Hagerty Just Said It: Buy an E46-Chassis BMW M3 Now

Dec 23, 2016 update to the BMW M3 project car

Welcome to the collector world, E46-chassis M3. We've always known that you're special.

We just got this release from classic car insurer Hagerty, and it looks like our M3 is now officially a future classic. In fact, it’s at the top of their list!

Look for more updates on our project car soon, and here’s that entire release:

TOP 10 TEN CLASSIC CARS TO BUY IN 2017

1980s and Newer Models Prove Popular as New Generation Emerges

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (Dec. 22, 2016) – Hagerty, the classic car valuations and insurance leader, today announced its guidance for the best classic cars to buy in 2017. The list focuses on cars that are poised to be strong investments in terms of value growth and smiles-per-dollar.

“One of the most exciting trends emerging is younger enthusiasts driving interest in newer vehicles,” said McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty. “Well-preserved vehicles from the 1980s and even the 1990s–some from long-term ownership-will continue to come to market as demand increases.”

Using a combination of their Hagerty Price Guide, Hagerty Vehicle Ratings and internal data, the company recommends the following models as strong buys for 2017 (including average prices).

  1. 2000-2006 BMW M3 ($20,000) - BMW’s earlier M cars have been blazing hot over the past three years and newer offerings are still much more expensive, which makes the E46 M3 coupe particularly attractive.

  2. 1997-2004 Chevrolet Corvette ($15,000) - The oldest C5 Corvettes are now 20-years-old and fully depreciated. They are also objectively better cars than C4 Corvettes but trade at a similar price. Z06s have the best long-term prospects, with their lower production numbers and higher power output.

  3. 1971-1972 Dodge Challenger ($18,300) - Not even close to recovering from the muscle car crash of 2008, Challengers are starting to rise to the top in interest. Demand for these as measured by Hagerty is the highest it has been since 2012, and value increases are likely to follow. Great looks, name recognition and tire-smoking power for less than $50,000 makes these muscle cars particularly enticing.

  4. 1968-1970 Dodge Charger ($26,100) - Like its younger Challenger sibling, Hagerty has observed a 5-year high in interest for 1968-70 Dodge Chargers. Unlike the Challenger, these cars recently exceeded their previous high. Values should continue to steadily increase, providing a relatively safe way to invest in 375 vintage horsepower.

  5. 2003-2006 Dodge Viper ($50,000) - If there is a theme to this list, it’s adrenaline, and the Dodge Viper delivers. Early Vipers are officially collectible with top values now reliably exceeding $50,000. Newer examples offer the same thrills for a little less money, and plenty exist with nearly no miles on the odometer.

  6. 2003 Ferrari Enzo ($2,300,000) - Is anything better than a low-production, Ferrari hypercar? Not really, especially in terms of recent appreciation. If you can find one in good condition with documentation and service history (and can afford it), buy with confidence. Where other aging poster cars sometimes fall into pricing purgatory (not new enough to be competitive, not old enough to be classic), the Enzo has earned widespread respect.

  7. 1966-1977 Ford Bronco ($18,500) - Boxy 1970s SUVs are popular among Gen X and Millennial buyers, with first-generation Broncos being well-liked in particular. Values have been rising for several years now, but given recent activity and the popularity among younger enthusiasts, they aren’t likely to get cheaper any time soon. They scratch the same itch as a Toyota FJ40s but trade for significantly less.

  8. 1970 Plymouth Superbird ($233,000) – With their exaggerated length and cartoonish rear spoiler, the Plymouth Superbird is off-putting to some, but interest in Mopars is reviving and the Superbird is one of the apex cars of the era. As rare as Superbirds are (production figures range from 1,920 to nearly 3,000), there is never a shortage of them on the market and interest is ratcheting up.

  9. 2007-2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS ($180,000) - Porsche 911 GT3 RSs have become one of the most popular additions to high-end collections in 2016, and for good reason: rare, lightweight and racy. Lots of these are destined to be hidden away as instant collectibles. If that’s your plan, look for one with a rare combination of options or colors. Of course, you could always treat it as an investment in happiness and just drive it until the wheels come off.

