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 Post subject: 1962 Cadillac for my next car, pipe dream or possibility?
PostPosted: Jan Mon 08, 2018 9:08 pm 
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Location: Mt. Prospect, IL USA
Hi all!

I'm not a "car guy", but I have owned in the past a '55 Buick Super coupe, '57 Buick Roadmaster 4-door hardtop, and a 1961 Cadillac Coupe De Ville. Now I'm driving a 2004 Nissan Murano with 110,000 on the clock, and the old girl's starting to show signs of corrosion setting in, and the cat converter is somehow just barely connecting to the front muffler. I'd like to image the car would be drivable for 5 years or so. If the engine or trans went out, I would part with my Nissan.

So, not fond of modern cars which can be hacked or tracked, but yet not wanting to go back to the metal dashboard and flat steering wheel, not to mention single-circuit brakes, I wondered... Could I find a drivable car in Arizona with a decent engine? I would have the Hydra-Matic rebuilt, as well as the drivetrain, suspension and brake systems. The fuel tank and lines would most likely need replacing. Add in radials and a carb rebuild... So, are '62 Cadillacs available for a reasonable price, that could be made into daily drivers? Or is it just too late and too expensive, I don't know.

My boss lets me drive the company 4x4 everyday for my job, so the Caddy could spend the Illinois winters in a nearly new garage. I would want to paint the car the blue color of the car in the movie "The Help". Oh, dang, the ragtop would be beaucoup bucks, but boy would it look good in the driveway.

Yeah, I know. The '62 still has the X-frame which means getting T-boned would clean my clock for sure. And it still has a generator, if I recall. But it does have dual-circuit brakes, which is really nice after having the brakes go out on both Buicks, fortunately at 15 mph. And it still uses the original OHV Cadillac V-8. The '63's look ooh so nice, but they used an engine design that lasted just 5 years. The '62 390 is the most refined original OHV, and I liked the sound of it on my '61.

So, is there anyone out there in Radio land who knows a thing or two about old cars, with some advice? I was hoping to be able to get a drivable, non-rust-bucket car for $25-30K, including all the mechanical refurbishing and a paint job. Is this a possibility, or something I should just forget about? Other possibilities include an '87 Pontiac Firebird and '80 Corvette. (Yeah, it's probably the slowest of all, and even though my wife isn't nuts about 'Vettes, I think she might be convinced if it had T-tops. She liked my old '61 Caddy...)

Like I said, I'm not a "car guy". I don't have friends who are. But it'd be nice to be able to listen to Sinatra on an 8-track, cruising in a '62 Coupe DeVille. Somebody please let me know straight up, whether or not the whole idea is feasible. I'm totally naïve about the old car business. I do, however, know how to rebuild a carb, change out a fuel pump, do dwell and timing, plugs and rotor. I've gone so far as to replace the valve lifters on my '77 Olds 260 V-8 back in '93, and make up brake lines and hone wheel cylinders back in the day. But when it come to pulling and rebuilding an engine or transmission, there's just no way. And as to the dollars and cents, I don't have a clue... Thanks for any who would advise me to keep the dream or can it. I've no more room for radios in my house, but I could count a '62 Caddy as a hybrid tube/transistor radio with a car built around it...


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 Post subject: Re: 1962 Cadillac for my next car, pipe dream or possibility
PostPosted: Jan Mon 08, 2018 9:20 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 8410
Location: Litchfield Minnesota USA
First - Are you sure that car has a dual master cylinder? From all that I remember and have read the first cars in the GM lineup with the dual master cylinder came out in 1965 on the Corvette. I owned one, I know.
Now, if it is single, no big deal. You can convert it to dual if you are so inclined to do so.

Now, if you buy a '62 Cadillac in AZ and want to go through the transmission, brakes, charging system, engine, etc. make SURE you have someone who knows what they're doing on each and every one of those items. There are MANY charlatan's out there who will advertise they're the best in the business, but when it comes time to drive the car you find out that all is not right. Happens all the time. Do a lot of research before you have someone dig into your engine, for instance, and then you get it back and it uses a lot of oil, or has low compression or poor performance because of poor assembly procedures. It's not rocket science, but there are too many people who say they're great, but aren't.

