Tag Archives: alpine a110

the rise and fall of IEDEI and the death of modern motoring culture.

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(above: NSU TTS rendering source: Virtual R)

I started IEDEI back in 2008 and launched it with the idea of it being an authentic, genuine, and soulful place to indulge in our hobby or motoring as well as everything else gentlemanly and wonderful.  IEDEI continued for many years and i met some wonderful people through the blog.  This blog was cited by much larger websites and media organizations and I continuously received emails from media companies asking me for content or about photos posted or just in general about the site.  I never sold out.  I never put shitty google ads on my pages.  I never tried to sell you anything.  I never wanted to bias anyone about anything all i wanted was a page to share my opinions, share my favourite photos, videos, ideas, designs, and possible future trends as well as lost historical beauties.  IEDEI was a PURE idea and remained pure from start to finish.  Towards the end, the blog had left motoring culture behind as i realised automobiles and motoring were wonderful for me but not something I wanted to write about anymore.

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Motoring culture on the web is completely DEAD AND DECOMPOSED.  When IEDEI was started there were no youtube vlogs, no silly and overdramatic Petrolicious videos, no 50 bazillion versions of Top Gear from every country that nobody watches.  There were some car forums where people shared common ground with other owners of the same cars they had.  There were a few videos around of any car you could think of; but not too many.  There were some mainstream blogs like Autoblog, Jalopnik, Bring-A-Trailer (which was already a propaganda site and has since become a crappy auction site just profiting off opportunistic selling of cars combined with market manipulation).  Back in 2008 motoring culture still had some imagination.  Something to live for…and it wasn’t part of the capitalism landscape it is now.  My friend Bradley, who ran Automobiliac launched at terrific watch company named Autodromo and when he launched it there weren’t scores of watch companies making race-inspired watches.  In fact I remember SCOURING the web looking for race inspired watches that were affordable and they were few and far between.  I used to sit with Bradley sipping on coffees and drinks and daydream about selling gloves and scarves and I remember even contacting a bag manufacturing company trying to find out how much it would cost to make an IEDEI branded racing bag.  It never happened….but it could have.  I used to wake up in the morning, check my friend Drew’s Motoring Con Brio site, check Bradley’s Automobiliac site, the fantastic Blenheim Gang site, check a few random automotive blogs for the latest news, and then go on with my day and move on to music, and science, and news, and art, and everything else i adore.  We went to car shows and meets and not every photo had to be hashtagged and trending.  We were not really involved with social media besides daily blogging.

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Fast forward to 2017.  Things are not pure. If you go to youtube you will find seas and seas of absolutely SHITE vlogs made by piles of NON-car people in order to make plenty of $$$ off subscribers.  I sometimes wonder if their subscription numbers are even real.  These vlogs are so monumentally terrible that i literally cannot make it through 1 minute without cringing endlessly and wanting to smash my laptop under the wheels of an oncoming garbage truck.  Superficial, shallow, gutless, clueless, vile, self-absorbed, useless hosts like Shmee150, Salomondrin, Seen Through Glass, Supercars of London, Joe Achilles, and the list goes on and on and on.  I’m not going to offers links for these clowns as i’d rather you not even watch.  I sometimes click on their videos just to laugh at the state of motoring culture.  How it died a vicious death and was given to the hands of idiots for control.  I recently read somewhere that these are the true influencers of motoring culture these days.  That’s the equivalent of saying that a Gonorrhea infection is the largest influencer on modern sex life.  To me, these idiots have no idea what motoring culture is about.  They don’t know motoring history, they don’t understand the context behind their conversations, and they are simply materialists who feel it’s trendy and profitable to be associated with automobiles.  They will fade away as fast as they arrived.  I will be glad to participate in their demise.  Occasionally i still click on a Harry Metcalfe or Chris Harris video and still find a video worth watching; but they are needles in a haystack of awfulness.  Where are the sites that actually teach you something? Or inspire you? Or have any sense of emotion or enthusiasm?  It doesn’t exist anymore.  Recently Clarkson et al. launched their absurd “Drivetribe” site which was supposed to a social network for motoring enthusiasts.  I joined and was repulsed by the mountains of regurgitated generic nonsense i found at every turn.  Has originality run out?  i believe so.