  10. 1993-1998 Toyota Supra Turbo ($40,000) - Twin-turbo MkIV Supras were one of the fastest production cars of the 1990s and were fixtures in contemporary go-fast movies and video games. It’s no surprise they are lusted-after today by collectors who are just starting to get serious about car ownership. Stock, manual transmission-equipped examples are next to impossible to find, which makes them exceptional candidates for explosive growth.

About Hagerty: Based in Traverse City, Michigan, Hagerty is the world’s leading insurance provider for classic vehicles and host to the largest network of classic car owners. Hagerty offers insurance for classic cars, trucks, motorcycles and motorcycle safety equipment, tractors, automotive tools and spare parts and even “automobilia” (any historic or collectible item linked with motor vehicles). Hagerty also offers overseas shipping/touring insurance coverage, business coverage and club liability coverage. For more information, call (800) 922-4050 or visit www.hagerty.com.

Hagerty also provides online Valuation Tools and publishes Hagerty Price Guide, which are the premier guides for post-war collectible automobiles. For more information please visit www.hagerty.com/valuationtools.


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Reader comments:

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
Dec. 23, 2016 10:39 a.m.

Mostly good choices (although many of them are "duh" choices that are practically a notice in reaction to the market) except for the C5. The massive improvements (especially in handling) between generations from the C5 to the C7 won't be kind to the C5's value, and the C5's styling isn't quite good enough to overcome how dated it's beginning to look.

Edit: I think the C6 and C7 will be instant classics if the next-gen Corvette is a costly mid-engined car. I'd even say the C7 is a safer bet right now than the C5.

Tyler H
Tyler H UltraDork
Dec. 23, 2016 10:52 a.m.

I need Hagerty to explain this to my wife.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
Dec. 23, 2016 10:56 a.m.

You make a good argument, but I'm still going to back up the C5 Z06. The later Vettes are faster, but there's something special about a C5 Z06. Plus it came with the coolest factory wheels ever.

One day we'll have another Corvette in the GRM fleet. The debate here in the office has been C5 or C6. (Yes, that's some foreshadowing.)

Interesting to see the Bronco on the list. Some old-school SUVs got expensive, but the prices seem to have cooled off a tick. I'm looking at you, FJ40.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
Dec. 23, 2016 11:00 a.m.
Tyler H wrote: I need Hagerty to explain this to my wife.

Should we arrange a phone conference?

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
Dec. 23, 2016 11:02 a.m.

I have always thought that the C5 (especially the Z06) is one of the best-looking cars ever made. Even today I prefer it to the C6 and the C7. Especially the C6 I think that thing is ugly. The C7 is better but I still like the C5 better.

Never done this before so I think I will post photos of all three to compare.

C5

C6

C7

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
Dec. 23, 2016 11:10 a.m.

Yep, in my book the C5 wins your photo contest.

JG, we're getting a C5!

MattW
MattW New Reader
Dec. 23, 2016 11:13 a.m.

Hard top C5's are beautiful cars.

NEALSMO
NEALSMO UltraDork
Dec. 23, 2016 11:30 a.m.

I've been wavering on the Enzo. I guess it's time to E36 M3 or get off the pot.

Furious_E
Dec. 23, 2016 11:54 a.m.

C5 Z06 will do well, but I agree with Gameboy on the rest of the breed. I'm not even convinced they're done depreciating yet, with the C6 starting to be seen under $20k with some regularity. Not to mention, I believe the production numbers were a good bit higher than the two subsequent generations. I too like the styling of the C5 best, but I'm not super hot for any of them and think they will all show their age some day. All that being said, I think it's very hard to argue against the C5 as the best performance per dollar production vehicle available today.

The Bronco is interesting and I guess I'd be a data point in favor of their comment on millennials and boxy SUVs - definitely find myself drawn to the older Bronco's, Blazers, Wranglers, Land cruisers, and the like and my dd is an XJ.

Some other cars not mentioned on the list that I see appreciating in the next few years: early Vipers (particularly the GTS) and the FD RX7. I think the original Viper is such an iconic and distinctive car and the FD is gorgeous, rare (especially in unmolested condition), unique, and has a rabid cult following.

pushrod36
pushrod36 Reader
Dec. 23, 2016 12:03 p.m.

