Wanted 95-97 locked Toyota Land Cruiser (2 Viewers)

Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
17
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
Year
1995
Vehicle Model
  1. 80 Series
Location
76134 Fort Worth Texas, United States
Hey all,

so I posted a thread a few weeks ago about a triple locked cruiser near me asking for input......... and it sold. Haha I’m not really upset as I’m hoping it went to a good home, but I am pretty bummed that I hesitated long enough before realizing that I had a good rig within reach, and didn’t pick it up. ☹️
Anyways, I’m currently on the hunt for a land cruiser that I can build to my own liking and take on trips.
I’m trying to stay on somewhat of a budget, in case I have to fix some things, but if it’s mechanically sound, I wouldn’t mind paying more and save up for mods.
I’m hoping to stay under 250k miles as I’m trying to keep the rig for a very long time and possibly use it as a DD. (My current DD is a car, but I’m considering giving it to my mom as a thanks for putting up with a crappy kid.)
As the title states, I’d like to stay in the 95-97 range, and locked if possible.
I live in Fort Worth, Tx but am willing to drive up to a 1000 miles for the right rig, or possibly set up some sort of meet up with the seller if they’re willing!
Let me know what you guys have, or if you have any leads you wouldn’t mind sharing!

Thanks to everyone in advance for any time and info, and have a great day!
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2020
Messages
77
Location
Bay Area, CA
Keep your eye on this forum, FB marketplace, your local Craigslist. There's no shortage of people looking for this exact same thing so "being on a budget" you'll have to make some sacrifices.

Or if you can... wait until gas prices to rise and maybe the market will soften. ;)
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
17
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
Keep your eye on this forum, FB marketplace, your local Craigslist. There's no shortage of people looking for this exact same thing so "being on a budget" you'll have to make some sacrifices.

Or if you can... wait until gas prices to rise and maybe the market will soften. ;)
I’ve definitely been doing that for some months now and have gotten close a couple of times, but the market is definitely moving fast. I’ve even tried stopping at a couple houses to see if anyone considered selling, but no chance. I just figure I post in case there’s an off chance that someone was considering selling, but is on the fence, or if someone sees one and doesn’t mind sharing a link. I would understand making sacrifices if it came down to it, and am willing to learn about the vehicle, but am just hesitant because I’m still very much a noob with a lack of tools when it comes to DIY work. Nonetheless, I appreciate the insight as it’ll keep me grounded on my expectations!

haha that would be crazy to see! I wonder if that would ever really happen with the way some people price their rigs on local classifieds.
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2020
Messages
15
Location
Dallas, Texas, USA
Alright, I apologize, I'm going to hijack this thread a little. It will be relevant stuff though!

So, long story short, I was thinking about formally starting almost the same search you are on, even if frankly I should really be looking at 100's given my use case. I'm in the same area as you (DFW) and possibly looking for the many of the same thing (ideally 95+ or newer because I want airbags and ODB and 3x locked, mostly). However, the market has been crazy as of late. I've been looking into buying a Cruiser on and off for over a year now, and trying to get any decently nice Cruiser in these last few months, let alone something extra desirable like a 3x locked 80, just feels to me like it's been wild. I no longer have any idea what a "fair" price is for the kinds of Cruisers I'm looking at is, nor their availability, so I'm hoping to see what the experience of others has been recently.

If you don't mind sharing more then about your search then, I'd be very appreciative, because it will help me and likely others with our own Cruiser search as well.
- Can you be more specific as to how nice of a 3x locked 80 where you trying to find?
- What is your budget?
- Have you had any luck finding anything that meets both requirements?

I've been trying to get this information from the "Most Recent 80 Series Prices" thread, but it seems to be mostly talk about the really nice, really expensive examples, which are definitely out of my own price range. ☹️
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
17
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
Alright, I apologize, I'm going to hijack this thread a little. It will be relevant stuff though!

