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Jaguar E-type buying guide (1961-1974)

Jaguar E-type Nine out of ten cool cats who expressed a preference reckon the Jaguar E-type is the most glamorous, sensual car of all time. And is that any wonder? There aren’t enough superlatives in the dictionary to do the E-type justice; if grown men had car posters on their bedroom walls, this Jag would grace most of them. All those clichés about setting the world alight are true; this car really did rewrite the rulebook. 



With looks, pace, power, engineering and heritage, the Jag also offered an extra quality – relative affordability. While Aston Martin, Ferrari, Porsche et al had worthy rivals, they were much more costly. That price differential has remained; a superb E-type can now be valuable, but an equivalent DB4 or 250GT will cost rather more.



Jaguar historian Philip Porter runs the E-type Club. He owns several examples himself, and says: ‘There’s a huge spread of values from £5000 up to £200,000 – or £1million for a genuine Lightweight. At one extreme you can buy a 2+2 project and at the other a superbly restored, heavily upgraded Series 1 roadster. 



Jaguar E-type engines



The 1961-1971 E-type’s iconic XK unit is renowned for its durability as long as it’s looked after. Capable of giving 150,000 miles between rebuilds, the straight-six isn’t especially stressed unless regularly thrashed – and few owners drive hard.



Get it up to temperature before testing; listen for any knocks or rattles. Check for oil leaks as well as exhaust smoke; expect a few wisps on start-up, but things should soon settle. Once fully warm, look for at least 40psi on the pressure gauge with the engine turning over at 3000rpm.



Make sure the cooling fan cuts in on tickover. If the temperature gauge needle keeps climbing, the engine may well have overheated once: evidence of a blown head gasket is white ‘mayonnaise’ on the oil filler cap. If the motor is smoking badly or it’s very rattly, it’ll need total rebuild – but don’t panic. You can rebuild one at home for around £2000, or pay double this to get it done professionally. If you go DIY, the XK engine is the easier to revive of the pair.



The V12 that arrived in 1971 is an all-time great; properly kept it’ll do 200,000 miles. Poor maintenance leads to overheating, so idle the engine for a few minutes and watch the gauge. Harshness points to previous overheating having distorted the long block and heads. These are alloy, so anti-freeze must be maintained otherwise internal corrosion is guaranteed, leading to a less-efficient cooling system that ensures even worse overheating.



Low oil pressure at idle isn’t a problem, but check for at least 45lb (preferably 55lb) at 2500rpm. Leaks are common at the rear crankshaft seal; once it’s failed, a full rebuild is needed. A specialist charges £4000+, or you could do it yourself for £600 – if you’re skilled. Cars that have been run infrequently are especially likely to suffer from this, as the seal dries out then wears more readily.



The V12 has 20 rubber coolant hoses; the replacement of perished ones is very involved as the water rails and carbs have to be removed. They must also be to the correct reinforced spec; the coolant system runs at 15lb psi (earlier E-types are just 4lb psi). A full set is £143.50.
 
The original rubber fuel lines will now be brittle, while the Zenith-Stromberg carbs go out of tune when their diaphragms perish. Rebuilt carbs are the best solution; there are four at £350 each. Incidentally, the V12 happily runs on unleaded, as hardened valve seats were factory fitted.



E-type gearbox issues



There’s little to worry about here, but listen for clonks that signify worn universal joints or whining that betrays a dodgy diff. Fixing the former is straightforward; the latter is less easy and rather more costly with a replacement diff costing £750. Gearboxes are also strong, but the recalcitrance of the Moss unit on 3.8-litre cars is legendary. It’s noisier than the later one, too, so don’t expect a box that’s especially easy or pleasant to use, particularly when selecting first or reverse. Expect to pay £900 for a rebuilt transmission, whether it’s a Moss unit or a later one.



Most V12s have a three-speed Borg Warner Model 12 auto, yet the Jaguar four-speed manual is more sought after. They’re both durable, but the latter can suffer from weak synchro on second and third; check for difficulty selecting gears when cold. Expect to pay £400 for an exchange unit.