I think that driver quality vintage American muscle is going to decline as the new American muscle depreciates.

I also believe any naturally aspirated v12 with a manual transmission will do well, newer is better. My personal pick is a Ferrari 550.

Knurled
Knurled MegaDork
Dec. 23, 2016 12:14 p.m.

I'd love to have an E46 M3. Unfortunately it seems like they are either priced really high, or convertibles. You can't rallycross a convertible if it doesn't have a hardtop, and any vehicle I own will be rallycrossed at least once.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
Dec. 23, 2016 12:19 p.m.
David S. Wallens wrote: Yep, in my book the C5 wins your photo contest. JG, we're getting a C5!

I can not argue with any of this logic. There's really no loser there. C5Zs still dominate AS and SSR autocross, but C6s also win in capable hands. Sam Strano has basically said he thinks a C5Z is a faster car but he drives a C6Z because he likes the seats and interior better. There's no loser here, except people who don't buy one or the other in the next 18 months or so.

Tyler H
Tyler H UltraDork
Dec. 23, 2016 1:13 p.m.

If they needed an F-car on the list, the 308/348 would fit in better than the Enzo. And NSX.

93gsxturbo
Dec. 23, 2016 2:17 p.m.

As a former C5 owner, I had longings for replacing it with a C6 after a few years, but that lust quickly faded when I realized just how good the C5 really was. The C6 was bigger and uglier, headlights were really bad, and just didnt have the cool of the C5. The C5 looked like an exotic. The C6 looked like a squished Camaro.

The C7, especially in white, is a striking car. But its tough to get over the clean and simple lines of the C5.

yupididit
Dec. 23, 2016 2:28 p.m.

The c5 z06 and frc are my fav corvettes as far as looks. I want a white FRC so bad.

mr2peak
mr2peak Dork
Dec. 23, 2016 3:30 p.m.

What about Z3 M Coupes? It's got the S54, it has much lower production numbers, it's faster, and it's more of a sports car than an M3. Prices are already up there as well...

Carro Atrezzi
Carro Atrezzi HalfDork
Dec. 23, 2016 3:33 p.m.

Unfortunately there is no way to know what cars will be highly collectible in the future. Fortunately, there is a fairly accurate indicator of which ones won't be: any of those which are heralded as future collectibles.

Muscle cars: nobody ever saw that coming. In 1974 you were doing good to trade a Hemi Charger straight up for a CB750 (I happen to know someone who did that).

911's: Did Hagerty or anybody else call that one? I don't think so.

I could go on and on. I happen to have a hunch that '90's early 2000's crotch rockets will be a hot item in the future.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
Dec. 23, 2016 3:55 p.m.
93gsxturbo wrote: [C6] headlights were really bad

They also do not pop up, which is another strike against them.

RossD
RossD UltimaDork
Dec. 23, 2016 5:28 p.m.

Along with the small Bronco is the full size jeeps from the 70s and 80s.

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 HalfDork
Dec. 23, 2016 5:31 p.m.
mr2peak wrote: What about Z3 M Coupes? It's got the S54, it has much lower production numbers, it's faster, and it's more of a sports car than an M3. Prices are already up there as well...

As someone who sold a '99 M Coupe around 2006, I'm amazed at what these are going for now. Probably not on the list because they began climbing years ago. I'd love the have the M Coupe back.

I'd still rather have a E36 than a E46 M3, but it's probably easier to find a nice E46.

Vigo
Vigo PowerDork
Dec. 23, 2016 5:34 p.m.

I agree with everyone else here who thinks the C5 is prettier by a mile than the C6 and by slightly less than a mile over the C7.

A recent CL search turned up a handful of c5s WELL under 10k in my area (none of them nice, but still). That's a sharp drop in the last few months! I think they are VERY close to the bottom.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
Dec. 23, 2016 5:42 p.m.

Yeah, some M coupes have already gone up. I was at this sale: $53,900 for a mint, non-sunroof M coupe.

Linky.

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler UberDork
Dec. 23, 2016 5:59 p.m.