So, long story short, I was thinking about formally starting almost the same search you are on, even if frankly I should really be looking at 100's given my use case. I'm in the same area as you (DFW) and possibly looking for the many of the same thing (ideally 95+ or newer because I want airbags and ODB and 3x locked, mostly). However, the market has been crazy as of late. I've been looking into buying a Cruiser on and off for over a year now, and trying to get any decently nice Cruiser in these last few months, let alone something extra desirable like a 3x locked 80, just feels to me like it's been wild. I no longer have any idea what a "fair" price is for the kinds of Cruisers I'm looking at is, nor their availability, so I'm hoping to see what the experience of others has been recently.

If you don't mind sharing more then about your search then, I'd be very appreciative, because it will help me and likely others with our own Cruiser search as well.
- Can you be more specific as to how nice of a 3x locked 80 where you trying to find?
- What is your budget?
- Have you had any luck finding anything that meets both requirements?

I've been trying to get this information from the "Most Recent 80 Series Prices" thread, but it seems to be mostly talk about the really nice, really expensive examples, which are definitely out of my own price range. ☹️
You're fine man!

I won't lie when I say that there's been a few instances by now where I can say that the owners that messaged me have definitely priced their vehicles "fairly" considering todays market, and the conditions they're in. Truth is, I'm just as lost as you in this search. I can't help but feel like I'm overpaying on vehicles, especially considering the amount of work some of these rigs might need, but as the "Most Recent 80 Series Prices" thread mentions, you can't place logic on some of these prices, or so it feels like. I feel like I fell in love with these rigs a few years too late, and if I would've paid attention earlier, I could've been at least somewhere decent with my build and having a rig I could be proud of. There's also the feeling that I haven't really saved up enough to buy a rig in today's market, and be able to service everything I want to service on a 20+ year old rig.

I don't mind sharing a bit, but looking back at it now, I can't help but feel like these expectations are unrealistic, considering today's market compared to a couple years ago.

-I didn't mind if the vehicle was a bit thrashed, as long as I could drive it from point A to point B and fix it along the way, bit by bit, and service the more important bits. There could be some problems with it, but I didn't want rust, or anything above 250k miles.

-My total budget was at max 12.5k for a rig to at least put in some money for maintenance. Looking back at it now, It feels unrealistic to want something in fair/good condition at that price, considering the market. Someone told me that baselining a 20+ year old vehicle's parts would be expensive, and was well over 10k at that point in just parts. That hurt to hear. I could get by servicing what I feel was most important, but every vehicle has it's own set of problems on top of what you want to do. Another person told me that they got a rig for 2.3k (a steal, I know) but their investment is going to jump to 12k after, and that's not considering some of the new problems he's facing. I don't know man, it's tough.

-Yes I have! A few people reached out meeting my requirements, but I am very hesitant. All the information I've received from different people just kind of made me feel more lost than I already was to begin with, and I can't shake the feeling that it just may not be the right time for me to jump on some of these offers, or at least until I give myself a reality check and think things more logically, instead of emotionally. Some rigs had problems I could leave alone as I focused on the important issues, and some were just out of my price range because if I bought them, I'd end up sacrificing money to service the problems that would require my immediate attention. Maybe I'm overthinking some, and maybe I'm being to picky on 20+ year old vehicles....... But I also want my gut and my brain to agree on a rig that I can look at and just say, "yes."

I hope this lengthy response wasn't just a bunch of nonsense, but it has been a journey to learn some more as this market continues to evolve. I've definitely learned quite a bit from some of the Mud members on here (thanks y'all), and a bit from Cruiser owners I've met in person while on my search.
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2020
Messages
15
Location
Dallas, Texas, USA
You're fine man!

I won't lie when I say that there's been a few instances by now where I can say that the owners that messaged me have definitely priced their vehicles "fairly" considering todays market, and the conditions they're in. Truth is, I'm just as lost as you in this search. I can't help but feel like I'm overpaying on vehicles, especially considering the amount of work some of these rigs might need, but as the "Most Recent 80 Series Prices" thread mentions, you can't place logic on some of these prices, or so it feels like. I feel like I fell in love with these rigs a few years too late, and if I would've paid attention earlier, I could've been at least somewhere decent with my build and having a rig I could be proud of. There's also the feeling that I haven't really saved up enough to buy a rig in today's market, and be able to service everything I want to service on a 20+ year old rig.