If ratio changes are jerky on the auto, or there’s any slipping, a service involves fresh fluid, filters and band adjustment. For an overhaul, budget £1100. Clutches, diffs and driveshafts are durable, but check for vibrations, clonks or whines.



What about the suspension, steering and brakes?



Jack up each wheel and rock it diagonally, feeling for wear in the bushes and bearings. If there is no play at the rear, the bearings have been set too tight and will probably overheat and fail. There are some in the hub as well as the lower fulcrum; a little play in each of these can lead to what feels like an alarming amount of movement at the wheel, but it should be no more than an eighth of an inch or so.



Remove the rear wheels and look at the axle cage mountings, which can perish or break. If you’ve already driven the car by now and it feels rather lively at the back, it could be due to rear-wheel steering as a result of the wear. While you’re under there, ensure there’s no oil leaking from the diff onto the inboard rear brakes. 



Any signs of trouble and it’s an axle-out job to sort. If there are creaks from the rear suspension, it’ll be because the lower hub pivots have corroded; if not greased regularly they wear rapidly or seize.
At the front there shouldn’t be nearly as much play, but don’t be surprised if you can detect a small amount. If it’s bearing wear, that’s easy to sort, but it might be worn lower wishbone balljoints. These act directly on the wishbone, which can be shimmed only so much before replacements are needed at a little over £100 per side.


The rack-and-pinion steering is reliable, but wear in the column joints is normal; replacement is easy at just £65 for the pair. The brakes should feel very strong, but imbalance is usually caused by that oil on the discs we mentioned. The handbrake can also give problems; the self-adjusting mechanism often seizes through lack of greasing. Try to roll the car on a level surface and see if it quickly grinds to a halt; if it does, fixing is simply a case of freeing off and lubing.



Although steel wheels were standard, chromed wires are now fitted to many V12s. The usual checks for damaged spokes and worn splines are essential; this is especially important with a V12 because of the torque generated.

Should you buy a Jaguar E-type? 



It’s easy to overlook the differences between the various iterations of E-type, but they’re highly significant. Buy the wrong car and you’ll wonder what all the fuss is about. Also, don’t get taken in by the glamour of the roadster when the coupé is more affordable and every bit as good to drive. 



Original right-hand-drive cars are a lot rarer than you’d think. Around 85 per cent of production was exported, so many right-hand-drive cars have been converted from left-hand drive at some point. Just ensure the car you buy is what it claims to be. Check it has the correct engine and that it’s not a roadster which left the factory as a coupé. The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust is invaluable in providing details of the car’s original spec. Philip Porter’s book Original Jaguar E-type (details in books listing), will highlight any inconsistencies in the specification.



If the car does need work there’s no need to fret about parts availability, because everything is available to revive an E-type, no matter how tired. With the right tools and enough time, a competent home mechanic can tackle just about any job that’s likely to crop up. Crucially, there’s no such thing as 
a bargain E-type. It’s quite common for someone to buy an example that’s priced at £20,000 below what would be expected. Then the new owner starts delving and discovers that to get the model up to the standard they were expecting, it needs £50,000 spent on it.

Few cars at any price are as rewarding to own or drive as a well-restored E-type. And there’s the rub; it must be properly renovated if it is to give any pleasure – and there’s a huge amount of enjoyment to be gained from E-type ownership.

Words: Richard Dredge
Jaguar E-type
Last updated: 3rd Dec 2014
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Jaguar E-Type cars for sale

