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Discussion Starter #1
Dreamer Roll Call – Where do You Stand at Year End 2017?

The end of the year is a good time to assess where you’ve come from and what you’re going to do next year to fulfill that dream of whatever car, house, boat, jet plane, or supermodel girlfriend you are striving for. Feel free to share your story, you never know who you might influence and help with their dream.

Now since you post on a car forum featuring a VERY expensive line of cars, I’ll assume your short term goal is to buy a car that people will stare at in admiration everywhere you go. And I’m going to assume since you post in this dreamer forum that you’re not one of those people that roll out of the rack on some random weekday and say “you know, I think I’ll go buy an 812 Superfast today” as seemingly any YouTuber with a British accent can do.

For some of us, it takes YEARS to save (yes, actually do without some stuff) for a six-figure play car. And people like me (and maybe you) have all sorts of higher priority needs that take the front seat. I have a sizeable mortgage, a retirement to plan for (next 10-15 years) a child starting college in 2018 (for whom a stay at home community college is not up to her “standards”…ugh) and an 11 year old who can break anything.

My story buying a first exotic is below, but the short story is I own a 1999 Lamborghini Diablo Roadster bought almost 4 years ago after a 9 year saving odyssey. In short, a Diablo is everything an exotic supercar should be, and the ability to take the top off and let sun and V-12 engine noise in turns the amplifier dial to 11. One thing I found pretty quickly afterwards is that exotics are like potato chips. Hard to stop at one.

So for the past 3 ½ years, I’ve been saving for a second one. Recently, my 2nd exotic fund reached $100,000. Just like in 2012, something about that 6 figure budget compels me to start taking things seriously. Time to narrow down what I want to consider.

My poster car for the saving motivation this 2nd time around has been the Ferrari 458 Italia. But the closer you get, the more issues you see. My thought years ago when I started saving, was that the depreciation % would be similar to a 430. But the radical change to a turbocharged 488 (yuck) has kept the 458 values high as the last naturally aspirated Ferrari V8 sport model (for a while anyway). Good for owners, bad for potential buyers. A car I thought would be purchasable at $140k by now is still more like $175k (first year 2010, good color, well optioned, less than 15k miles from a reputable dealer). Well at $175k, you can have more modern, more powerful choices…..such as a Huracan LP-580 or McLaren 570S (or even 650S or LP610 Huracans cars are close to this if you can get a sizeable discount).

And further to this, if I bought today, would I really want to finance $85k? Realistically no, I’m OK financing $50k because I could pay it off in 3 years but that’s a limit that makes sense to me. My daily is a cheap 2014 Ford Escape that I paid cash for so would still only have one car payment.

So then what is available today for a price I could consider now? Well, nothing more modern and exotic than a late model Gallardo LP or a McLaren MP4…..neither of which excite me all that much. Gallardos are great cars, almost bought one, but the Huracan changed my whole prospective on the junior Lamborghini.

The MP4 is just scary from a reliability standpoint, and later McLarens are so much better looking. The best values are a Ferrari 430 or an early Gallardo LP. Lots of car for the money and all, but very common for an exotic.

Porsche GT3s (991.1) are also in this range, and I love 911s but they also have had multiple major engine issues to the point that one of the main selling points of the 991.2 car is the NEW engine design…..Hmmm extremely rare to introduce a newly designed engine for a mid-model refresh. Our smart German friends are hiding something.

In my first search, I was concerned about buying a car that depreciated a lot, since generating play car capital is so hard for me. So another option is to evaluate cars that have to potential to retain value. For me, here are 3 cars that have such potential:

1. Ferrari Scuderia – Current prices for cars with miles (around 20k) $190k or so. Production (IMO) was around 2,500 coupes. I drove two of them in the 2012 timeframe, the ask back then (both were 5k miles or less) was $185 to $190k so they certainly hold value and are driver’s cars….always “on” (which can be good AND bad). Looks the business too, with enough differentiation from the 430 to feel special. Previously, I thought that 458 prices would push down Scuderia prices but the inflection occurred and didn’t affect Scuderia prices at all.

