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General BMW Questions
Use this forum to ask general question about the BMW ownership and keep up on the latest BMW news. Direct all model specific questions to model specific forums below.

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Old 02-14-2002, 10:04 AM
FSelekler FSelekler is offline
Location: Maryland, USA
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 526
Mein Auto: 645/987-120
Post Bimmer Ownership Phases... (Very very long)

Every true Bimmer enthusiast goes through these phases, newbies be warned:

Phase sub-0: This is the phase in which you start your research about the new Bimmers. You start buying magazines, read every article related to E46, and research prices. You conclude that this is a good car to own, but the prices are a little steep. Nevertheless, you think you should be able to get a deal of around 10% over invoice; that is more than a fair price. In the mean time, you find out about Roadfly.org. You hang around a little than on the 3rd day you start posting your questions about prices and performance. To your disappointment, people are paying a lot more than you are willing to pay; not because you cannot afford it, but why should a dealer make that much profit. You also are a little disappointed on the performance numbers. Many cars have better 0-60 times than even the 330, this feels unacceptable to you, and start thinking you should look in to the Audi S4, IS300, and new Nissans coming to market. You express your opinion at the .org, but you are faced with tremendous flames; well you insulted the entire Bimmer community, what did you expect?

Phase 0: You decide to go to a dealer and test drive the car to see what the big deal is about. Obviously, you want to get the best price and nothing else is important even if the car is magnificent. The dealer is very courteous and gives you the keys of a well appointed E46 and does not even bother to come with you. You feel, you have a good start in this process. You go around, up/down, curve-in/curve-out, and to the interstates. The car is more than what you expected, it handles all you throw at it without any complaints. You have this grin on your face, which you don’t want to show to the salesman, but you cannot help it. The salesman does not care actually, he knows it anyhow. You start your conversation on the price with the salesman gently, ensuring that he understands you think it is a fine car but nothing special. You soon learn that few hundreds off the MSRP is the best the dealership can do. You try every little gimmick, but the salesman is cool and does not even show much interest in your story, he does not even try to compare the Bimmer to other cars. You, frustratingly, start thinking that he is very arrogant, and this is not possible especially during a recession; you decide that you will “take your business elsewhere, its your money.”

You go home disappointed, get on .org forums and share your experiences thinking the entire Bimmer community is actually very interested in your story. You also post flame messages about the dealer and how terrible you were treated by them and no one again ever should do any business with them. After all, you are a $35+ customer, how can they not sell you the Bimmer at your price? However, you are fully convinced by now that the only car to own is a Bimmer, it is just absolutely and unequivocally, THE car to own. You want to be part of this larger-than-life community of few million Bimmer owners.

You start your in-house campaign of justification for the car, and tell your story with only few exaggerations to your wife; just in case you have to pay MSRP, but of course you will never pay that amount. Your wife looks at you with happy but blank eyes thinking he is too much in to this car stuff. You continue with all the information you have avoiding every possible way not to answer the price question your wife keeps asking you. You finally answer “I do not know the price yet, I have not negotiated.”

By this time you are fully aware of all the news about Bimmers in the media, you have subscribed to 9 different magazines, and they are pouring in weekly, including international ones that don’t even apply to US specs. Nevertheless, your knowledge of Bimmers is reaching new heights and makes you feel good. However, at the same time, you have this uncontrollable urge of owning one soon, but you got to get the price you want.

You learn the Rizzo Method, and start calling few dealers for price. By now, you have configured your car at the BMWNA web site probably 104 times with different options trying to save few hundreds, calculated monthly payments for financing and leasing. But, you just cannot lease of course, no true Bimmer owner would do that. It is against Bimmer world rules; if you cannot afford the car just don’t buy it. Leasing would mean you cannot afford it and you are afraid that you will be the step child to the Bimmer community, which cannot happen. You worked very hard all your life and proud of it.