127 Search results
Jaguar E-Type
13500 180000 GBP
  • Delivery Available Financing Available

    • Year: 1963

    Last update: 1 Day Old

    • Mileage: 80000 mi

    For sale
  • Tom Hartley
    01283 762762
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  • Chassis number 880249 Registration no: TBA 28,000 miles warranted from new & now restored to concours perfection. The car was bought 3 years ago from Bonham's Quail lodge sale where they described it as follows: "Purchased on December 24, 1963 by Dr. Henry N. Hillard as a Christmas gift for his wife, Ethel, the roadster remained with the Hillards for the rest of their lives. Jaguar Heritage documentation confirms Dr. Hillard as the original owner as well as verifying that the car retains all its original integrity, including numbers matching engine, as well as chassis, gearbox and body numbers. The livery was Opalescent Golden Sand with a tan interior and Sand top. Alongside its self evident originality, the car benefits from fabulous and rarely seen early documentation including its original Bill of Sale from Ladd Motors (where Dr Hillard traded in his 1962 Buick Convertible), registration records, Jaguar Manufacturers Warranty Card, Jaguar Periodic Maintenance Vouchers as well as the original tools." The car has since purchase undergone a painstaking nut & bolt restoration to as new condition. It is in a container being shipped to us now & will arrive in a few weeks. Rarely do we

    • Year: 1964

    Last update: 1 Day Old

    • Mileage: 28000 mi

    For sale
  • Vintage & Prestige
    01375 379719
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  • --Primrose Yellow with Black leather interior, Black carpets and Black convertible top, 39,000 original miles from new, 4-speed manual transmission, Factory air conditioning and Wire wheels. This V-12 Roadster has been in long term ownership. It has recently been treated to a complete repaint. The interior and top were recently replaced as well. It has had all mechanicals, suspension and braking systems restored by a well-known specialist. Used sparingly since all work has been completed, this V12 Roadster has only been used during the summer months. Excellent in every way, it is complete with all ownership and service history.

    • Year: 1973

    Last update: 1 Day Old

    • Mileage: 39000 mi

    For sale
  • Autosport Designs Inc
    (631) 726-0770
    see details
  • 1964, Finished in the original combination of opalescent silver blue with blue interior, this car is a genuine U.K R.H.D model with full matching numbers as shown on the heritage certificate supplied with the car, Sitting on chrome wire wheels, this car benefits from sensible upgrades such as; a Kenlowe fan, lumenition ignition, stainless steel six branch manifold exhaust system, and a full webasto sunroof. The car comes with a large history file which includes old M.O.Ts, many bills of money that has been spent, an old style green logbook and the heritage certificate. Very nice example.

    • Year: 1964

    Last update: 2 Days Old
    For sale
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  • Jaguar E Type 4.2 Series 1 2+2 4 Speed Manual finished in Sherwood Green Registered May 1967, Painstakingly Restored with a Full Mechanical Rebuild by Thomas Barclay Limited Jaguar in October 2010 including Engine, Gearbox, Suspension, Braking and Transmission, Coopercraft Brakes, Kenlowe Fan, Koni Shocks, Stainless Steel Sports Exhaust and the Usual Refinements, Recent Full Respray by Cropedy Bridge Cars, New Front and Rear Screens, New Seals, Carpets and Sound Proofing, Huge History File with Original Operating, Maintenance and Service Handbook as well as the Registration Book and Owners Service Policy, an Absolute Dream to Drive and Own. Finance Available Through our Classic Car Finance Division, Minimum Lend of £25K with Free Delivery Nationwide Available, Subject to Status.

    • Year: 1967

    Last update: 3 Days Old
    For sale
  • Targa Florio
    01243 641117
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  • By the mid-1960s, the Jaguar E-Type was appealing to the man with a young family but who were restricted by the size of the current Jaguar E-Type coupé and its open topped sibling. This prompted Jaguar to offer a third option in the form of a 2+2 coupé. By adding nine inches to the wheelbase and two inches in height, it was then possible to fit a rear seat capable of seating two adults in tolerable comfort. Of course the rear seat was more suited to children or, as 'The Motor' put it at the time, the car could 'extend Dad's youth for another seven years'. Robert Bell in Motor was quoted as saying at the time that "all we expected to try was a new engine but what in fact we drove was a new car. Not a yowling, aggressive Ferrari-like machine with which, perhaps, most people associate a V12 engine but a very smooth, quiet and refined grand touring sports car." We are pleased to offer this 1972 example of V12, 2+2 coupé that was first sold to a Mrs. C. E. king on 24 th November, 1972 by Henly's of London. Only 3,329 miles have been completed since March 1987, confirmed by the 21 MoT test certificates on file. It was in long term ownership from June 1991 until December 2014. During that