Yeah, I feel the same way - if I had wanted an 80 a few years ago, and bought one then, I'd be in much better shape from a cost perspective. Hell, it seems like if I had even just bought one right before the pandemic (which I almost did a few times) I'd be in a better spot than I am in now.

It's definitely not an entirely logical purchase, and I too am having trouble with justifying some of the pricing when the vehicles going to need some stuff. Once you start talking about dropping big $$$ into a vehicle that's already into the teens pricewise, it's hard, at least for me, to not start thinking about something more modern, say, a used 150 chassis vehicle, whether it be a 4Runner or a GX460. Yes, I know the 80 is cooler, tougher, better offroad, a real Land Cruiser and not a Prado, all of that stuff. But I also know the oldest 150 chassis vehicle is 13 years newer than the newest USDM 80 series is. Furthermore, I just moved to Dallas, and out here it's even harder to justify the 80's tradeoffs when there is so much highway driving on flatland, and so few hardcore offroad adventures. It seems like a 100 just makes more sense if we are talking Cruisers under $20K. But alas, the heart wants what the heart wants!


I don't mind sharing a bit, but looking back at it now, I can't help but feel like these expectations are unrealistic, considering today's market compared to a couple years ago.

-I didn't mind if the vehicle was a bit thrashed, as long as I could drive it from point A to point B and fix it along the way, bit by bit, and service the more important bits. There could be some problems with it, but I didn't want rust, or anything above 250k miles.

I'm in a very similar boat, minus the miles requirement - I actually sent an email recently to a guy on Autotrader selling a 450K+ mile project Cruiser! Still haven't heard back yet though...

-My total budget was at max 12.5k for a rig to at least put in some money for maintenance. Looking back at it now, It feels unrealistic to want something in fair/good condition at that price, considering the market. Someone told me that baselining a 20+ year old vehicle's parts would be expensive, and was well over 10k at that point in just parts. That hurt to hear. I could get by servicing what I feel was most important, but every vehicle has it's own set of problems on top of what you want to do. Another person told me that they got a rig for 2.3k (a steal, I know) but their investment is going to jump to 12k after, and that's not considering some of the new problems he's facing. I don't know man, it's tough.

Also in a similar boat here too budget wise - I was hoping to spend up similar amounts, although wasn't sure if that would be enough in the current market. As to the baselining concern, my current DD is an older BMW M3 (I call it a "modern classic" to help justify it to myself), so I'm used to older enthusiast vehicles that need some extra love in the form of dropping large sums of cash on preventative maintenance, but the numbers do still hurt to see. I thought these where Toyotas and therefore supposed to be more economically reasonable to service, right? 😄 I'm willing to spend money over time fixing things, I get that Toyota spec'd top quality parts for the 80 and replacing them is naturally going to not be cheap, but I also didn't really want to spend a bunch on the vehicle and then a bunch more to fix problems that need to be immediately addressed. I'm keeping the M3, so the LC would be a second vehicle/"project" and therefor wouldn't need to be immediately made 100% reliable the way I'd want it if it was my only car... but still, what's the point of a Land Cruiser you don't trust to drive anywhere and everywhere reliably? May as well buy a Land Rover at that point instead!

-Yes I have! A few people reached out meeting my requirements, but I am very hesitant. All the information I've received from different people just kind of made me feel more lost than I already was to begin with, and I can't shake the feeling that it just may not be the right time for me to jump on some of these offers, or at least until I give myself a reality check and think things more logically, instead of emotionally. Some rigs had problems I could leave alone as I focused on the important issues, and some were just out of my price range because if I bought them, I'd end up sacrificing money to service the problems that would require my immediate attention. Maybe I'm overthinking some, and maybe I'm being to picky on 20+ year old vehicles....... But I also want my gut and my brain to agree on a rig that I can look at and just say, "yes."