2. Ferrari 550 Maranello – Current prices for cars with miles (around 20k) $140k or so. Production around 2,800 cars I think. The last Ferrari that was all stick (like the Diablo in that regard). A pretty car, with a nicely appointed interior and 485 hp. Have never driven one. I don’t know if a “gentlemen’s GT car” is a best choice for a first Ferrari. It also has a lot in common with later Diablos, would it be more of a Diablo-lite? Pretty torn about this one as it’s really a modern Daytona, I should love it a lot more.

3. Porsche 993TT – Current prices for cars with miles (around 50k) $140k or so. Production 6,000 worldwide. An outlier for sure among the Ferraris, I have had an affinity for the last “old school” Turbo for quite awhile. Drove one once when shopping for my 996 Turbo in 2005. The one I drove wasn’t in particularly good shape, the ask was $67k. These have had quite a ride recently. For awhile, it was hard to find one for less than $175k. Now they have settled down some.

So I can buy a 550 or 993TT now, or wait for a year or two, save more and let depreciation help me on newer cars. I’m inclined to wait a year, get my daughter off to college, and hopefully save another $20k or so.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've been here 6 years. Just bought my first Lambo 2 months ago. And it's a gated manual!
OK, you're only two months late starting to save for the next one...LOL

What was the process in your case over that 6 year period, where did it fit in your life priorities?
How did you decide what to buy?
How was your buying experience?
 

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OK, you're only two months late starting to save for the next one...LOL

What was the process in your case over that 6 year period, where did it fit in your life priorities?
How did you decide what to buy?
How was your buying experience?
I had been casually shopping a few cars on and off over that time period. The market changed quite a bit and I watched prices and cars among a pretty wide spectrum.
About 2 years ago I started to really watch prices on the 360, 430, Murci, Gallardo as well other sports cars - GTR, Turbo, Exige... about a year ago I started to focus and narrow my selection of cars based on test drives, market, and what I was looking to actually pay.
These time-frames basically coincided with graduate school. Buying a Ferrari or Lambo was a life-long dream. It was a goal I continuously worked towards, but was low on my list of priorities.
I finally narrowed my choices down to the F360 and Gallardo - either one had to be gated manual. These cars, I think, have depreciated about as far as they will and think the manual will hold value over the paddles. I can go into specifics on why I chose the Gallardo over the 360 in another post or PM.
My buying experience was via a private sale/individual. I wouldn't go that route, on this type of car, ever again. Overall, not the greatest experience... and kinda ruined the whole process for me. A reputable dealer, at least from what I can assume, would have really given me the type of buying experience you think of when you buy your first exotic car.
 

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Man time flies fast. My first post was back in 2013 about buying my dream car which is the 1999 Diablo Roadster. I started out saving $100 per month back than which would have taken me 108 years to pay cash for a diablo roadster (not counting inflation).

Since then wife and I paid off a crap loads of debt. Bought some real estate which appreciated nicely. The best thing that happened back in 2015 was that I got to fly down to Texas and ride in a 1999 Diablo Roadster for a weekend. I'm forever grateful for the owner for allowing me to spend time with him and plan doing the same for a follow dreamer when I become an owner.

One of the struggles I had to deal with was my business plans didn't pan out. All my business ideas flopped and none took off. It's not fun getting punched for 4 years but it is was it is.

A few months ago I've been able to shift priorities and now I'm 3 to 4 years out at the rate I'm saving.

http://www.lamborghini-talk.com/vbforum/f125/1999-lamborghini-diablo-roadster-44129/
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My buying experience was via a private sale/individual. I wouldn't go that route, on this type of car, ever again. Overall, not the greatest experience... and kinda ruined the whole process for me. A reputable dealer, at least from what I can assume, would have really given me the type of buying experience you think of when you buy your first exotic car.
Some private sellers are their own worst enemy....too emotional. My seller was like that at times but we were able to work it out. Dealers have their own set of challenges to deal with.

I'm open to working with either next time.
 