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Surely these shitclowns are not the only reason motoring culture died.  The manufacturers forgot how to build proper cars.  People became addicted to instagram and facebook and the manufacturers became addicted to making sure they understood that people’s priorities for driving were to be able to take selfies in cars and read the replies to their instagrammed selfies while they drive.  Hence piles of electronic nonsense were added into the car making it a glorified mobile phone; with people criticizing cars which didn’t come equipped with infotainment satisfaction.  Nevermind the driving experience just stuff a bunch of leather with some big screens and an ‘advanced’ torque converted 19 speed automative gearbox and be happy you can afford your $419 a month lease on your 2017 BMW 328 X Drive M-Sport Competition Pack Sport Pack pile of utter shit!   Audi are building, genuinely, some of the most uninspired and hideous crap imaginable.  Mercedes have cut sausages (literally) in different lengths and raise them, lower them, rebadge them, and shuffle them out of the factory.  Who is inspired these days?  Alfa Romeo have come back to the US with cars that look like a new Kia and are desperately trying to convince everyone that somehow they still matter. Y’know 10 years ago i would have eaten a bowl of my own boogers to drive a ‘new’ Alfa Romeo in the US; but now it seems I just don’t care.   Porsche 911 blah blah Cayman blah blah 4 bangers? Blah blah no thanks blah blah.  So how much is a proper Porsche?  Yeah that’ll be a cool $140k.  Utter nonsense.  Mini sells a range of a bazillion models with some of them that are 3500+ pounds in curb weight (what!?).  Saab is now dead.  Jaguar has no identity, and supercars are super super lame.

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I still want a Lancia Fulvia.  I still scream out in love for an Alpine A110 and Alpine A310. I still feel super dirty when i look at photos of an Alfa Romeo GTA-m.  I just recently bought a book about the unmistakably wonderful Lancia Hyena.  I feel that the best motoring culture is gone and in our history.   No I am not interested in your shitty Tesla Model 3X P44d superelectric 0-60 in 3.blahblah seconds with your 20 inch screen and 3000 pound battery.  I don’t want to drive a battery.  I am 41 years old and assuming i haven’t damaged my body too significantly i probably have a few years left.  For that time, i will drive whatever i want and won’t be force fed by the media or vlogs or any other shitty petrolicious video what i should be lusting for.   Elon Musk is a crusty salesman who makes a fool out of everyone with hyping his underwhelming company up every step of the way.  I would rather install bulldozers into my elbows than to drive a Tesla.  You will never see me in a Tesla.

This brings me to the horror show that is “vintage motoring culture”.  When i launched IEDEI there were very few sites celebrating the old school design and stories and photos with others.  I remember finding Petrolicious once, who used to steal my content in the early days and i wrote them an email telling them to fuck off and stop stealing my content.  Fast forward to 2017 and Petrolicious release the most cliched, full of nonsense ‘vintage’ car videos i’ve ever seen.  An abomination of what this culture became.  Did I play a part in this?  POSSIBLY.  I will, however pretend i didn’t because i can.   I can’t watch 20 seconds of a Petrolicious video without wanting to puke at the 3rd rate hollywood cinematography and generic piano music added for “atmosphere”.  Pukealicious more like it.

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(above: photo of BMW 2002 Turbos being built. Source: M Registry)

At this point you may thinking “oh this IEDEI tosser is a real bitter guy”….well bitter i am not.  Opinionated I AM deal with it!  I’m not going to fluff up my thoughts to please others.  My readers were always smart people with independent thoughts. That being said I still love motoring and i love my cars and i have some real great friends who will agree with much of what i think but are too nice to be so blunt about it.

Things i like about motoring culture in 2017:

  • Alpine is back! they should give me a new A110 for all the Alpine hype i generated.
  • Lancia is dead.  Fiat should be ashamed of themselves
  • Chris Harris is still cool.  For fuck’s sake he drives a BMW 1M.
  • My BMW 1M is the greatest car i’ve ever owned or driven.  Many smiles every mile
  • Underappreciated cars will always exist and i will find them.
  • Modern american muscle cars are much cooler than most european cars now.
  • There are still good people into motoring; but you won’t find them with hashtags.
  • Hatchbacks MAY be making a comeback to the US market (finally!)
  • Volvo is back making wonderful looking cars again.  “the new boxy” as i call it.
  • I wouldn’t mind buying a new Lincoln.  They are stunning.
  • iedei-lincoln-contintental-2017

Will IEDEI ever come back?  yeah maybe when everybody else is gone….

Thank you to all the kind, honest, and interesting people out there.  I do miss interacting with many of you.  I hope you are happy and full of life.  Life is more interesting than any object or ‘scene’.

I still live in NYC and this is my 1M being used as it was intended to be used; as a motor car driven by a madman!

bmw-1M-NYC-iedei-street-parked

 

 

 

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Alpine Celebration Concept on display at Le Mans 2015!

Here it is!  After years of speculation; the production design for the upcoming 2016/2017 Alpine ‘resurrection’.