I definitely feel you here as well. It's hard to know what's the "right one" is given all the things you have to consider. It's especially difficult too given the current market - if a nice Cruiser comes up for sale at a not-ridiculously high price, it moves fast. Recently a '97 triple locked came up for sale locally. It looked like exactly what I wanted. The add went up late one night, I saw it only a few hours after it was posted, I was in contact with the seller early the next morning, but before I could have a chance to even look at it, it had already sold that evening, less than 24 hours after the ad got posted. It's hard to step back and make a calm, informed decision when the vehicle you're looking at could very well sell within just a few hours of being listed, but on the other hand, if you go in blindly, just like you said, some vehicles are effectively more expensive than their selling price because if you buy it, you have to fix certain things ASAP. It doesn't help too, that, like you, I'm probably being overly picky on what are, at the end of the day, 20+ year old Toyota trucks that where built and subsequently bought to get used hard.

Thinking logically about this stuff is difficult though. If I was "thinking logically", I'd probably just buy a 120 chassis vehicle, likely a 4th gen 4Runner. Now, practically speaking, that's not just effectively but literally, as a Prado-based vehicle, a discount Land Cruiser, and would do all the things I need it to do. It's reliable, practical, almost certainly good enough off-road for most North Texas adventures, and has fantastic aftermarket support. Oh, and a V8 option too! But, at the end of the day, the 3x locked 80 series stands as, at least to me, the apex of the "old school" Land Cruiser family, and the Land Cruiser family in turn stands as the apex of the practical roadgoing 4WD universe. And isn't there something so appealing about owning the best of the best?

I hope this lengthy response wasn't just a bunch of nonsense, but it has been a journey to learn some more as this market continues to evolve. I've definitely learned quite a bit from some of the Mud members on here (thanks y'all), and a bit from Cruiser owners I've met in person while on my search.

I definitely don't mind it, and hope you in turn don't mind my own lengthy responses. I won't like, it's sort of therapeutic to talk about this at length with someone else going through a similar adventure of trying to find a good 80 series and then justify actually buying it!
 

Eighteen11R

1811SAR
SILVER Star
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A mostly southern rig on BaT...

334F1DAF-56F6-436D-B4AE-CF7FF5F82B11.jpeg
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
17
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
Yeah, I feel the same way - if I had wanted an 80 a few years ago, and bought one then, I'd be in much better shape from a cost perspective. Hell, it seems like if I had even just bought one right before the pandemic (which I almost did a few times) I'd be in a better spot than I am in now.

It's definitely not an entirely logical purchase, and I too am having trouble with justifying some of the pricing when the vehicles going to need some stuff. Once you start talking about dropping big $$$ into a vehicle that's already into the teens pricewise, it's hard, at least for me, to not start thinking about something more modern, say, a used 150 chassis vehicle, whether it be a 4Runner or a GX460. Yes, I know the 80 is cooler, tougher, better offroad, a real Land Cruiser and not a Prado, all of that stuff. But I also know the oldest 150 chassis vehicle is 13 years newer than the newest USDM 80 series is. Furthermore, I just moved to Dallas, and out here it's even harder to justify the 80's tradeoffs when there is so much highway driving on flatland, and so few hardcore offroad adventures. It seems like a 100 just makes more sense if we are talking Cruisers under $20K. But alas, the heart wants what the heart wants!




I'm in a very similar boat, minus the miles requirement - I actually sent an email recently to a guy on Autotrader selling a 450K+ mile project Cruiser! Still haven't heard back yet though...



Also in a similar boat here too budget wise - I was hoping to spend up similar amounts, although wasn't sure if that would be enough in the current market. As to the baselining concern, my current DD is an older BMW M3 (I call it a "modern classic" to help justify it to myself), so I'm used to older enthusiast vehicles that need some extra love in the form of dropping large sums of cash on preventative maintenance, but the numbers do still hurt to see. I thought these where Toyotas and therefore supposed to be more economically reasonable to service, right? 😄 I'm willing to spend money over time fixing things, I get that Toyota spec'd top quality parts for the 80 and replacing them is naturally going to not be cheap, but I also didn't really want to spend a bunch on the vehicle and then a bunch more to fix problems that need to be immediately addressed. I'm keeping the M3, so the LC would be a second vehicle/"project" and therefor wouldn't need to be immediately made 100% reliable the way I'd want it if it was my only car... but still, what's the point of a Land Cruiser you don't trust to drive anywhere and everywhere reliably? May as well buy a Land Rover at that point instead!