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Man time flies fast. My first post was back in 2013 about buying my dream car which is the 1999 Diablo Roadster. I started out saving $100 per month back than which would have taken me 108 years to pay cash for a diablo roadster (not counting inflation).

Since then wife and I paid off a crap loads of debt. Bought some real estate which appreciated nicely. The best thing that happened back in 2015 was that I got to fly down to Texas and ride in a 1999 Diablo Roadster for a weekend. I'm forever grateful for the owner for allowing me to spend time with him and plan doing the same for a follow dreamer when I become an owner.

One of the struggles I had to deal with was my business plans didn't pan out. All my business ideas flopped and none took off. It's not fun getting punched for 4 years but it is was it is.

A few months ago I've been able to shift priorities and now I'm 3 to 4 years out at the rate I'm saving.

http://www.lamborghini-talk.com/vbforum/f125/1999-lamborghini-diablo-roadster-44129/
So even if you don't yet have a wad of cash to show for it, shedding debt is a great thing.

When we bought our house in 2012, all of our friends and new neighbors were like "why did you finance for 15 years, oh the payments will be higher"....yeah, but we will be paying $150k less interest than they are, and I'd rather have the Ferrari instead of the banker. Five years later, we are used to the payments, no problems. Meanwhile, they are barely touching their principal....HaHa.

Maybe if you ever need a motivation boost, that crappy Diablo owner will let you drive it next time.

BTW, re-read the reference link to your original thread. The one guy that said your kids can't ride in it is wrong (in Texas anyway).
 

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So even if you don't yet have a wad of cash to show for it, shedding debt is a great thing.

When we bought our house in 2012, all of our friends and new neighbors were like "why did you finance for 15 years, oh the payments will be higher"....yeah, but we will be paying $150k less interest than they are, and I'd rather have the Ferrari instead of the banker. Five years later, we are used to the payments, no problems. Meanwhile, they are barely touching their principal....HaHa.

Maybe if you ever need a motivation boost, that crappy Diablo owner will let you drive it next time.

BTW, re-read the reference link to your original thread. The one guy that said your kids can't ride in it is wrong (in Texas anyway).
I'm with you on the paying off the mortgage. Also love the advice on getting a mortgage to reduce my taxes which is complete BS. Last year I paid $5k in interest to the bank and saved only $1k off my taxes. Anyway I don't want to hijack your thread.

Maybe in a year or two I'll go back to Houston. I miss it.:wave:
 

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Discussion Starter #12

Long time dreamer. 2017 was the year to pull the trigger.
2008 G SL

Cant wait for summer :)
Please share your story about how and why you were able to go from dreamer to owner. I think people can use a little bit of each of our journeys to help theirs.
 

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Here is the story about buying my first exotic and some of the maintenance I've done on it....

Car wise, I started with a Plymouth Barracuda in high school, went through 4-5 Mustangs (including two Shelby cars when they were just considered almost regular Mustangs with Thunderbird tail lights). Then moved on to own 4 Corvettes over a 20 year period. I never saw an exotic car ever until we moved to Texas in the early 90s.

By the early 2000s, Corvettes had lost the “it” factor they had in the 80s. Chevrolet just made too damn many, and the last one I had (C5) annoyed me with all the cheap squeaky plastic. And Chevrolet service was just the worst. So I started looking at European sports cars. It all came down to either a Porsche 996 Turbo (fully loaded, carbon fiber everywhere) and a Ferrari 355. The Ferrari was $25k more than the Porsche, and in the end, that plus the discomfort I felt about what I was hearing about maintenance on the 355 steered me to the Turbo.

The Turbo was a great car, don’t get me wrong, and I owned it for 8 years and 55,000 miles, but almost instantly I knew I wussed out because I was too scared to step all the way up to an exotic. So I promised myself I would make it a priority to buy an exotic someday. That was 2005.

So we make a good income, I’m an Engineer and the wife is a small business accountant. But still, with our bills and stuff, saving $100k+ for a play car takes quite an effort. In the ensuing years, I worked over 1,800 hours of overtime (basically an extra year), took side jobs whenever I could (there were times when I would have 3-4 paychecks in a given week), saved what small bonuses I got. Basically, I was able to funnel any “added” income into my fund.