I'll dispute their assertion that C5s are now as cheap as C4s. Last time I looked, you could still get decent C4s for under $10k all day long, and C5s are still in the mid-teens.

And yes, the C5 is a much better-looking car than the C6. Popups FTW!

codrus
codrus SuperDork
Dec. 23, 2016 7:13 p.m.
Tom_Spangler wrote: And yes, the C5 is a much better-looking car than the C6. Popups FTW!

I like the popups, but the back end on the C5 coupe (which all the C5 Z06s were, IIRC) is... unfortunate.

dculberson
dculberson PowerDork
Dec. 23, 2016 7:24 p.m.

In reply to 93gsxturbo:

In what universe is a C6 bigger than a C5? They're a little taller but way shorter and a little narrower.

flatlander937
flatlander937 HalfDork
Dec. 23, 2016 8:52 p.m.

I'd imagine BMW E60 M5s will appreciate upwards some point soon... the engines in those things are rowdy, and with CAFE getting stricter I think it's only a matter of time before stuff like that is no longer available(new).

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy PowerDork
Dec. 23, 2016 10:01 p.m.

I'd really like third gen Camaros to go nuts, since I still have the one I bought new in 82.

I'm not holding my breath.

curtis73
curtis73 PowerDork
Dec. 23, 2016 10:06 p.m.

And then there is me... thinking that half of those cars are more expensive than the house I'm trying to buy.

Maybe I can afford a trashed E30.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
Dec. 23, 2016 10:21 p.m.
dculberson wrote: In reply to 93gsxturbo: In what universe is a C6 bigger than a C5? They're a little taller but way shorter and a little narrower.

Yes and no. C6s are shorter, but a C6Z is about three inches wider than a C5Z. Regular C6 is about half an inch narrower than a C5 or C5Z. And, yeah, 6 is about three inches shorter that the 5, 5 Drives like a smaller car though.Especially comparing Z to Z. It's also lighter.

The0retical
Dec. 23, 2016 10:57 p.m.

I'm surprised the FD3S RX-7 didn't make that list.

I'm sure it'll do nothing good for the Supra. I don't think it aged that well as fanbois seem to think, but it's like criticizing Kristie Alley's looks. Eventually you just need to accept that they're old.

G_Body_Man
G_Body_Man SuperDork
Dec. 24, 2016 12:00 a.m.

In a slight aside, has anyone else noticed that RT/TT Stealths have been going up in price over the past five years by a noticeable rate? It wasn't that long ago when you could pick a decent one up for $3500 USD, now they're around $6k USD for a nice early one.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
Dec. 24, 2016 12:29 a.m.
curtis73 wrote: And then there is me... thinking that half of those cars are more expensive than the house I'm trying to buy.

I tried to convince my wife that it was a sound financial decision to take a second mortgage and buy a Ford GT a few years back. I would have been right. She doesn't seem to think that gives me any credibility towards future suggestions. Still, you'll make the greatest profit on the most expensive cars.

The fact that I passed over an aircooled 911 to get the E39 M5 about 8 (?) years ago does give her some ammo. Our Westfalia has probably doubled in value since I bought it, which doesn't quite even the score.

If I were buying a car as an investment, I'd get the cleanest Integra Type R I could find. Preferably white with the red Recaros. Still affordable, but it'll only get more valuable.

yupididit
Dec. 24, 2016 1:39 a.m.
flatlander937 wrote: I'd imagine BMW E60 M5s will appreciate upwards some point soon... the engines in those things are rowdy, and with CAFE getting stricter I think it's only a matter of time before stuff like that is no longer available(new).

My favorite BMW ever, I'm afraid to own one though.

mr2peak
mr2peak Dork
Dec. 24, 2016 5:45 a.m.
David S. Wallens wrote: Yeah, some M coupes have already gone up. I was at this sale: $53,900 for a mint, non-sunroof M coupe. Linky.

At $53,900 for 21k miles, prices look like they are going down compared to earlier this year.

Knurled
Knurled MegaDork
Dec. 24, 2016 6:33 a.m.
codrus wrote:
Tom_Spangler wrote: And yes, the C5 is a much better-looking car than the C6. Popups FTW!