It's good to find a car in the southwest though. The body will usually be in pretty decent shape, although kind of sun faded. Interior will be the same unless it's been garaged all its life and how many people in that part of the country garage their cars?

That's what I can pass along just for a heads up when you go that route.

Mark D.


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 Post subject: Re: 1962 Cadillac for my next car, pipe dream or possibility
PostPosted: Jan Mon 08, 2018 9:36 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 285
Location: Arlington, TX, USA
Besides the dismal fuel economy, I think these cars would still do well in modern driving. I had a 1961 Deville around 2001 and I was never scared to drive it in freeway traffic. Engine rebuild parts are quite a bit more expensive than common small block Chevy stuff. Soft parts rebuild kits are available but pricey for the Controlled Coupling Hydramatic aka Jetaway transmission. The 390 engine of 1962 is the last of the original 1949 OHV Cadillac engine family.

I'm pretty sure the air conditioning used the then new A6 compressor which is widely available. This car is the last year for a generator. The 1963s had alternators in their place.

The Achilles Heel of the 63-67 engines is the oil pump being made as part of the aluminum engine front cover. They just wore out quickly and either had to be replaced or had some serious machine work done installing a machined repair sleeve.

1962 is the first year Cadillac to get a dual master cylinder. Lincoln didn't get that until 1967.


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 Post subject: Re: 1962 Cadillac for my next car, pipe dream or possibility
PostPosted: Jan Mon 08, 2018 10:13 pm 
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As Erich stated it does have the dual master cylinder to provide independent front and rear systems.

Here is the data book from GM for the 1962 model year: https://www.gmheritagecenter.com/docs/g ... ac_VVI.pdf

Rodger WQ9E


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 Post subject: Re: 1962 Cadillac for my next car, pipe dream or possibility
PostPosted: Jan Mon 08, 2018 10:39 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Baltimore, MD
The '61/'62 Caddies were very nice cars, though I've never understood why collectors didn't take as much of an interest with them as, say, the '59s. Maybe because they're after the Harley Earl era - I don't know. Personal opinion, but I always liked the lines of the '61 and '62 better than the "classics" of just a few years prior.

With everything gone through, I wouldn't hesitate to make one of them a daily driver provided I didn't have a very long way to go. The only reason for that is because the cars get maybe 10-11 mpg on a good day. I have a buddy who has made a '63 Chrysler 300 his daily driver and has no regrets. He's driven it all up and down the East Coast, except in the winter.

In addition to what Mark mentioned, just like with radios, try to find a car that has been well maintained and not one that spent the last 30 years sitting out in the desert. If it's in decent mechanical condition to begin with, its less likely that each system will have to be completely rebuilt all at once. I'd look all throughout the Southwest, not just AZ. Transportation costs aren't really all that much if it's the right car.

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 Post subject: Re: 1962 Cadillac for my next car, pipe dream or possibility
PostPosted: Jan Mon 08, 2018 10:43 pm 
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I like to add my advice, try to buy 1-2 parts cars, there will be a lot
of parts you will need in the future, sometimes.
Make your dreams come true! :wink:

Regards,
SIXMILLION DOLLARMAN

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 Post subject: Re: 1962 Cadillac for my next car, pipe dream or possibility
PostPosted: Jan Mon 08, 2018 11:15 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Eagan, Minnesota, USA
I would not use a car like that as a daily driver. I'm assuming that you don't live in a rural town, but a city/suburb environment. Today's traffic is hard on a car, and something like that will not be able to take the type of driving done today with the smaller, faster, better handling cars competing on the road.

I do like those type of cars, and admire the design of them. A properly restored car like that would easily run the amount of money you mentioned. A convertible done right would be much more. And lesser quality restorations would be less, but you will get what you pay for. Reliability at this point is going to be determined by the quality of the restoration, but even an expensively restored car like this could have issues that come out after daily use. Parts can be found when needed, but not necessarily as quick as you might need them. When repairs are needed, plan on finding a garage that is willing to work on that car, and has the mechanics that are knowledgeable to work on it. Not all shops will accept it.

And accidents do happen. That car, if hit, will never be the same again without spending a ton of money to get the body repaired correctly. Find out how your insurance company will deal with body repairs on it. And again, you'll want to know which body shops will accept that car for repairs.