Only one dealer returns your call with a price quote and he gives you a price $1750 over the invoice. You feel you are getting somewhere, but it is still too high. After all, people at .org claim that they get prices that are only $1000 over invoice, you have to get a price closer to that as you feel like that is almost an initiation to the Bimmer community. You get on .org and ask people for their understanding and help. They should certainly see that you WANT a Bimmer, how is it possible not to get a decent discount. Right then you see John Shafer’s post about latest BMWNA sales figures… they have a 17% increase with record sales. You just cannot believe your eyes, there must be an error, WE ARE IN RECESSION DAMN IT! You explore European Delivery options, but you are not willing to take that option. You think it will take longer to obtain your car, and you can no longer wait for it, you have to have it soon; or BMW will loose you as a customer, that is it! You continue your price hunting for couple more weeks, and finally secure one that is only $1,500 over invoice. By this time, 3 months have already passed but you feel good, you saved an additional $250 and the first dealer can go to hell with their arrogance.

You make your decision: you will own a Bimmer, that is it. You step in front of your wife and tell her this. She freaks out “$39,000 for a COMPACT car!?!?” You try to explain “But honey…” of course she is not near you any more to hear your argument, and goes to shopping at Nordstrom to make her feel better, and since you have money to afford a $39K car she does not even feel guilty about it. You have not even told her that you will have to pay an additional $2,000 for taxes and what ever else, better keep that to yourself for now. And, the happiest day… you order your Bimmer, the salesman tells you it will take about 10 to 12 weeks, but you don’t really care, you accomplished your goal at only $1,500 over invoice; you happily head home in your 3-year old Accord. By this time, your Accord feels like the Bimmer.

Phase 1: You go to .org and declare your order and your price, you are part of the Bimmer community now, you change your alias to your Bimmer’s model name and proudly start answering the questions of other people just starting the process. You know all about purchasing a Bimmer and race with others to post news you read from magazines to .org. You know, who ever posts news first wins.

Every morning you get up and look outside and dream how your new Bimmer will look so good in front of your house. You have obtained several Bimmer posters now, and you proudly display them in the house, work cubicle, etc. In the mean time, you have no idea how your son is doing at school any more, you have not seen him much lately; umm… since this whole Bimmer thing started. You feel a little guilty, but hey, you ordered your Bimmer!

2 Weeks later it sinks in that you are actually in the famous “waiting order” phase. In this phase, you drive your car and dream you are in your Bimmer and think people are looking at your old Accord as if they also know it is actually your new Bimmer. You keep going each day to .org and read each post, keep reading magazines, and subscribe to new forums that you learned their existence. You are truly in a craving period for anything Bimmer. Each week and day is painful, you just cannot stand it. You post messages about your pain to .org, and get no sympathy; and you think “hey, I ORDERED my BIMMER pay some attention.” By this time, you actually are willing to pay $500 more for the car just to be able to get it couple of weeks earlier. What the heck, you would have paid $1,000 more for the car that matched exactly your options except color at the dealer lot. What is so important about color any way, it is a Bimmer. But, you are getting a MY2002 with clears, 18” wheels and tires, and standard HK and CD. You have a lot to thank for, you made the right decision. You only have 4 more weeks to go, OMG, please help me.

The last week of this waiting period is the worse. It starts when you learn that your car is at the port of entry, and you start posting messages to ALL boards on how long it would take for it to get to the dealer as if you can gather a consensus on timing the car will actually be there within that time. Unfortunately, not! During the week that your car is transported from PoE to dealer, you take time without pay from work so you can fully concentrate on your baby's trip and ensure that you are telepathically connected with her and assist her during the final stages emotionally. In the mean time, you memorize the entire owner's manual you downloaded from the circle.

Phase 2: The next phase is the delivery day, yes, it is a phase in itself. You wake up early, you shower and shave (you don’t want to look ugly to your baby the first day), and head up to your dealer's door before even they are open. Even if you are not a smoker, you start smoking and finish a pack of cigarettes by the time the dealer opens. Once they open, you are frustratingly curious as to why no one is paying attention. You immediate go see the general manager and start complaining "I am a $40K+ customer, how can you treat me like this?" The general manager is trying to calm you down and gives you couple Prozac pills. Your salesman arrives around 10 am, you are really pissed, you are out of cigarettes and coffee ran out 1/2 hours earlier. His casual conversation makes you nothing but mad. You insist they turn over the car to you immediately without being prepared. An hour later they have you convinced that having your baby prepared is something they have to do to earn a good customer satisfaction result (yeah, right!). Just to calm you down, they throw in the floor mats, and you feel you are being fooled with some cheap stuff and blood pressure rises again.