I like the popups, but the back end on the C5 coupe (which all the C5 Z06s were, IIRC) is... unfortunate.

Kidding? The back end is perfect. It's minimalist while also being phenomenally functional.

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed SuperDork
Dec. 24, 2016 6:44 a.m.

I don't think there is any earth shattering news there. All pretty obvious choices. Still interesting though.

curtis73
curtis73 PowerDork
Dec. 24, 2016 9:08 a.m.
Keith Tanner wrote:
curtis73 wrote: And then there is me... thinking that half of those cars are more expensive than the house I'm trying to buy.

I tried to convince my wife that it was a sound financial decision to take a second mortgage and buy a Ford GT a few years back. I would have been right. She doesn't seem to think that gives me any credibility towards future suggestions. Still, you'll make the greatest profit on the most expensive cars.

The fact that I passed over an aircooled 911 to get the E39 M5 about 8 (?) years ago does give her some ammo. Our Westfalia has probably doubled in value since I bought it, which doesn't quite even the score.

If I were buying a car as an investment, I'd get the cleanest Integra Type R I could find. Preferably white with the red Recaros. Still affordable, but it'll only get more valuable.

I had an inside guy at Honda let it sneak out that they were developing the new NSX a few years ago. I was tempted to get a loan to buy an early NSX hoping I could turn a profit (and I always wanted an NSX).

I would have at least made my money back, but I'm not seeing a huge uptick in prices.

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
Dec. 24, 2016 9:43 a.m.
The0retical wrote: I'm surprised the FD3S RX-7 didn't make that list. I'm sure it'll do nothing good for the Supra. I don't think it aged that well as fanbois seem to think, but it's like criticizing Kristie Alley's looks. Eventually you just need to accept that they're old.

I never cared for that model Supra. I also cannot remember the last time I saw ANY supra moving under it's own power. I still see FD occasionally, and NSXs, but all the supras around here were sent to an early grave or are sitting in pieces in somebody's garage.

Nick (Bo) Comstock
Dec. 24, 2016 10:06 a.m.
David S. Wallens wrote: Yep, in my book the C5 wins your photo contest. JG, we're getting a C5!

Dammit man! I'm still waiting on the C4 content from you guy's

MattW
MattW New Reader
Dec. 24, 2016 11:15 a.m.
yupididit wrote:
flatlander937 wrote: I'd imagine BMW E60 M5s will appreciate upwards some point soon... the engines in those things are rowdy, and with CAFE getting stricter I think it's only a matter of time before stuff like that is no longer available(new).

My favorite BMW ever, I'm afraid to own one though.

Yeah, their propensity to self destruct might precede their reputation. At this point in the game most of these needs a bottom end rebuild.

They are at bottom $$$ right now though.

yupididit
Dec. 24, 2016 2:46 p.m.

In reply to MattW:

$16k to $18k around here for clean smg cars with 80-100k miles

Groats
Groats New Reader
Dec. 25, 2016 11:44 a.m.

I test drove a C5 corvette the other day that's for sale at $15k with 70,000 miles. Walked away from the test drive without the urgent need to buy it. Seemed like a deal especially here in Seattle where everything is overpriced. After years of driving crappy Japanese cars with no torques it felt wrong not being able to wind the engine out. Slow car fast and all that. I still get the feeling that I should pitch them a lowball offer and see if it happens.

Decent E36 M3's here go for at least $12k so it makes the whole proposition even more muddled. Especially if an E46 isn't all that much more.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
Dec. 25, 2016 1:18 p.m.

If you're used to low-torque cars, displacement can require some adjustment on the part of the driver.

Based on what I'm seeing of new car drivetrains, cars with big instant hit sledgehammer torque delivery will stand out in the future.

Vigo
Vigo PowerDork
Dec. 25, 2016 1:18 p.m.
In a slight aside, has anyone else noticed that RT/TT Stealths have been going up in price over the past five years by a noticeable rate? It wasn't that long ago when you could pick a decent one up for $3500 USD

Really nice RT/TT and VR-4s are up over 10k, sometimes way over 10k now.