Anything can be done. But be willing to deal with repair issues and having the car wear out from day in and day out use.
It's going to be a daily driver in an era that it wasn't designed to deal with.

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 Post subject: Re: 1962 Cadillac for my next car, pipe dream or possibility
PostPosted: Jan Mon 08, 2018 11:32 pm 
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I think you should look into it, and if it's within budget, what the hell, go for it.

I noticed electrical wiring hasn't been addressed, and I would think a new wire loom might be considered as well as brakes, etc.

I had asked a local restoration outfit what the cost would be to rebuild a '50's car, and they ball parked 100 grand (this was back about 12 years ago). I've thought about getting a '57 Ford Ranchero and having it restored, but thinking is as far as I've gotten so far, lol.

BTW, as mentioned above, the entire southwest, and esp California, should be in your search radar.


Mark D wrote:
It's good to find a car in the southwest though. The body will usually be in pretty decent shape, although kind of sun faded. Interior will be the same unless it's been garaged all its life and how many people in that part of the country garage their cars?

Ahh, Mark old boy. Try getting into your car after leaving it out all day in 110 degree weather, and see if you don't look for indoor parking the next day, lol!

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 Post subject: Re: 1962 Cadillac for my next car, pipe dream or possibility
PostPosted: Jan Mon 08, 2018 11:38 pm 
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Beautiful, conservatively styled lines on the 1962 Cadillac.
[img]
Attachment:
1962_Cadillac_Coupe_DeVille_For_Sale_Rear_resize.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: 1962 Cadillac for my next car, pipe dream or possibility
PostPosted: Jan Tue 09, 2018 12:07 am 
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Reminds me of the movie, "Tin Men" filmed in Baltimore, MD.

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 Post subject: Re: 1962 Cadillac for my next car, pipe dream or possibility
PostPosted: Jan Tue 09, 2018 12:14 am 
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Location: Palos Verdes, CA
Chuck,
There happens to be a 1962 Cadillac for sale on eBay from California for $20K:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1962-Cadillac- ... fL&vxp=mtr

I'm a long-time automotive enthusiast and have rebuilt everything on a car with the exception of a differential and would I get a 1962 vehicle as a "daily driver?" No way! Try finding someone to work on a 1962 Cadillac in the neighborhood. I have 2 vintage muscle cars, but also have 2 other vehicles that I drive around town, and have the optional 100 mile towing from the Auto Club, just in case! - Mark


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 Post subject: Re: 1962 Cadillac for my next car, pipe dream or possibility
PostPosted: Jan Tue 09, 2018 12:29 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 8410
Location: Litchfield Minnesota USA
fifties wrote:
I think you should look into it, and if it's within budget, what the hell, go for it.

I noticed electrical wiring hasn't been addressed, and I would think a new wire loom might be considered as well as brakes, etc.

I had asked a local restoration outfit what the cost would be to rebuild a '50's car, and they ball parked 100 grand (this was back about 12 years ago). I've thought about getting a '57 Ford Ranchero and having it restored, but thinking is as far as I've gotten so far, lol.

BTW, as mentioned above, the entire southwest, and esp California, should be in your search radar.


Mark D wrote:
It's good to find a car in the southwest though. The body will usually be in pretty decent shape, although kind of sun faded. Interior will be the same unless it's been garaged all its life and how many people in that part of the country garage their cars?

Ahh, Mark old boy. Try getting into your car after leaving it out all day in 110 degree weather, and see if you don't look for indoor parking the next day, lol!


From what I have seen when I've been in the southwest part of the country it appears that few people have garages. I was going on that.

A comment was made that the O.P. should find someone who knows how to work on older cars. Uh, anyone who is proficient in his trade, such as transmissions, will have no problem working on a '62 or whatever Cadillac. Transmissions should be done by an experienced tech and never at somewhere like Aamco. (If they're still around)
Engines the same way. I am familiar with engine shops that have been around for many decades, but do lousy work. Yes, the engine will run. But longevity is not assured and often they go through a lot of oil. If I were rebuilding an older engine like that I would also have custom pistons made that can use rings of todays designs... Very thin. Less friction, longer life. But that, only if the engine is properly bored (if needed) and PROPERLY honed!!! The average 'Franks Engine Shop' isn't necessarily the place to go.
Some very highly respected engine shops are sending out some very poor work and not standing behind it.
hennesy

Yes, the A-6 AC compressor would be in the '61 up (not sure how far back it goes) Cadillac. But it ain't the same as the later ones that are everywhere, although the later ones can be easily adapted so no problem there. AC is usually pretty easy to work on except for the evaporator - usually not so easy to get out and back in.
Mark D.