I have no words to say except that i LOVE it.  Similar to how I always imagined the resurrected Alpine to be.

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source:  Largus.fr

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Renault Icons: Alpine A110 videos.

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Renault TV posted these official videos in celebration of their history and the resurrection of the Alpine marque.  Car videos are mostly uninspiring, materialistic nonsense–but these Alpine A110 videos are out of this world….maybe because the car is out of this world?

Best part….it’s in English!  So my rudimentary and primitive French translation doesn’t have to be challenged like it normally does with Alpine videos.

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A110 of the day.

For many of the new readers, you should know I am *obsessed* with the Alpine A110 (and Alpine as a marque in general). that is all.  My general interest in automotive topics continues to wither and fade, but Alpines and Audis seem to be completely immune to this destructive force.

src:  renault classic

 

 

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Renault, Caterham, and details of ‘new’ Alpine coming soon.

(above  and below renderings by Volatile Vertex)

A press conference has been scheduled for November 5th (Monday) to be co-hosted by Renault and Caterham to discuss the details of the upcoming Alpine project.  Very exciting news indeed.

Here are some of the ideas being thrown around:  Weight of a little over 1 tonne (!!), target launch 3-5 years from now, 200-250hp, less than 4.3 meters long, and that it will “look like the A110 Berlinette”.   5,000 to 10,000 units per year.  Target price of 35k-40k Euros. Very exciting.

There are some questions over what the functions of the original Dieppe Alpine factory would be, if the entire task of the new Alpine’s construction and engineering are left to Caterham.  More details as they evolve, obviously.

 

(above photo via Renault Sport’s FB page)

UPDATE:  Renault and Caterham have revealed that they will both get a version of the upcoming Alpine.  Theoretically the car will likely be a roadster for Caterham and a coupe for Alpine (sounds right!).  Prices will be low (under 40k Euros), and most interestingly—-Caterham now will take a 50% stake in Alpine as a marque!  I find this last sentence very interesting.

src:  lePoint, expatica

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A110 x-ray cut-out.

still the greatest car in the world….ever.  IEDEI = Alpine. Some things never change.

src: Renault Sport Official

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neu Alpine to be co-developed with Caterham.

Just a few days ago, I speculated that Lotus was a possibility for co-developing the new Alpine Berlinette after Carlos Tavares’ statements in Autocar.  A few days later, Autocar is reporting that Caterham will indeed be the expected partner to develop the new Alpine!  Great news for those of us who have been awaiting news that this will be a lightweight true hommage to the original A110.  The concept A110-50 stayed true to those beliefs in being lightweight and performance-oriented; and it seems the production Alpine will as well.

Apparently Caterham will also develop their own model alongside the new Alpine.  Should be very interesting to see what comes out of this relationship.  Here’s hoping for a lightweight, technologically advanced interpretation of what came before.

More news as it comes.  Thank you to Michal and CollaVerglas for the tip to this update!

(below: chassis testing of the A110-50 concept)

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Progress of the Alpine resurrection.

Carlos Tavares (Renault CEO) has been talking some details about the resurrection of Alpine!  It seems it will be a completely new car, and NOT the A110-50 that was shown several months ago.  Should be very, very interesting.

My bet is that Lotus is going to be involved in this….as Lotus and Alpine have a history of collaboration.

from Autocar:

Carlos Tavares:

“We could have given our engineers €50 million and told them to make the best of it. But that would probably have produced a mediocre car because it’s not much money to play with. Alpine has a great history, and we want to make emotional cars that will be true to that.”

“He won’t yet reveal the mechanical layout but admits it is unlikely to be rear-engined, as the A110 was.”

“Convenience is an important part of modern packaging,” Tavares says, “but we are not inclined to compromise too much. This is a car that must appeal to the emotions. If you refine such a car too much, it loses its special character.”

The production Alpine will bear little relation to the Alpine concept from earlier this year that incorporated the styling of the DeZir concept on to a Mégane Trophy racer.

 

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ISAT Berlinette Project.

The greatest car in the world…well, ever….is being re-imagined by students and teachers of the ISAT (Institut Supérieur de l’Automobile et des Transports) of France and being presented at this week’s Paris Motor Show as a concept study!  Renault’s recent glory of the A110-50 was a modernized NEW car, whereas this study takes great homage from the original, with mild reinterpretation of details (lights, fenders, etc).  The result is difficult to see in this mystery-filled video teaser—–but I am very intrigued by what I see already!  Good on ya, kids!

