast "I have an American transmission in my Vette". This should tell you something. Just a thought. Feel free to comment or tell me off if I am wrong.
 

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People like you just piss me off always bragging about import cars This is America you should by Americac,support America Quit whinning!!The Vette is the best car by far.....:mad: :mad:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Jim ODeen said:
People like you just piss me off always bragging about import cars This is America you should by Americac,support America Quit whinning!!The Vette is the best car by far.....:mad: :mad:


:lol: :lol: :lol: Go have a beer and chill.:guiness: I am talking about craftsmanship, not our country.

It's about improving on our products, so we can be prouder and compete globally. I don't like to see better craftsmanship in a foreign car. It disturbs me, because I love my country. But, unfortunatley there is truth to craftsmanship deterioraton in the US. Let's face it and change it. That's pride. Pride to do better and not live with the false security that everything is OK, when its not. Before you know it, we'll be down the tubes. And it will be because of people who put their false pride forward with their blinders on, not wanting to face reality.

If you brought a car into my shop and you wanted a new quarter panel, and I straightened it with bondo instead, and tried to cover it up and told you I put a new one on, so my profits would be higher, and in a year or so it shrunk and got wavy, would you be proud of that?. I wouldn't. You wouldn't come back. You'd tell everyone not to use me, and I'd eventually go out of business. I don't want this country to go out of business. Why do you think they are giving out 0% financiing to keep America rolling? Maybe we are getting into trouble here. I hope you are intelligent enough to realize that we need to start doing something. It should tick you off that there is a problem! And, not that someone noticed it?
 

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fatherlarry said:




:lol: :lol: :lol: Go have a beer and chill.:guiness: I am talking about craftsmanship, not our country.

...
It should tick you off that there is a problem! And, not that someone noticed it?
It does on occasion irritate me too. I also have a Subaru, a 91 Legacy. It doesn't burn oil, the interior is good, the weatherstripping is good. The body is good. It has almost 200k on it. It has a tap in the engine when I start it. I would put gas in it right now, change the oil, and drive straight thru to Los Angeles. That's not ant-American. That's just experience speaking. :eek:

Quality has always been a problem with American Automobiles. But, once again, the proof is in the pudding. As long as we keep buying, they will keep building them. I prefer not to be without my Vette.:roll:
 

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I took a 15 year break from Corvettes and American cars due to quality and performance issues during the 80's and 90's. Since 8/99 I have owned all C5 models a total of 5 new purchases. AMERICAN AUTOMAKERS HAVE COME A LONG WAY AND NOW RIVAL THE FOREIGN GUYS IN QUALITY, PERFORMANCE, TECHNOLOGY and exeed imports in VALUE BIG TIME. The Corvette, all versions, are a prime example. Since 9/11 I have made a comittment to myself to only purchase American made autos in the future and I have.

Some of my best friends are employed by US automakers.


Fubu/Les
 

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Maybe you need to look at it from a different perspective. We get the performance of cars that cost $90,000 and more. Can I tolerate a few less stitches in my seats for that? Hell Yes! :D

In terms of initial quality, the Corvette is first in it's class - Premium Sports Cars. That's pretty damn stout when you consider the cost.

Should the things you mention be better? Sure. But I for one appreciate the chance of driving a car that'll run with the best from Stuttgart and having $40,000 cash in my pocket.

$50,000 may seem like a ton of money, but the Corvette is still one heck of a bargain.
 

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If you don't think the quality is any good then why did you buy it???? Sell it,buy a Jap crap and watch it rust to death:D :D
 

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fatherlarry said:
Take the Z06. You have to pay more money, and they say "well, you have a German transmission in there". Why aren't we able to boast "I have an American transmission in my Vette". This should tell you something. Just a thought. Feel free to comment or tell me off if I am wrong.
Actually it's a Mexican Transmission as the Muncie/Getrag licensing and tooling went to Tremec. Nonetheless, the Corvette is an American car. I feel the engineering and execution to be very good actually.

All car manufacturers use suppliers to some degree.

I do appreciate the point you seem to be making. The Corvette quality can always be improved, as can any car.

I think you might find the quality of the 'vette to be superior to nearly all of the super-exotics.

Handling and power are what I look for. I don't think we've been shorted, nor is the car not a real "value" which is a term seldom used in the same breath when speaking "true" sports cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Re: Just a thought.....