I definitely feel you here as well. It's hard to know what's the "right one" is given all the things you have to consider. It's especially difficult too given the current market - if a nice Cruiser comes up for sale at a not-ridiculously high price, it moves fast. Recently a '97 triple locked came up for sale locally. It looked like exactly what I wanted. The add went up late one night, I saw it only a few hours after it was posted, I was in contact with the seller early the next morning, but before I could have a chance to even look at it, it had already sold that evening, less than 24 hours after the ad got posted. It's hard to step back and make a calm, informed decision when the vehicle you're looking at could very well sell within just a few hours of being listed, but on the other hand, if you go in blindly, just like you said, some vehicles are effectively more expensive than their selling price because if you buy it, you have to fix certain things ASAP. It doesn't help too, that, like you, I'm probably being overly picky on what are, at the end of the day, 20+ year old Toyota trucks that where built and subsequently bought to get used hard.

Thinking logically about this stuff is difficult though. If I was "thinking logically", I'd probably just buy a 120 chassis vehicle, likely a 4th gen 4Runner. Now, practically speaking, that's not just effectively but literally, as a Prado-based vehicle, a discount Land Cruiser, and would do all the things I need it to do. It's reliable, practical, almost certainly good enough off-road for most North Texas adventures, and has fantastic aftermarket support. Oh, and a V8 option too! But, at the end of the day, the 3x locked 80 series stands as, at least to me, the apex of the "old school" Land Cruiser family, and the Land Cruiser family in turn stands as the apex of the practical roadgoing 4WD universe. And isn't there something so appealing about owning the best of the best?



I definitely don't mind it, and hope you in turn don't mind my own lengthy responses. I won't like, it's sort of therapeutic to talk about this at length with someone else going through a similar adventure of trying to find a good 80 series and then justify actually buying it!
Yes, to basically everything you said man. Haha it helps to see someone experience the same, but at the end of the day, the market will continue to climb as long as the people know, or continue to have interest. I'm at least trying to keep patient until I see the right one, but it's a vehicle that's discontinued, and the numbers are only shrinking. Shoot, the number was already pretty limited as it was, but that number has dwindled over the years (accidents, rust, poor maintenance) so the only thing we can do is expect the worst, and hope for the best. Aside from that man, I hope you keep your wallet ready, and your head in check because who knows where this will even go.

I have also been considering importing, but the chances of that happening feel slim as well.
 
Joined
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Messages
15
Location
Dallas, Texas, USA
Yes, to basically everything you said man. Haha it helps to see someone experience the same, but at the end of the day, the market will continue to climb as long as the people know, or continue to have interest. I'm at least trying to keep patient until I see the right one, but it's a vehicle that's discontinued, and the numbers are only shrinking. Shoot, the number was already pretty limited as it was, but that number has dwindled over the years (accidents, rust, poor maintenance) so the only thing we can do is expect the worst, and hope for the best. Aside from that man, I hope you keep your wallet ready, and your head in check because who knows where this will even go.

I have also been considering importing, but the chances of that happening feel slim as well.

I agree entirely. I'm kinda shocked the 80 has gotten so popular though. It's, at least as I see it, a bit of a niche vehicle, at least in the United States. Most people (myself included, frankly) would be better served by a 100 or a 200 if they wanted a Cruiser. I really like hardcore vehicles that happen to retain enough civility and practicality to be used everyday (which is why I drive an older M3), but I always thought I was in a minority. I guess Jeep sells oodles of Wranglers every year though, and the Wrangler's a relatively awful road car that trades said road performance in the pursuit of enthusiast traits (IE, solid axles, removable roofs and drawers, BoF construction, exct). I frequently wonder how many Wranglers are even put into 4WD, let alone low range, by the original owners. Yet, the demand remains immense. So perhaps, in light of that, the 80's popularity is more understandable.