In late 2012, my once meager car fund had reached $100,000. Took 7 years and a lot of struggle. I had given up a bunch of hobbies so I could work more. Work was my new hobby. So I went car shopping. A now $60,000 355 that I used to lust for now seemed not good enough. I drove a bunch of cars, basically everything between $100 & $200k. A bunch of Gallardos (first gen and LP), a Ford GT, Ferrari 430 and Scuderia, and Murcielago (first gen and LP). Actually got as far as picking colors and getting a loan approved on a brand new 2012 Gallardo spider for $208,000. ALMOST signed it……

In the end, I just couldn’t take on a $120,000 loan (all in) on a car that was going to depreciate whether I drove it 1,000 or 10,000 miles. It just wasn’t right, made no sense. And today, when the wholesale price of that car is less than $120,000 it would have been gut wrenching to lose that $100k (not counting finance charges, repairs, etc).

So over the Winter of 2012-13, I had to re-focus. I first realized that whatever I did, that I needed more money to not have a stupid big loan. Secondly, I had to come to terms with my feelings concerning depreciation. So I started looking at cars where I felt the depreciation was minimal or non-existent.

By the Fall of 2013, I had added $35,000 to the fund by selling my now 12 year old Turbo (I had wanted to keep it previously) and had narrowed the choices down to just a Ferrari 512BB and a Lamborghini Diablo Roadster. Both were iconic models and they just felt “right”. Both were in the $150k price area for good cars (although there were some heavy need cars that went down to $100k).

In the end, the Lamborghini fit me best, WAY more power (530 vs 350) and the convertible aspect with the V-12 engine was just too cool. Now, it’s a good thing I chose the Diablo because in the 3 month period I was making a decision, the 512BB shot up $50,000 so it would have been out of reach.

I had 5-6 1999 (the year I wanted) Diablo roadster deals fall apart in a 6 month period. One was bought by a Japanese investor at full list while I was lining up a PPI, two failed PPIs, on one the owner (Al Burtoni, a name some may know) passed away mid-negotiation (and I didn’t want to badger his widow at a tough time for the family), and one fell victim to a very un-ethical snake dealer who told me he there to assist me (not steal from me).

Finally found a car that was yellow metallic (one of my favorite choices) in New Jersey in February 2014. Low mile (9,100), one owner, interesting celebrity connection, and a special edition (Momo Edition with the crazy color scheme that is SO Lamborghini).

Ask was $140,000….but there was a catch, an accident on CarFax. Damn…..until I found out the extent of the “accident”. On CarFax, there aren’t any details, everything looks bad. Turns out a decade previously, the owner was bumped at a light. A whopping $6,000 repair bill from Lamborghini Mantattan (which I have a copy of), maybe the most expensive repair facility in the country.

So I’m talking with the owner trying to negotiate, and he was like “you know in 2003 when this happened if I knew how traceable and important this stuff would be in the future, I would have just paid cash and kept the insurance company out of it”. But after passing the PPI, I was able to negotiate the car down using the CarFax blemish.

So I’ve had the Diablo now for almost 4 years, and it has been great….as long as you don’t look at it from a $/mile maintenance prospective. But since the value has climbed 50% or more since I bought it, I’m still in the black.

I won’t lie, the repair prices when things break can be big. Late last year, I backed the car out of the driveway to go to a show, only to look up the driveway to see a trail of oil. Was actually pretty fortunate. The show was 30 miles away, and the engine would have seized on the way.

Turned out to be the head gasket, the material used in the 90s just gave way after 17 years.

Unfortunately, its an engine out replacement. So of course, there are a number of “while the engine is out” repairs and updates to look at. The biggest two by far are the clutch and the starter. Both of them had been replaced by the previous owner 8 years (but only 2,000 miles) earlier. So then, the only things to do were replace all the original gaskets, belts, and hoses (called resealing the engine), adjusting the valves, and they found some fried wiring that fixed the HVAC system. Also had the radio head unit replaced, so the new one had a backup camera, navigation, etc.