1fastdog said:

I think you might find the quality of the 'vette to be superior to nearly all of the super-exotics.
After working on most exotics myself, especially Ferrari, Mazarati, Porsche, Lamborgini, there is a big difference, my friend. You get a great bang for the buck with a Corvette, but as most experts will tell you, that's just what it is....bang for the buck. You'd have to spend an awful lot of money to get the fit an finish that the exotics give you. Just in the paint work alone, the orange peel on the Vette, and on other American cars, leaves much to be desired. With all the gov't restrictions that are laid on American companies, especially the paint industry, the base-coat clear-coat that is used on the Corvette is much softer than and less durable than the foreign cars that don't have the gov't restrictions. I am not knocking American cars, but for $40,000-$50,000 I would like to see us be a little more competitive. We made the Europeons heads spin with the ZR1. Let's make them spin a little bit more.
 

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Re: Re: Just a thought.....

1fastdog said:


Actually it's a Mexican Transmission as the Muncie/Getrag licensing and tooling went to Tremec. Nonetheless, the Corvette is an American car. I feel the engineering and execution to be very good actually.

B]


ACTUALLY the ZO6 Transmission is made in North Carolina:roll:
 

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FatherLarry, back in '95 I priced a ZR1 at about $65k. That's $84k in todays money and $34k more than an '02 Z06. IMHO, the Z06 and the other C5 models can be upgraded from factory specs into your DREAM sports car for alot less $$ overcoming the very minor flaws and adding all the goodies you desire. Fubu/Les:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
FUBU69 said:
FatherLarry, back in '95 I priced a ZR1 at about $65k. That's $84k in todays money and $34k more than an '02 Z06. IMHO, the Z06 and the other C5 models can be upgraded from factory specs into your DREAM sports car for alot less $$ overcoming the very minor flaws and adding all the goodies you desire. Fubu/Les:cool:
The Z06 is a great hot rod as it was classified on a TV special on Speedvision. But you're talking two different animals. The ZR1 is an Indy dual overhead cam engine we are talking about here, with independent sleeves and top end speed that competes with the European exotics. As far as endurance and top end, there is no way that a push rod engine can hold up for as many hours as the ZR1 did at those speeds. And, I still don't think that the VW prototype with its 12 cylinders really did break the endurance record, which you can find more info on at ZR1.net. They're comparing a 12 cylinder to an 8 cylinder merc marine engine. The ZR1 is quite a beast, and is a classic within its own era, and it kept the Corvette image strong.

As far as spending $ to upgrade to a dream car. I am not talking about performance for the money. I'm talking about a little better quality for the money. You get the engineering in Cadillac also, but you get a better grade of quality, for the same price or less, from the same manufacturer. As far as mods, my 1957 E gaser which turned the low '9's in the late '60's used most of the technolgy that is being used today in the Z06, except for free floating pistons. I am not knocking the Corvette, but I am not the only Corvette lover that has brought up the quality issue, and its good feedback for GM. This is still not a CHEAP car by any means, and the quality issues like orange peel, stitching in the leather, panel fit, dashboard waves, wiring routing can be improved for not that much more expense. I wouldn't mind paying an extra grand for the car to see all those improvements. I appreciate your views, thanks.
 

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Re: Re: Re: Just a thought.....

Originally posted by 1fastdog


Actually it's a Mexican Transmission as the Muncie/Getrag licensing and tooling went to Tremec. Nonetheless, the Corvette is an American car. I feel the engineering and execution to be very good actually.


wt2ga said:


ACTUALLY the ZO6 Transmission is made in North Carolina:roll:
If 1fast says Mexico, you can take it to the bank.:guiness:
 

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Re: Re: Re: Just a thought.....

wt2ga said:


ACTUALLY the ZO6 Transmission is made in North Carolina:roll:

The Getrag DIFFERENTIALS are made in the Carolinas.

"MN6" aka T-56, co-design w/Getrag, used to be made by Warner [email protected] Warner Gear in Muncie IN, Tremec, under license, makes the trannies now in Mexico... Ole'
 

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Re: Re: Re: Just a thought.....

fatherlarry said:


After working on most exotics myself, especially Ferrari, Mazarati, Porsche, Lamborgini, there is a big difference, my friend. You get a great bang for the buck with a Corvette, but as most experts will tell you, that's just what it is....bang for the buck.
Bang for the buck? Yes, that's exactly what I'm looking for in a sports car and anything else I want to buy... not "banged for the buck". I believe I understand the gist of you point... as I said, there's always room for improvement and I believe that that's exactly what GM is about with the Corvette and other vehicles.