By 2 pm, two packs of cigarettes, and four pots of coffee later; you see your car being driven to the front of the dealership; fully cleaned, brilliant, and just breathtaking. They give you CPR at this time, but you don't really care, your eyes are open and you cannot believe you will finally be able to connect with your baby in few minutes (as soon as they take this crappy oxygen mask off your face).

You run out, hug her, apologize, and beg for her forgiveness of all the bad things that happened to her (and she blinks). You go back in, sign the final papers, call insurance, etc. etc. and GET THE KEYS. You do not even wait for the key programming, you take a rain check and promise to be back the following week for that. You jump in and drive off with your dream. At this time all if forgotten, you have accomplished to live through the worst part of owning a Bimmer; at least you think so You go home for a 5 min. stop, and post 153 messages on boards about your baby, and immediate run off for more driving.

Phase 3: Now, the break-in period starts. You initially feel it’s not a problem, what is the big deal in keeping the car under 4500 rpm? But as you find out, the car is rev-happy, and with each mile it is becoming more difficult to keep the car under control, it is acting like a new puppy who wants to play in the forbidden land. But, try as you might, you few times you break the rules. You also start strongly disliking all the people that want to race you at red lights. You try to ignore them the first 300 mi. but they are becoming really annoying. There is nothing you can do but accelerate the break-in period to completion. You start driving for no reason at all, you pick up strangers, take your relatives living 50 mi. away to grocery shopping; even though you work at home, you start a car pool and notify your neighbours about the Bimmer car pool special.

As you continue in this manner, one day you pick up this beautiful 20-something blonde that is hitchhiking. You are proud of your Bimmer and you are thinking she will appreciate her ride today. You are at 1178 miles by now and this should be your last weird thing to do as you pass your break-in period. Right at this time the blonde pulls a gun and asks you to step out. You think of risking your life for your Bimmer but amazingly you decide not to and you comply. She drives off with your baby to where you have never driven before: the 1200+ mi. zone...

P.S. BTW… has anyone seen my topaz blue 330Ci with 18”ers, please send me an email if you did; a blonde might be driving it.

Last edited by FSelekler; 02-14-2002 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 02-14-2002, 10:43 AM
Guest84 Guest84 is offline
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Hehe, slow work day for ya?

Mine would be short and sweet:

In-d-haus needs a truck to haul some crap...drops off a 92' 525 for the week-end at my house. My thoughts prior to driving a BMW "Status symbol"...my thoughts after driving a BMW "okay, maybe I'm wrong about why folks buy them".

Test drove 5 other competitors models a year later when I decided I needed a new ride (Tired old pick up truck delegated to moving dirt, hauling kids around) and saved the BMW test drive last...good thing I did, or I had never tried the competition

My biggest complaint? Not enough room in th rear window to mount my gun rack.
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Old 02-14-2002, 10:49 AM
JPinTO JPinTO is offline
2001 M3:Stick, what else?
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Holy Verbosity Toasterman. Are you in Stage 1?

Phase 3 Modification: Car lights on fire and torches house due to faulty cooling fan. You decide BMW's suck, spend 2 years fighting insurance companies and BMWNA and then buy an Audi.
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Old 02-14-2002, 11:01 AM
FSelekler FSelekler is offline
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Nope, I am still looking for the Blonde who took my car.
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Old 02-14-2002, 11:49 AM
Dan Dan is offline
stuck in the 70's
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Old 02-17-2002, 03:39 AM
Chipster Chipster is offline
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1. Great writing!