(advance apologies for the rubbish music….please turn the volume down!)

src:  auto plus

 

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foto of the day. A110 and GTV6

Lovely photo sent by reader Michael Duque of his very nice Alfa GTV6 (named “Bella”) parked next to a very early 1965 Alpine A110 (almost looks like an A108 without the signature A110 fog lights). Oh and there’s a Corvette lurking in the background….for atmosphere!

If you have an interesting photo you want to share, send it in!

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foto of the day. orange.

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2012 Carlisle import show.

Yesterday I drove a few hours away to go to the annual Carlisle Import Auto Show for 2012.  I had been tipped off there would be an Alpine A110 there, and I was quite looking forward to checking it out.  I had also been told that there would be a lot of great Audis there, which there were!

The show was fantastic……I would say the largest turnout was for Saab and Audi fanatics with lots and lots of fantastic Trollhatten and Ingolstadt eye candy.  I sat inside of the Alpine A110 for what felt like at least 20-25 minutes.  The car FIT LIKE A GLOVE.  I have never been as comfortable in a car as I was in an A110.  Unbelievable….i didn’t want to leave.  The A110 is pure magic…..i must have one in my life!

After leaving the Alpine, I was completely distracted by remembering the car—and honestly I had concentration difficulties.  The Audi area quite brilliant though; lots of great Ur quattros, a couple nicely set up TTs and several nice 4000s and Coupes!  Audi had brought the original R8 LMP car as well, and near it was also a Sport quattro!  The Saab area was flourishing with “Saab Pride”; their enthusiasts knowing their marque is currently in a coma on massive amounts of life support if not dead already.  There are still whispers of a Saab corporate revival floating around in China; but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

I felt the Carlisle show was a true enthusiast’s show; the people were very nice, there wasn’t much ‘snobbery’ as felt at so many car shows, and not every car was shined to perfection like at other car shows—there was room for originality, something I very much appreciate.    I spent much of my day poking my head into interiors, and breathing in a large inhale of the different smells of older cars; something which fascinates me.

I didn’t take a lot of photos; in fact taking too many photos at car shows sort of annoys me these days, as it prevents you from actually paying attention.  That being said, here are some of my favourite cars from the day:

loved this crazy, track ready Renault 8!

I spent 1 hour out of my 3 hours at the show with this Alpine.  Honestly, I believe I am truly obsessed.  HA.

i don’t smile much for photos….but i am quite happy sitting inside.

onto the Audis!

I found this sign to be entertaining, belonged to a 1969 Avenger kit car:

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drive it day.

Laurent Nivalle put out these great photos from Drive It Day which was held in Koln a couple of weeks ago.   Nice cloudy skies and beautiful bits of automobilia.

src:  laurentNivalle

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Vettel and Alpine A110 (updated with original photos)

I had earlier in the week posted photos of Sebastian Vettel & an Alpine A110—-photos which I’ve found out have been ruined and over-processed by others!  Anke Luckmann is the photographer of these excellent photos and contacted to let me know that they were far from the original photos as were meant to be shown.

She has been gracious enough to send me the original photos from the photoshoot for GQ (Germany), which by the way are much nicer than the ones I had posted before.  So thank you to Anke and make sure to check out her site with more amazing photography by her on her site:

www.ankeluckmann.com

NOTE: If you are going to repost these photos, please repost 3 and then provide a link to this blog, as these were mailed to me by Anke for use on IEDEI.

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Vettel/A110 photoshoot.

The photos here have been REMOVED due to their unoriginal effects as I was informed by the photographer (Anke Luckmann).  The ORIGINAL PHOTOS have now been uploaded into a new post, thanks to Ms. Anke Luckmann for sending me her original versions of these photos:

https://iedei.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/vettel-alpine-a110-updated-with-original-photos/

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Alpine 1:43 models.

Ebay can be dangerous….especially ebay.fr!

I’ve had trouble finding 1:43 die cast models of Alpines that actually satisfies me in terms of proportions and accuracy….but these french made models are really great; and very affordable as well!  I bought 4 of them which came today.  On the lookout for more!

three A110s!

And this rare and super cool A210!

 

 

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World Exclusive: The lost Alpine W71 (A710/A410) prototype

The final Alpine which came out under the Alpine badge was the A610/GTA which was introduced in 1986 and eventually warped in the final reiteration which came out in 1991.  This GTA was supposed to make it to the US with a Renault “Alpine GTA” badge and even had cars sent for reviews to auto car magazines; only to have it pulled in the end due to Renault’s bad state of affairs in the US market.