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 Post subject: Re: 1962 Cadillac for my next car, pipe dream or possibility
PostPosted: Jan Tue 09, 2018 2:06 am 
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Mark D wrote:

A comment was made that the O.P. should find someone who knows how to work on older cars. Uh, anyone who is proficient in his trade, such as transmissions, will have no problem working on a '62 or whatever Cadillac.


+1. Anyone with a knowledge of basic mechanics can work on vehicles of this era. The ones that will have trouble are the ones that only know how to plug in a scanner and swap parts. I've worked on vehicles from the 1940s through the 2010s and I can say that I'd rather work on ten cars from the '60s before my '04 Silverado.

Quote:
Transmissions should be done by an experienced tech and never at somewhere like Aamco.


Unfortunately, they're still around in the Mid Atlantic! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: 1962 Cadillac for my next car, pipe dream or possibility
PostPosted: Jan Tue 09, 2018 3:08 am 
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The 62 caddy from ebay is in real nice condition, to bad its a 4 door. As far as the X-frame, that wasn't one of General Motors best idea's as they claim it is stronger. My 58 Impala has the X-frame but it is what it is. I do not use my Impala as a daily driver...

Sal


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 Post subject: Re: 1962 Cadillac for my next car, pipe dream or possibility
PostPosted: Jan Tue 09, 2018 4:30 am 
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I don't know about a vintage Cadillac - but in the budget you've outlined I think you could do OK. The trick is you'll have to do the legwork and look at quite a few, online and in person. There is a certain class of collector or hobbyist that is decidedly towards the restoration or preservationist side of things, that do good work and have attention to detail. You will know this when you see it. Like radio repair this is mostly a labor of love, there's simply no way to recoup the hours spent upon sale. That's not to say they are inexpensive, just that their price will not reflect what the guy has in it. In that sense they can be a hell of a bargain. You'll have to concentrate in dry West or Intermountain, and it sounds to me like you're not interested in anything but a "turnkey".

You should be able to find a "cherry" or creampuff with all the extras. When people hear 57 they think Chevy but 56 or 57 Ford Victoria, maybe a Mercury - Pontiac and Buick and others made some nice rides. If they have been restored refurbished they will handle being a daily driver just fine, they did it then, they can do it now.


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 Post subject: Re: 1962 Cadillac for my next car, pipe dream or possibility
PostPosted: Jan Tue 09, 2018 4:37 am 
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Location: Detroit, MI USA
We have a '60 and it's definitely not a vehicle one would want to use for an everyday driver even though it's mechanically capable of being driven for that kind of use. It's too big, and driving it on the streets filled with modern vehicles is more like trying to navigate a boat, that's how different the handling is. Finding a parking spot it will fit into is another problem.

With the extremely high compression engine it's impossible to find modern fuel that it will run well on. Actually does better on regular than premium. On premium it runs hot and diesels so badly you have to turn the engine off with it still in drive, or it will never stop running. With regular that's not as bad an issue, it will run on for a couple of seconds if shut off in park, but that's all. But the fuel economy, or total lack of it, is a major issue, just cruising around city streets for a couple of hours will easily go through $20 worth of gas. Definitely well below 10MPG, but remember back in those days if you could afford a Cadillac the higher expense of driving and repairing it didn't concern you at all.

There are almost no transmission shops having the skills or proper tools to rebuild a Cadillac hydramatic transmission of that vintage. They are extremely quirky and you don't want someone that doesn't have significant experience with your exact transmission working on one, it's asking for trouble. As little as half a pint difference in the transmission fluid level makes a huge difference in having a smooth and easy 3-4 upshift in normal driving.

It's very easy to upgrade these vehicles to an alternator for the electrical system, and the 62 model year was the first to have dual master cylinder for the brakes.