    • Year: 2015

    Last update: About 4 Hours Old
    For sale
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  • The Jaguar E-Type was ten years old and needed a new lease of life. History repeated itself and it was a huge success when Jaguar debuted its robust V12 engine in a sports car instead of the saloon for which it was designed. Despite its sports-car heritage, Jaguar depended on saloon vehicles for its survival and had developed the twelve-cylinder engine to power them with sufficient torque and refinement. Larger and softer in nature with weight redistributed 53/47, the Series III had lost the wilds of its youth but gained the long legged touring profile to which it was arguably better suited. Robert Bell in Motor was quoted as saying at the time that "all we expected to try was a new engine, but what in fact we drove was a new car. Not a yowling, aggressive Ferrari-like machine with which, perhaps, most people associate a V12 engine, but a very smooth, quiet and refined grand touring sports car". This handsome E-Type roadster is finished in primrose yellow and is a highly original example. The car shows little sign of ever having had any paintwork undertakenand the beige interior trim has a lovely patina to it. Equipped with power steering, automatic transmission and air conditionin

    • Year: 2015

    Last update: About 4 Hours Old
    For sale
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  • Construction year: 1972 Year of inscription: 1973 The Jaguar E-Type (a.k.a. Jaguar XK-E) was a British sports car, manufactured by Jaguar Cars Ltd between 1961 and 1974. Its combination of good looks, high performance and competitive pricing established the marque as an icon of 1960s motoring. More than 70,000 E-Types were sold. In March 2008, the Jaguar E-Type ranked first in a The Daily Telegraph online list of the world's "100 most beautiful cars" of all time! In 2004, Sports Car International magazine placed the E-Type at number one on their list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s. Series III A new 5.3 L twelve-cylinder Jaguar V12 engine was introduced, with uprated brakes and standard power steering. The short wheelbase FHC body style was discontinued and the V12 was available only as a convertible and 2+2 coupé. The convertible used the longer-wheelbase 2+2 floorplan. The Series 3 is easily identifiable by the large cross-slatted front grille and flared wheel arches, and a badge on the rear that proclaims it to be a V12. Cars for the US market were fitted with large projecting rubber bumper over-riders (in 1973 these were on front, in 1974 both front and rear[clarification neede

    • Year: 1972

    Last update: 1 Day Old

    • Mileage: 54000 mi

    For sale
  • Oldertimerfarm.be
    0032472401338
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  • The Jaguar E-Type (a.k.a. Jaguar XK-E) is a British sports car, manufactured by Jaguar Cars Ltd between 1961 and 1974. Its combination of good looks, high performance, and competitive pricing established the marque as an icon of 1960s motoring. More than 70,000 E-Types were sold. In March 2008, the Jaguar E-Type ranked first in a The Daily Telegraph online list of the world's "100 most beautiful cars" of all time. In 2004, Sports Car International magazine placed the E-Type at number one on their list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s. The E-Type was initially designed and shown to the public as a rear-wheel drive grand tourer in two-seater coupé form (FHC or Fixed Head Coupé) and as a two-seater convertible (OTS or Open Two Seater). A "2+2" four-seater version of the coupé, with a lengthened wheelbase, was released several years later. On its release Enzo Ferrari called it "The most beautiful car ever made". Later model updates of the E-Type were officially designated "Series 2" and "Series 3", and over time the earlier cars have come to be referred to as, sensibly, "Series 1" and "Series 1½". Of the "Series 1" cars, Jaguar manufactured some limited-edition variants, inspired by mot

    • Year: 1968

    Last update: 1 Day Old

    • Mileage: 87298 mi

    For sale
  • Oldertimerfarm.be
    0032472401338
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  • Age: 1965 Mileage: 75000 Transmission: Manual Duncan Hamilton are delighted to offer this superb 1965 4.2 Series 1 Jaguar E Type. The car has recently undergone a bare metal repaint over the past four months and it has also benefitted from new bright work bumpers, windscreen trim etc. It is finished in it’s original colour of Jaguar Blue, possibly the best colour combination. The trim is still original and in very good condition . The car will come complete with Jaguar Heritage Certificate . Having only covered 75,000 miles, we have an extensive service record with the car and the engine has recently been serviced and tuned. A great opportunity to acquire such a rare original right hand drive series 1 fixed head.