Total cost was $13,500….seems like a lot, but still less than one year of depreciation ($20k) on that new 2012 Gallardo I almost bought. All in, I think I’m sitting at around $25,000 for maintenance I HAD to do (also have done optional stuff like wheel and exhaust upgrades).
 

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Thanks for the story shark. I've read all your posts regarding your exotic journey in the past and they always fascinate me.

I'm still a dreamer here. Was very close to pulling the trigger on about 3 different G's, but then the responsible part of my brain stepped in.

Spring of this year I blew a good part of my 'wad' (saving like you did) on a 2010 Lotus Exige (yes, plenty of lambo guys have scoffed at me and told me it's the 'poor mans exotic' I get it.) Then I blew the other part of my wad on a down payment for a new building project (new day spa for my wife was supposed to be 1.5Mil, ended up at 2.8) you guys think your wives spend a lot getting pampered, try building a spa!!

So, another exotic purchase is on the back-burner for another year. I've branched out my business a bit with a CNC plasma cutter, so hopefully I can start making some custom metal signs or parts for extra income. Also trying to expand the clientele of my mechanical design service business (I'm a fake engineer, not a real one like you).

I honestly thought I'd be 2-3 years into my G ownership at this point, and now I hope to get into one before I'm 40 (I'm 37 now). So, we will see.

Any other losers, er I mean, dreamers like me still working at it?
 

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My only disagreement with the comments is paying off the mortgage. If you have the cash and can earn more money with it invested in an income generating property or asset why would you pay it off. If you are in a high tax bracket, it is a large writeoff. I usually buy section 179 type assets(heavy equipment etc) to lower my taxable income then contribute the max to my sep and then use the mortgage deduction to bring it down another large chunk. You can write off almost 750K if you work it right and you are self employed.That is why lots of people buy planes and helicopters. They are great writeoffs that do not depreciate. Why give money to uncle sam. I think you can even use a self directed IRA to buy a lambo as an investment (Or make a loan to another entity that owns the lambo and pay yourself interest income))but there are many gray areas. Maybe a CPA could chime in. I think the secret is not paying the house off but having the cash to do it. Sorry for the rant.Lee
 

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Total cost was $13,500….seems like a lot, but still less than one year of depreciation ($20k) on that new 2012 Gallardo I almost bought. All in, I think I’m sitting at around $25,000 for maintenance I HAD to do (also have done optional stuff like wheel and exhaust upgrades).
Looks like you bought your diablo right at the low end of the market. Good job.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Looks like you bought your diablo right at the low end of the market. Good job.
I did, ended up with a good car too. My mechanic has a '98 (I think) Roadster in pieces trying to re-assemble and you uses mine as a template. My car is really good structurally and mechanically....needs cosmetic attention now, but that is the easy stuff.

The thing about '99 Roadsters is that they only made 142 worldwide to begin with (it was a one year only refresh design with a bunch of changes), and a bunch of them for sale during the time I was looking were in bad shape.

Saw one of these Velocity network shows the other night about some rich guy with a ridiculous collection.....and had a '99 parked next to his Aventador SV.
 

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Thanks for the story shark. I've read all your posts regarding your exotic journey in the past and they always fascinate me.

I'm still a dreamer here. Was very close to pulling the trigger on about 3 different G's, but then the responsible part of my brain stepped in.

Spring of this year I blew a good part of my 'wad' (saving like you did) on a 2010 Lotus Exige (yes, plenty of lambo guys have scoffed at me and told me it's the 'poor mans exotic' I get it.) Then I blew the other part of my wad on a down payment for a new building project (new day spa for my wife was supposed to be 1.5Mil, ended up at 2.8) you guys think your wives spend a lot getting pampered, try building a spa!!

So, another exotic purchase is on the back-burner for another year. I've branched out my business a bit with a CNC plasma cutter, so hopefully I can start making some custom metal signs or parts for extra income. Also trying to expand the clientele of my mechanical design service business (I'm a fake engineer, not a real one like you).