If you really insist on driving a vintage vehicle, there are plenty of other better choices, however there are also quite a few survivors of original unrestored Cadillacs from that era. I like a 57-65 full size Ford much better as a daily driver and if it became necessary would either drive my '57 Ford or one of the '59 Fords over the Cadillac.

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 Post subject: Re: 1962 Cadillac for my next car, pipe dream or possibility
PostPosted: Jan Tue 09, 2018 6:24 am 
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Location: Sunnyvale CA
I would just echo the other comments and say - unless you know exactly what you are getting, a restored completely stock car would *not* make a very good daily driver. Even in perfect condition to start with, the reliability is very poor by 2018 standards, the brakes are *dreadful*, and the overall safety is terrible. All that sheet metal DOES NOT make it safer, you would rather be in a Kia in any sort of head-on crash. In 1961, cruising all day at 70 mph was pretty impressive, and about what you could safely do, all things considered (even though it would go faster, you can't stop or turn). Do 70 mph on the interstate today, and almost anywhere, you are going to rammed from behind or learn a lot of new curse words from your fellow drivers.

If you do go ahead, get the restoration done by someone who really knows what they are doing. You can watch the car restoration shows on TV to see the sort of hackwork that the real experts (like DRS/Fantomworks) have to correct after owners and other shops get done.

A possibility would be a resto-mod, where you replace more-or-less the entire drivetrain, and all the brakes, with modern components. That way at least you would get decent reliability and tolerable gas mileage, and acceptable braking performance, while keeping the look. It's also probably cheaper than trying to rebuild or source all the vintage parts.

Brett


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 Post subject: Re: 1962 Cadillac for my next car, pipe dream or possibility
PostPosted: Jan Tue 09, 2018 2:47 pm 
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Posts: 1887
Location: Hawthorne, Ca
I own two Studebakers. One is a 1962 GT Hawk with a 4 speed trans and the other is a 1963 Avanti. Both of them are nice Southern California cars and I do drive them, but I use my 2010 Chevy Silverado as the daily driver. The Studebakers require considerably more maintenance than modern cars such as more frequent oil changes, tune ups and carburetor service. The Hawk has 4 wheel drum brakes and the Avanti does have front discs, but the brakes are nowhere as good as the modern cars. The Caddy also has 4 wheel drum brakes which may or may be self adjusting. The Caddy can be used for daily driving, but it will require premium gas and the gas mileage will be worse than terrible, around 8 or 9 mpg. Buy the Cadillac, but think of it as more of a collectors item to be used lightly. Harry


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 Post subject: Re: 1962 Cadillac for my next car, pipe dream or possibility
PostPosted: Jan Tue 09, 2018 3:19 pm 
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Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Can't offer any suggestions specific to '60's Caddys. They sure look
great but suggest widening your search a bit. Also, since you say
you are not a 'car guy' you'll be paying someone else to do repairs
and maintenence. Do you know someone in your area that you trust
to do this? See if there is a Caddy or even classic car club
in your area.

I'm normally into convertable sports cars but my single American
tuna boat is a '64 Lincoln. I cannot say enough good things about these
cars. Concerning Vettes, I own a '78, which is very similar to the '80
you mentioned and cannot recommend these. They had many problems
and the build quality was poor. One of the best sports or GT type
cars around these days (bang for your buck) are the 84 or newer
Vettes. But you need to be careful as many of these led a hard life.

Good luck with your search!
Steve

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 Post subject: Re: 1962 Cadillac for my next car, pipe dream or possibility
PostPosted: Jan Tue 09, 2018 3:32 pm 
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I actually used my 1955 Mercury Monterey as my daily commuter for close to a year. I still own the car and it's used for getting around town. It's not imho a good daily commuter. Modern cars are so much better at turning and stopping and I had inumerable instances of people slamming on their brakes and me then reacting, my brakes locking up and causing me to skid. I nearly hit several cars that way but got lucky. These old cars lack ANY safety framework, zero crumple zones and no shoulder belts.they are by no means safe.

You mention your strange fear of being tracked in a modern car: yet you wrote this post on a computer which tracks you all the time. I'd say your fears are fairly unfounded.

Sure- if you want a big boat just get a late model crown Vic. But as far as a 62' caddy for daily driving? Probably not the best idea.


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