We have been looking at different Ferraris my friend. Ferrari has lovely engineering and a nice package but what are they now...$175K?

I don't miss your point and I hope you don't miss mine. I'm all for great paint and fit and finish, however; I want what the car is going to deliver in the driving experience, the spirited driving experience. I'll give the nod to more power, more handling, and get it lighter at the expense...if necessary, but not exclusion of,
nice little touches. It's all a matter of preference.

I'd rather have a Kevlar seating over multi-adjustable leather if it drops 50 pounds off the car and holds my butt in a 1g+ sweeper.


fatherlarry said:
I am not knocking American cars, but for $40,000-$50,000 I would like to see us be a little more competitive. We made the Europeons heads spin with the ZR1. Let's make them spin a little bit more.
I think the Europeans were more impressed by the C5 than the ZR1. As for competitive? Think the 'vette already is. With the C6 the price of poker is going to go up a notch or two.

I hope we will both be pleased in the future offering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a thought.....

1fastdog said:


I think the Europeans were more impressed by the C5 than the ZR1. As for competitive? Think the 'vette already is. With the C6 the price of poker is going to go up a notch or two.

I hope we will both be pleased in the future offering.
The Europeans are impressed with the styling, engineering and handling of the C5, but the ZR1 was to compete against the exotic high end sports cars and MSRP on the ZR1 was $67,000. The Europeans up until today are still trying to break the ZR1's record. Just like the Volkswagon did with a price sticker that's going to be well over $100,000. And, the VW is a totally different car than the Z06 with a rear 12 cylinder engine. What the ZR1 had over the Viper was the Indy type engine with the dual overhead cam for endurance. And holding a speed of 175, knowing quite well that the ZR1 can do over 200 mph. The push rod engine can't last 75 hours at 175 mph and that's a known fact. My point is the Europeans are still after the ZR1 record. The Z06 is classified more as a hot rod. Better handling, aerodynamics, its lighter and it went back to a chassis with less flex. The Europeans will always be impressed with the Corvette, and the Americans will always be impressed with the European exotic market. It keeps us competitive and constantly improving. The only thing we have against us is the government restrictions for emissions, which plays a big roll in performance, which the computers and gearing are starting to make up for.
 

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Jayzvette said:
If you don't think the quality is any good then why did you buy it???? Sell it,buy a Jap crap and watch it rust to death:D :D
!!! DITTO !!! If I here how great import cars are again... Ill :puke:
 

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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a thought.....

fatherlarry said:
The push rod engine can't last 75 hours at 175 mph and that's a known fact.

It is? I don't mean to be contentious, but it's opinion more than anything else.

I'd call both the Z06 and ZR1's "hot rods"... if one is being defined that way, the other would as well.

I don't see the ZR1 as a "better" car at all. I don't see tech for tech's sake being the deciding factor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a thought.....

1fastdog said:


It is? I don't mean to be contentious, but it's opinion more than anything else.

I'd call both the Z06 and ZR1's "hot rods"... if one is being defined that way, the other would as well.

I don't see the ZR1 as a "better" car at all. I don't see tech for tech's sake being the deciding factor.
Read | Home | MessageBoard | NEW! Message Board | Sign Guestbook | View Guestbook | Site Awards | Vette Links | Contact | Search |

"The Corvette Endurance Epic"
by Hib Halverson
Introduction.

Ten years ago this month, at Fort Stockton, Texas, a group of eight drivers, using a slightly modified ZR-1, set the 24-hour World Speed Record.

Writer, ZR-1 owner and ZR-1 Net member, Hib Halverson, was the only media present to cover the event. The organizers of the record run, Chevrolet and Morrison Motorsports, were so unsure of its outcome that no press was invited. It was only through Halverson's friendships with team owner Tommy Morrison and drivers John Heinricy and Stu Hayner, the defacto guarantee of favorable coverage in Road&Track's Corvette special edition and pressure Halverson put upon Chevy PR, that Chevrolet made a last-minute exception. On February 26th Halverson flew to Texas, sat out two days of rain with the Morrison team, witnessed the record breaking run then wrote the following article for the 1990 edition of Road&Track's Corvette.

Interestingly, Chevrolet's draconian media policy at the record run and its often unwillingness to acknowlege this part of the Corvettte's heritage in later years, is probably why, as monumentous an achievement as resetting the 24-hour speed record was, the acomplishment is, for the most part, unknown outside the Corvette hobby.