As it turns out, Renault was also working on another car between 1989 to 1993 known as the “W71”.  This car was a small, lightweight, 2-seater which was meant to be a modern interpretation of the original A110.  The people developing this car in Berex (the original Renault Sport factory; the site where the A442 was developed) were indeed personnel leftover from the original Alpine factory.  Their goal was to save the badge and indeed produce a car which would hark back to the glory days of Alpine; functional, lightweight, driver’s cars.   Not to say that A610 wasn’t a driver’s car—-it was.  That being said, the A610 had grown in size significantly from even the small A310 and it was full of luxury amenities and had become a hybrid of a GT car and a sports car to rival the 911 of the time.

Renault’s Berex, where a lot of the former Alpine employees still worked:

In the past few weeks, there have been numerous articles popping up online about Renault building a 50th anniversary tribute to the original A110 Berlinette (which I can confirm to you IS true….they are working on an Alpine), and a story about the people behind the ‘new’ Lancia Stratos trying to get permission to make a ‘new’ Alpine A110

In the past, there have been some grainy, incomplete photos of the W71/A710/A410 published online; but these have been suboptimal to get an insight into the car’s designs.  I was graciously provided these exclusive photos of the ‘lost’ prototype from the time of development.  If you use these photos anywhere else on the web, please credit this blog.

I was told that the hopes of all the remaining Alpine staff rested on this car ‘making it to production’……when it was killed off by Renault, it was the final stab to a great marque.

Some information about the long lost prototype that sits hidden away somewhere in France!

Yes, the prototype was totally functional. It’s handling was tested and fine tuned on Renault ‘s Aubevoye test center tracks. It’s lap time was better than A610’s lap time, despite inferior engine.  If I remember correctly, prototype was fitted with J7R, 2L NA engine 140 HP versus Z7X 2.5L turbo 250 HP for the A610. The first prototype and concept was very light (no AD, no air cond, no ABS…) but later in the project, the marketing asked for a lot of these useless things in this kind of car. Theorical weight and price increased, performance decreased. And the project was finally axed in 1992 or 1993″

As you can see, it has a completely finished interior with badges on the steering wheel and door sills.  Nice sport bucket seats as well!  Functionality of the original Alpine spirit looks preserved in this limited view.

The first Porsche Boxster concept was shown to the world in 1993, right after this A710/A410 project was killed off.  The 3rd generation MR2, which also carries some features of this car in design was introduced in 1999.  As someone who is fascinated, intrigued, and interested in Alpine cars and company history; it saddens me that Renault killed off this car.  It seems like the W71/A710/A410 would have taken the company back to the days of producing a pure sports car; in the spirit of the original brand.

I often hear people saying that the A110 was the “Porsche 911 of France”….which I don’t agree with.  I actually think of Alpine as more akin to Lotus than Porsche; a focused racing company with an intriguing history and a different way of doing things.  Whereas Lotus and Alpine both lost their way a bit in the 80s; Lotus came back strong with the Elise in the 90s…….according to the pics and information about this lost Alpine; Alpine could have come back strong with their own rear-engined ‘pure’ sports car—-unfortunately for Alpine, Renault controlled the company.  It is tragic this car was never even shown at an auto show or to the world—even though they spent almost $10 million (1989 money) developing it.  What could have been…..

The styling of the W71 was, however, influenced by the 1990 Renault Laguna Concept (photo via netcarshow)

A couple of years later, the Renault Sport Spider was introduced with obviously devoted “A210/A220” race car headlights…..but when i asked about the origins of this car and whether this Spider was actually the A710/A410 in hiding, i was told that the Spider was NOT the same as the A710/A410 in any way; however some of the same people responsible for the A710/A410 project were involved in the Spider project.  The Spider was code named “W94” and was produced between 1995 and 1997 at the Dieppe factory (now a Renault Sport factory).  It obviously carried the spirit of the A710/A410 prototype; but in a different form.

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foto of the day. A110s.

I can never get enough…

src:  Club Renault UK

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video of the day: A110.

Alpine A110.  No words needed.

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1974 Don Capasco Rally

Is there anything cooler than vintage Super8 rally footage? I doubt it!

Here’s the description of this video provided:

“In 1974 Australia’s first European-style special-stage rally was won rather fittingly by a 1973 Group 4 Alpine Renault A110, the first marque to win the World Rally Championship. The Alpine, Bernard Darniche’s Morocco-winning car, was driven to victory by 1970 Australian Rally Champion Bob Watson. This amateur movie, shot on Super-8 film and with the sound recorded on cassette tapes, has survived transfer to VHS tape, and now to a digital format. There are voice-over interviews with Bob Watson, Geoff Ross, the late Peter Brock, and Gerry Ball. The quality may not be the best, but this is an important part of the history of rallying in Australia.”

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