    Last update: 4 Days Old
    For sale
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  • Age: 1969 Series: II Transmission: Manual Here we have another stunningly restored E-Type for sale. The car has been restored by Lee Scott, Lee has served a 5 year apprentice ship with a Rolls Royce and Bentley specialist starting in 1988, restoring pre and post war vehicles for many a well known client. After finishing his apprenticeship he carried on working there for a further 2 years before starting up his own business in 1995. He carried on restoring cars for the same company for a further 2 years, in the meantime building up his own clientele and carrying out fabrication work for many other car restorers on pre war and classic vehicles. He has restored many other cars including several that have been featured in JAGUAR WORLD magazine and many other main stream publications. Lee Scott Restoration’s is now a well established company, which has enabled the company to work for a few well known customers within the old car world. Lee, and his team, including his son, Oliver have a full order book for the next 8-9 months. Soon Lee’s workshops will also be seen on a mainstream TV classic car program in 2015. ‘E’ Type Series 2 Roadster The car came into Lee’s workshop for a full rest

    Last update: 4 Days Old
    For sale
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  • Jaguar E-type series 1 “Flat-Floor” 3.8 Convertible LHD in a stunning overall condition. Has been restored and mechanically rebuilt in 2005-2007. Very clean body with perfect panel fittings and of course no rust. Original and so “Matching Numbers” engine, original color scheme etc. Mechanically very good, therefore in a perfect working and driving condition. Beautiful and desirable Flat floor 3.8 Convertible! Over 350 Classic and sportscars in stock. More information and photos on www.thegallerybrummen.nl. Or contact us by phone: 0031-575-564055

    • Year: 1962

    Last update: 5 Days Old

    • Mileage: 26040 mi

    For sale
  • The Gallery
    +31 (0)575 56 40 55
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  • Superb Jaguar E-Type 3.8 series 1 LHD! MATCHING NUMBERS. This car is about 10 years ago completely restored and overhauled and is still in an exceptionally beautiful condition. Solid bodywork with perfect fittings of bonnet, doors etc. All the chrome including the wire wheels is excellent. The black leather interior with the well-known bucket seats is stunning and has a nice patina. The colour combination from this E Type is exceptionally beautiful and fits great to this unique design! This smooth 6 cylinder runs great and is technically also completely up to date! Also as an investment very interesting. Over 350 Classic and sportscars in stock. More information and photos on www.thegallerybrummen.nl. Or contact us by phone: 0031-575-564055

    • Year: 1964

    Last update: 9 Days Old

    • Mileage: 7440 mi

    For sale
  • The Gallery
    +31 (0)575 56 40 55
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  • One consequence of the E-Type's long process of development had been a gradual increase in weight, but a good measure of the concomitant loss of performance was restored in 1971 with the arrival of the Series III V12. Weighing only 80lb more than the cast-iron-block 4.2-litre XK six, the new all-alloy, 5.3-litre, overhead-camshaft V12 producing slightly more power (272 instead of 265bhp) but vastly more torque (349 instead of 283lb/ft), an output good enough for a top speed in excess of 140mph, a 0-100mph time of around 16 seconds which made the V12 the fastest-accelerating E-Type ever. Other mechanical changes beneath the Series III's more aggressive looking exterior included ventilated front disc brakes, anti-dive front suspension, Lucas transistorised ignition and Adwest power-assisted steering, while automatic transmission was one of the more popular options on what was now more of a luxury Grand Tourer than out-and-out sports car. Flared wheelarches, a deeper radiator air intake complete with grille, and a four-pipe exhaust system distinguished the Series III from its six-cylinder forbears, plus, of course, that all-important 'V12' boot badge. As the Heritage Certificate confi