It is important to note that in nine years, the ZR-1's record remains unbroken. In fact, the few groups that have tried to reset it have not even come close to the mighty Corvette's performance. It is likely the ZR-1's three world reccords, the 5000 km, the 24-hr. and the 5000-mi., will not be exceeded any time soon.

1990, 1999 Hib Halverson.
All rights reserved.
No use without permission.

On March 1-2, 1990, near Fort Stockton, Texas, a unique group of people using a Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1, reset The 24-hour World Speed Record. That achievement proved unequivocally that the car is indeed...King of the Hill.

"The 24" had stood for 50 years. Last set at Bonneville in 1940 by Ab Jenkins driving the "Mormon Meteor III", a purpose-built, single-seat, race car powered by an aircraft engine; it was the last, significant pre-World War II record to fall.

The "Corvette Endurance Epic" had simple objectives: set The 24 as well as 5000 kilometer and the 5000 mile marks with a ZR-1 while using an L98-powered Corvette to set the six-hour record and other shorter distance marks. Reaching those objectives was anything but simple.

The venue, a 7.712-mile oval owned by Firestone Tire, although having banked turns and ideal length, lacked fences to keep wildlife out. At speeds needed to break records, hitting a 50 lb. coyote would at least be catastrophic and possibly fatal.

As the track also lacked retaining walls, loss of control in a turn would have frightening consequences. A Corvette would rocket over the edge of the banking, fly 375 feet and crash to the ground. Because of the track's size, a driver might wait 10 minutes for help to arrive.

Barring off course excursions, setting The 24 still required great courage. Turn Three took nerves of steel. Coming off the back straight, the ZR-1 was downwind at 188-192 mph. For each driver's 80-minute stint, It was foot to the floor the entire 7+miles around the track. To set The 24, one can not lift.

...And, what about the ZR-1? Would its LT-5, 5.7-liter, four-cam V8 run 5500 rpm for a day? Could the transmission and the differential stand the heat? What about accessory drives, suspension, brakes, radiator hoses...?

This type of motorsport put more stress on a driver than does any race. Nevertheless eight believers in the Corvette mystique volunteered. They were: 1989 SCCA ESCORT Champion and Manager of Corvette Development, John Heinricy; Corvette Challenge driver, Scott Lagasse; Corvette Group Engineers Jim Minneker and Scott Allman; Showroom Stock racers Don Knowles and Kim Baker; race team owner/driver, Tommy Morrison and lastly, Stuart Hayner, known to Road&Track Corvette readers from last year's ZR-1 test, who summarized: "We came down here for one purpose...to set a new World Record. We knew going in it wasn't going to be easy. No one sets records without taking chances!

The attempt began in the summer of 1989 with a meeting PR representative, Peter Mills, had with Hayner. Mills mentioned an IMSA GTP Porsche team who told him, amazingly, that a 962 lacked durability enough to break Jenkin's half-century-old mark of 161.180 mph. Still others tried. Ford (1969), Mercedes-Benz (1976) and Audi (1988) all failed...while the ghost of David Abner Jenkins laughed.

Stu Hayner contacted fellow racer Heinricy, who, with the blessing of Chevrolet General Manager Jim Perkins, supplied technical support and a pair of chassis. Hayner's ESCORT team owner, Tommy Morrison, involved his resources and racing sponsor, Mobil Oil. Stu's Corvette Challenge backer, GM's EDS Division, along with Goodyear also joined up.

Two cars were built and tested during the fall and winter. The Mobil/EDS/Goodyear Corvette chassis were stock except for: no side mirrors, lowered front end, reinforced front air dams fitted with ultrasonic "anti-animal" whistles, no rear antiroll bars, transmission and differential oil coolers, 3.07:1 axle ratio on the ZR-1 and a 2.72:1 for the L98 car and 25.5x12.0-17 Special Radial tires that Goodyear built for this effort. Replacing the passenger seats were EDS telemetry systems operated by GM's Service Technology Group. The cars were heavy carrying a roll cage, other safety equipment and 48 gal. fuel cells. As FIA rules require "non-consumable" spare parts (brake rotor, radiator hose, alternator, etc.) to be carried in the car, 300 lbs. of spares were in two suitcases lashed to the cages' rear tubes. Replacements had to come from this stock and, if a failure was such that a car could not get back to the pits; the driver, working alone, had to fix the car. Ab's ghost to smiled even more.