2. Did this really happen?
"Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today."
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Old 02-17-2002, 01:37 PM
FSelekler FSelekler is offline
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LMAO, all the way to the end, yes it did; but I am still a very satisfied 1400-mi. Bimmer owner
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Old 02-17-2002, 06:35 PM
Robert Robert is offline
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You left out taking your laptop on vacation to follow the ship across the Atlantic! Great essay! I wish I could say some of it isn't true.
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Old 02-17-2002, 06:44 PM
FSelekler FSelekler is offline
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Yeah, tell about it.
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Old 02-17-2002, 10:49 PM
BS' Bimmer BS' Bimmer is offline
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That's great! Although, you missed the part that some of us married guys have to put up with:

As phase 3 begins, you find that your wife is now driving your car more than you are. Doh!
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Old 02-18-2002, 07:37 AM
dduk dduk is offline
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You forgot:

Phase 4 - The Mod Bug. You spent a lot of time selecting exactly which options you need without spending extra money on those you want. After all, this is a $40k compact car. As soon as your car arrives, you look under sofas, start working overtime, start placing things for sale on eBay, just to get extra cash for wheel, CAI, chips, etc, etc, etc. You realize you could have saved money by just getting the options directly from BMW instead of after the fact.

Click HERE for my rationalle on getting a BMW on Edmunds.com
2002 325i - 2002 9-5 - 2001 Passat - 1996 Explorer - 1995 Cobra - 1994 Escort GT - 1985 EXP - 1969 Mach I
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Old 08-19-2003, 04:18 PM
heat010 heat010 is offline
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Oh there is a missing phase in 1.

You forgot to add that after reading tons of information on detailing, you buy all the possible supplies ahead of time, clay, quick detailing sprays, Porter cable, Zaino, P21....etc. Also debate in your mind polymers vs. carnubas.

Then in upon delivery you spend 8 hours the next day making the car pristine since it was on a boat for 3 weeks, laying in the sun at the dealer's lot. Must clear out all the contamination she's accumulated in her travels.
2003 330i - Silver Grey/Natural Brown Leather - Birch Interior Trim - PP,SP, Xenons, Auto, OEM Alarm and of course Park Distance Control
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Old 08-19-2003, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by FSelekler
You learn the Rizzo Method...


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Old 08-20-2003, 04:35 AM
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car_for_mom car_for_mom is offline
...worked on the railroad
Location: Chino Hills, CA
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ahhhh...very interesting

Phase 0: Camry has lots o' miles, oldest son is approaching the "can I have the keys, and who cares about the CHP" age, so Mom decides to get something nicer for herself

Phase 1: Posting, lurking around car forums, test drive lots o'cars. Perfects her "Manual Transmission Princess" persona: "I want to test drive a manual" "It's all the way in the back/on the other lot/we have to find it" "Fine, I'll just enjoy some cappucino while you wash it and bring it up to the front"

Phase2: FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt)...left brain/right brain conversations: "you should be getting a Honda Accord...you're about to spend how much???."

Spouse is not involved...anything over $1,000 is too much for a car, any car under 10 years old and/or 100,000 miles is too new.

Time passes...car is ordered...car is built...car is shipped...waiting...trying not to call BMWNA everyday...South Africa-Germany-Florida-Panama Canal-Port Hueneme....auuugh! West Coast Ports are on strike!!!...strike ends...yay!

9 December 2002 There he (yes, he ), shining in all his TopasBlau beauty in Crevier's lot. The first drive, 55 North to the 57 North to work...sheer bliss, sheer bliss!

Spouse does not want the second key: "it's too fancy, I don't want anything to do with it!" Mom to oldest son, who is drooling, "Yes, your mother loves you, was in labor with you...but you ain't driving her BMW!"

Addiction...get to drive a M3 (thank you, Jon)...cycle begins anew(but I'm still loving my 325i, and planning on keeping him...one can never have too many Bimmers!)
...in the freight yards!
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Old 08-20-2003, 05:00 AM
PABS PABS is offline
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By the time you made the decision I allready had owned three BMW's...
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Old 08-20-2003, 04:05 PM
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The Roadstergal The Roadstergal is offline
Any ride will do
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Brother restores 2002; you fall in love with it.