As for imports, I think unless the pricing skyrockets on those too, maybe they will get more popular as USDM 80's values go up and supply goes down. I just checked Land Cruisers Direct's site, and they've got a turbodiesel, 107K mile, factory triple-locked 80 listed on their available inventory page with a preliminary price of $22K. When you look at what a nice, equivalent mileage USDM factory triple-locked 80 could bring these days, you start to wonder about the JDM ones. If you don't mind driving on the opposite side of the vehicle, there seems to be a lot offered with them, including lots of fun features not originally available on US spec vehicles. (Factory heated cloth seats on an 80 series anyone?)
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
17
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
I think youtube can be partially blamed for that. Overlanding and Cruisers have been shown more times than I can count in the past few years, not to mention all the videos that show how creative people have gotten with their rigs on Overland Bound's youtube channel for example! I don't think it was ever hard for it to be popular, but it's definitely garnered more attention in these past couple of years. Maybe some people staying home during the pandemic and not having anything to do, but binge videos has something to do with it? I don't know honestly haha.

Don't forget the center console fridge with an ice maker! Haha, on serious note, I think the only two things that have stopped me are cost, and that safety wasn't as much of a concern with other vehicle markets as it was for USDM vehicles. Most of the vehicles I've found have a different steering wheel and still have the "oh s***" bar. I'd honestly import a gasser if it meant more bang for my buck. I think you kinda break even either way, unless you import diesel, or try to import a LHD as I believe those are considered a premium. I'd be fine with either side as long as i can be happy about my rig dammit! Haha
 
Joined
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Messages
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Fort Worth, Texas
That rig is something beautiful, but I’m sure it’ll shoot out of my price range within a couple of days. If not, definitely within the last hour! 😂
 
Joined
Mar 19, 2021
Messages
21
Location
Houston Texas
1994 Toyota Land Cruiser on KSL.com - https://cars.ksl.com/listing/7111920
I text the owner (maxwell) above and was interested for the price, year and body condition.
He seems like a str8 shooter.
Like others on this thread, I’ve been on the hunt for years and have let more than one NICE rig slip away.
Watching BaT is probably a skewed view as some these auctions turn into a ‘pissing match’ and don’t reflect the true value (my opinion).
I do think that Craig’s List is closer to reality if u stay vigilant and on course.
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
17
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
1994 Toyota Land Cruiser on KSL.com - https://cars.ksl.com/listing/7111920
I text the owner (maxwell) above and was interested for the price, year and body condition.
He seems like a str8 shooter.
Like others on this thread, I’ve been on the hunt for years and have let more than one NICE rig slip away.
Watching BaT is probably a skewed view as some these auctions turn into a ‘pissing match’ and don’t reflect the true value (my opinion).
I do think that Craig’s List is closer to reality if u stay vigilant and on course.
while that may be true, I can’t help but also have my view a bit skewed when some of the folks on Craigslist price their beat up rig for 11-15k, not mention that the flippers have definitely purchased some of the lower priced ones to resell at that price range. I saw a pretty clean 91 (not what I was looking for, but I took a glance because their rig was nice and simple) and he had it for 8k, as he was trying to get something with better mpg. Very understandable and fair imo. But what really got me is that the rig was on there for maybe 3-4 weeks before it disappeared, only to reappear with some other guy posting it for 11 or 12k, nothing new done to it, and basically saying, “you know what it is.....”
 

Eighteen11R

1811SAR
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Joined
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Messages
583
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NoVA
while that may be true, I can’t help but also have my view a bit skewed when some of the folks on Craigslist price their beat up rig for 11-15k, not mention that the flippers have definitely purchased some of the lower priced ones to resell at that price range. I saw a pretty clean 91 (not what I was looking for, but I took a glance because their rig was nice and simple) and he had it for 8k, as he was trying to get something with better mpg. Very understandable and fair imo. But what really got me is that the rig was on there for maybe 3-4 weeks before it disappeared, only to reappear with some other guy posting it for 11 or 12k, nothing new done to it, and basically saying, “you know what it is.....”
One man's project becomes another man's opportunity. Buyer beware comes to mind and patience will pay off for the best deal. ;)
 
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