The LT-5 was picked right off Mercury Marine's Stillwater, Oklahoma assembly line. Less catalytic convertors and mufflers, but with revised engine management software, its horsepower was about 405. Tests had shown speed necessary to reset The 24 would come at 5500 rpm in fifth gear so the engine had a stop at 70% throttle.

The L98, built by Kim Baker, used a production cylinder block, crankshaft and connecting rods but had pistons of 11:1 compression ratio. It used a production camshaft but with high-ratio rocker arms to increase valve lift. Production cylinder heads and a stock fuel injection system were modified to increase air and fuel flow. Less converters and mufflers, the L98 generated about 350 horsepower and was run at wide open throttle the entire time.

In the third week of February, Tommy Morrison, who marshaled the attempt, brought the group together at Ft. Stockton. Present were: the drivers; the Morrison Development Team under cool-headed Crew Chief, Tommy Roe; technicians from GM's EDS Division and STG Group; a contingent of Goodyear engineers; agents of associate sponsors; various GM PR functionaries and, lastly but certainly not least; representatives of the United States Auto Club who officiate FIA record attempts in this country.

The Endurance Epic began at 9:56 a.m. on March 1. Lead drivers were Heinricy in the ZR-1 and Morrison in the L98. Heinricy, after his first drive: "Getting through the first pit stop was an important point for me. I felt a whole lot better when I watched that car leave after my stint." Typical of Tommy Roe's crew, the first and all succeeding stops went like clock work.

By 3:56 p.m., the L98 had five FIA Category A, Group II, Class 10 records, including six hours at 170.887 mph. The car was withdrawn, certified by USAC, then trucked to Dallas where it was airfreighted to Switzerland for the Geneva Auto Show.

The ZR-1 continued. In the afternoon, Mother Nature worked for Ab Jenkins. Don Knowles, during his afternoon turn, drove through intermittent drizzle and snow flurries. Hayner had his most "exciting" stint near sunset. The radio crackled "There's a coyote!" Later he told us,"He came over the outside into my lane...stopped, looked at me for a split second then went back over. That really got my attention."

After dark, in spite of the brightest Hellas available, the drivers were always over driving their lights. Plus, if the car did go off course, it was understood by all that the Ft. Stockton fire/rescue squad, who thankfully stood by the entire time, would have a tough time finding a the ZR-1 after a 1/8-mile, night time slide into the west Texas wildlands. "This record stuff," so said one of Roe's crew,"is a challenge in daylight but, at night...it's damn scary."

Dawn brought clear weather. The ZR-1 was running flawlessly. Just before ten, the coveted 24, the mark that withstood a half-century of assaults by other manufacturers, fell to a near-stock, overweight, Corvette ZR-1. The whole group was ecstatic but the campaign would wait...on to the 5000 mile mark.

Incredibly, with eight laps to go, the only mechanical problem of the Endurance Epic occurred. A coolant leak, a result of a hose chaffed by the fan shroud, developed. John Heinricy: "Even though, I knew we already had the record (The 24), my first emotion was a huge let down. We'd worked so hard to go down now."

The car came in with water temperature way high. Roe's Morrison Development crew, replaced the hose and added coolant. Stu Hayner, driving the final stint, was instructed to take the last laps at 140 mph. The ZR-1 crossed the 5000 mile mark at 28 hrs., 46 min., 12.426 sec. into the Endurance Epic. Apparently, overheating doesn't kill a King as, Hayner unscrewed the throttle stop for two victory laps at full throttle. That's 15 miles at 190+ mph...after 5000 miles of hard running.

The ZR-1's box score? Three outright World Speed Records: 5000 kilometers at 175.710 mph, The 24 at 175.885 and 5000 miles at 173.791; plus four other FIA International marks in class CA-G2-C10.

So why all the tough work, why all the hard driving, why all the chance taking? John Heinricy and Tommy Morrison answered that best. Heinricy: "Probably the main reason people buy the car is its image, particularly its racing heritage. I like to do things to promote its image...the Corvette mystique. World Records are just another reason to want a Corvette.

Tommy Morrison: "To me this was a very sacred thing we set out to do, break a record that's 50 years old. It was very difficult to achieve, but we're avid Corvette people. I've owned Corvettes since 1962 and there's nothing I wanted to do more than break this record."
 
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