I test drove a C5 corvette the other day that's for sale at $15k with 70,000 miles. Walked away from the test drive without the urgent need to buy it...Decent E36 M3's here go for at least $12k so it makes the whole proposition even more muddled.

Yeah.. just don't compare the actual raw performance of those two vehicles or that $3k savings will not seem like nearly enough of a discount.

Trackmouse
Dec. 25, 2016 4:42 p.m.

I think the '82-'85 celica is on the rise. I paid $1,200 for mine. I now see them regularly going for $1,250! I'm gonna be rich someday.

WAKman
WAKman New Reader
Dec. 25, 2016 6:05 p.m.

Shucks. Every time I get interested in a particular car, some expert picks it as a future collectible.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
Dec. 27, 2016 1:46 p.m.
WAKman wrote: Shucks. Every time I get interested in a particular car, some expert picks it as a future collectible.

That's why you need to buy them all now.

loumash
loumash New Reader
Dec. 28, 2016 10:43 a.m.

I think it's interesting that Hagerty lists the e46 M3 and they would not insure my e36 M3.

dculberson
dculberson PowerDork
Dec. 28, 2016 11:21 a.m.

In reply to loumash:

What usage did you list?

loumash
loumash New Reader
Dec. 28, 2016 12:04 p.m.

In reply to dculberson:

< 5k miles a year, garaged, not a daily driver. I have two modern cars that are my daily drivers.

Mister Fister
Dec. 29, 2016 9:33 a.m.
The0retical wrote: I'm surprised the FD3S RX-7 didn't make that list. I'm sure it'll do nothing good for the Supra. I don't think it aged that well as fanbois seem to think, but it's like criticizing Kristie Alley's looks. Eventually you just need to accept that they're old.

In order to make the list there have to be examples of decent cars available. As someone who used to own an FD, and who recently was searching for another clean, unmodified FD, I can assure you there is no such thing anymore.

This makes them uncollectable in the eyes of collectors.

Knurled
Knurled MegaDork
Dec. 29, 2016 9:49 a.m.

I am aware of a couple bone stock FDs. They, of course, are not for sale at any price.

I even saw a CYM that was stock down to still having the original wheels. The owner didn't know about the recall. Yes the wheels all had cracked spokes I think we spooked him, but then, driving around on time bombs is probably spook-worthy.

codrus
codrus SuperDork
Dec. 29, 2016 4:57 p.m.
Knurled wrote: I am aware of a couple bone stock FDs. They, of course, are not for sale at any price. I even saw a CYM that was stock down to still having the original wheels. The owner didn't know about the recall. Yes the wheels all had cracked spokes I think we spooked him, but then, driving around on time bombs is probably spook-worthy.

There was a recall on the wheels? I've read about the fuel & radiator fan related ones, but didn't see anything about wheels.

Stock, unmolested FDs are definitely hard to find, but they do exist. I spent 6 months looking for mine, was hoping for a CYM but settled for a red Touring. In those six months I saw four cars in the US that were stock with < 60K miles, three of sold before I could get there, but I bought the fourth.

Mine was so stock that it still had the original, 23-year-old radiator in it. That has since been replaced. :)

markwemple
markwemple UltraDork
Dec. 29, 2016 5:14 p.m.

Seeing the out of the blue stupid money some range rover classics are getting, I'm surprised they aren't listed.

Chris_V
Chris_V UberDork
Dec. 30, 2016 7:13 a.m.
mad_machine wrote: I never cared for that model Supra. I also cannot remember the last time I saw ANY supra moving under it's own power. I still see FD occasionally, and NSXs, but all the supras around here were sent to an early grave or are sitting in pieces in somebody's garage.

There seem to be a bunch of Supras around here of all generations, as they show up regularly to the local Cars & Coffee, both stock and modded.

Chris_V
Chris_V UberDork
Dec. 30, 2016 7:17 a.m.

The C5 may be a great performer and all, but of the last three generations, I lov the C6 Gran Sport convertibles the best. Especially in this color combo:

And the interior and general quality is better, too. So the headlights don't pop up. I don't care. Had my fill of wonky popups over the years.

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