    • Year: 1972

    Last update: 9 Days Old

    • Mileage: 54400 mi

    For sale
  • Arun Ltd
    01798 874477
    see details
  • To die-hard collectors, an early 'flat-floor' Series 1 E-Type is rated as the one to have but it is only a realistic ownership prospect if you have a six figure budget. To the rest of us, the reality is that a good Series 2, which was unveiled in October 1968, is the better car to drive and in FHC (Coupe) format as here, retains the classic looks and beautiful proportions of these earlier cars. Visually distinguished by its slightly higher, uncowled front headlights, wider ‘mouth’ at the front and different tail lights, it has the benefit of twin fans for improved cooling, an all-synchro gearbox, more comfortable reclining seats and most importantly effective brakes that will stop the car when required. Power comes from the torquier 265bhp 4.2-litre triple-carb XK engine which endowes the car with a top speed in excess of 130mph. Just 1,071 Series 2 fixed head coupes were made in right-hand drive before it was replaced by the V12-powered Series 3 in late 1970. EMM 325J is an older restoration having received major works back in 1988 by P&K Thornton amounting to over £5,500. There is evidence of many staged payments on file, including a period of storage afterwards and there is a fu

    • Year: 1971

    Last update: 12 Days Old

    • Mileage: 63000 mi

    For sale
  • Arun Ltd
    01798 874477
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  • Chassis number: 881150 Registration number: To be announced once UK registered. This is to all intensive purposes a brand new E type having undergone a total nut & bolt rebuild & had numerous modern upgrades to make as fine a driving car as possible whilst keeping the appearance of a stock original car. Upgrades include: 5 speed modern gear box mounted inside an original appearing casting to look like a factory item. 4.2 Litre engine with Bosch electronic ignition for enhanced performance. Alloy series 1 4.2 radiator. Alloy flywheel & 9.5" diaphragm clutch. New car specific alloy calipers with vented front discs. Adjustable top fulcrum arm for easy camber & castor adjustment. Adjustable reaction plate to adjust the front ride height. The steering rack is a new quick ratio unit and is solid mounted. New Radial tyres are fitted all round to new chrome knock off wire wheels. The car is finished in its original colour of cream with red leather interior as shipped in LHD format to Jaguar cars New York. Red carpets complete the ensemble. A brand new black soft top is fitted. The car has seat belts fitted & a modern sound system. This car has been built without regard to cost with the int

    • Year: 1964

    Last update: 14 Days Old
    For sale
  • Vintage & Prestige
    01375 379719
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  • Beautiful original Jaguar E Type V12 Series 3 convertible in a stunning condition! This car comes from France and is totally original and only once resprayed on the outside in the original color. Chrome work, panelfittings of the bodywork etc. are all excellent! The last 15 years, this beauty had only 1 owner, and there is even a logbook. The color combination is exceptionally beautiful, Silver metallic with the red leather interior, and fits perfectly to this E Type! The condition of the Interior is gorgeous and with the minimum of wear and tear. Driving with this perfectly maintained V12 automatic is a real delight! Also as an investment very interesting. Over 350 Classic and sportscars in stock. More information and photos on www.thegallerybrummen.nl. Or contact us by phone: 0031-575-564055

    • Year: 1974

    Last update: 15 Days Old

    • Mileage: 45790 mi

    For sale
  • The Gallery
    +31 (0)575 56 40 55
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  • Make Enquiry Download Images Current Stocklist Service Centre 100 Point Checkover Manual Drive . Having recently undergone a complete nut and bolt restoration. Finished in Old English White with St. James Red leather interior. This vehicle is in immaculate condition throughout and is a fast appreciating asset. click main image to enlarge

    • Year: 1970

    Last update: 5 Days Old
    For sale
  • Hanwells
    0208567 9729
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