Brother test-drives E30 M3; you fall in love with it.

Fast-forward 16 years.

You are shopping for a BMW. You buy one that you promise yourself you will part out if it costs more than $1000 to fix.

It costs almost $2000. You keep it anyway, promising you will keep it stock. It's a commuter, after all.

New wheels. New OBC. New springs, with shocks on the way. Amp and subwoofer. Dash trim on the way. Take the Kenwood CD/MP3 head unit out of the Miata and put it into the BMW.

To be continued.
"This is a revolution, dammit! We're going to have to offend SOMEbody!"
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Old 08-21-2003, 11:21 AM
brewthunda brewthunda is offline
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Stage 0: Become obsessed with buying Audi. Read all literature. Wait for Honda to die. Honda dies. Test drive Audi. Decide to buy a nice A4, but decide dealer is a prick, will take business elsewhere. While looking up alternative Audi dealer, decide to test drive BMW in order to convince self that self has performed responsible pre-consumption research.

Stage 1: Test drive BMW. Order BMW. Wait 10 weeks. Spend 6 hours picking up BMW because stealer wants to reneg on financing and salesman must "speak to his manager" (i.e., smoke cigarettes outside hoping I'll get tired and give in).

Stage 2: baby car for break-in, get used to funny feel of new car.

Stage 3: go for adrenaline-pumping, redlining, tire-drifting drives through twisties and realize you just bought the most kick-a44 $32k go cart in the world.

Step 4: become obsessed with BMWs. Piss away time on boards like this, waiting for the day to end so you can drive again.
2001 325i: Steel Blue, Sport Pack, 5 Speed Manual, HK, Moonroof, Myrtle Wood, Steering retrofit. No real mods (yet!)
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Old 09-01-2004, 09:44 PM
AZGal AZGal is offline
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Currently I am in Phase 0- Read all the literature and be hooked on to the forum and desperatley waiting for the car to finish production and get onto that ship!!
Its a really cool post.
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Old 09-01-2004, 11:05 PM
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TLudwig TLudwig is offline
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Holy hell, you hit the nail on the head with that one. That was absolutely hilarious, especially all those little things I didn't want to admit to myself.
2009 Interlagos Blue E92 M3 (Sold)
2004 Silver Gray 330Ci ZHP (Sold)
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Old 09-02-2004, 09:55 AM
schreck schreck is offline
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Hahaha, I'm with TLudwig on that one. The poster really couldn't have put it any better than that.

Excellent work.

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Old 09-02-2004, 10:46 AM
stephenn stephenn is offline
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What about?

What about, after purchasing the car, reading about all the trouble with the moon roof shade, door trim, and window regulator problems on the discussion groups and worrying that you might have made a mistake on the purchase. Then, realizing since you have already experienced 2 of 3 and that you are still under warranty, you don't care for as long as the warranty lasts. All the plusses more than make up for it.
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Old 09-02-2004, 12:29 PM
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KevinM KevinM is offline
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Phase 4

Phase 4: Start complaining about the E__ design that is due to replace your E__, clearly a classic BMW if there ever was one.

Phase 5: Start doing research on all the cars you could buy instead of a BMW, becasue if BMW can't listen to you and your design ethic, they can go to hell...

Phase 6: Well, maybe the design is not THAT bad...it'll probably grow on me...

Begin Phase sub-0.

P.S., I'm actually keeping my E39...
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Old 09-02-2004, 01:19 PM
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wag-zhp wag-zhp is offline
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Great post!!! So, this really does happen to all of us? I though it just happened to a few of us true gear-heads with OCD.
When it absolutely, positively, has to be destroyed overnight! OohRaah!!!
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Old 02-07-2006, 01:11 AM
Pheeva Pheeva is offline
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That needs to be published!!!!

1998 528I Dinan suspension and chip
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Old 02-07-2006, 08:18 AM
Penforhire Penforhire is offline
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Very amusing. Well done. I would only dispute the not-leasing comment. I figure BMW's are leased more often than the average car because of high price and high residuals (though I agree with your principle and do not lease myself).
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