I honestly thought I'd be 2-3 years into my G ownership at this point, and now I hope to get into one before I'm 40 (I'm 37 now). So, we will see.

Any other losers, er I mean, dreamers like me still working at it?
I'm looking at another one.....so put me in the loser category.

Sometimes, its so hard to wait so I understand the Lotus purchase. In the middle of my 9 year journey, I splurged for a new BMW. In retrospect, I shouldn't have spent $40,000+ on a DD. When I replaced that car this year, I kept to my $20,000 budget (minus the $7k I got in trade, so only $13k out of pocket).
 

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My only disagreement with the comments is paying off the mortgage. If you have the cash and can earn more money with it invested in an income generating property or asset why would you pay it off. If you are in a high tax bracket, it is a large writeoff. I usually buy section 179 type assets(heavy equipment etc) to lower my taxable income then contribute the max to my sep and then use the mortgage deduction to bring it down another large chunk. You can write off almost 750K if you work it right and you are self employed.That is why lots of people buy planes and helicopters. They are great writeoffs that do not depreciate. Why give money to uncle sam. I think you can even use a self directed IRA to buy a lambo as an investment (Or make a loan to another entity that owns the lambo and pay yourself interest income))but there are many gray areas. Maybe a CPA could chime in. I think the secret is not paying the house off but having the cash to do it. Sorry for the rant.Lee
I'm not trying to be a troll but why would uncle sam allow you to spend less money to save more on taxes?

Let's keep it simple, let's say you spent 750k on equipment you really didn't need. If you are in 35% bracket you saved 262k from your taxes. So your net expense is 487k. If you didn't need to spend 750k and just saved it then you would have paid 262k extra in taxes and your net savings would be 487k.

This is a over simplified example and in your case you need the equipment but at it's core you are better off paying taxes. You might want to talk to a CPA that doesn't have a bias against taxes. You could potentially keep more money in your pockets.

As far as mortgages I paid 5k in interest to the bank last year and I only got to deduct 1k. My net loss is 4k.
 

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I totally understand your reasoning but think about this. Heavy equipment , dump trucks trailers etc have extremely low depreciation. It is mostly based on usage time. For example I bought a cat d6k for 200k. I put a large down and have 2% interest. I finance for 3 years so my payment is about what a lease payment would be. I write off 200K right off the top of my income and thus save 70K in income tax. After three years the machine will be worth 150 to 160k. I will have saved 70 k lost 50 k in depreciation and had the use of a 200k Machine that earns 2000 per day less operator and fuel. I do not pay all cash so have the use of my cash. Basically I was paid 20K by uncle sam for owning a machine that makes me money for 3 years. I only buy machinery that makes me money. I do not spend on things that actually depreciate , only things that you can take accelerated depreciation (Section 179) You can write off up to 500K per year of qualifying assets. When and if they change the tax law, I may change my strategy. Most small business owners do not take advantage of these opportunities but there are many. There are lots of assets you can buy with very little or no depreciation. You still get the huge writeoff. If you need cash just sell one of the assets or borrow against it. I cannot depreciate any of my land and my buildings are long term with very little depreciation expense. I bought a Kubota several years ago, used it for 5 years and sold it for more than I paid. If you are careful with the type of assets you buy , it can be very beneficial. Show me any investment that will give that type of return and I will be glad to switch. (Start with 130K and get back 200k with virtually no risk ) What you are not counting is the use of the machine for 3 years. It would cost me 6,000 per month to lease it for 3 years. So I get 20K plus 180 usage for my 200K investment and get back 150K when I sell it. That is 100% ROI in 3 years with a completely secured asset. Most small businesses should be utilizing this but are not. Even buying a pickup for 50K is a 100% writeoff as long as the gvwr qualifies. Many small business owners lease equipment when buying would be way more advantageous . Lee PS I forgot to add that I am a developer and use the machinery to build roads , grade etc. so I actually also save money over having someone else do it.
 
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