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Please tell us about your experience getting your first new motor vehicle ever.

bobbertbobbert Posts: 63 Member
edited May 2020 in Clubhouse #1
This assumes you have had at least one new such car, truck, motorcycle, etc. 

Here's mine:

It's a long story, but I made a very bad buyer's remorse decision back in 1983 when I bought a new car under a $10K price constraint (from the Big Three) I hated. A new stripped-down '83 model Chevy Camaro hatchback ($9,100 sticker, el cheapo vinyl seats, AM Delco radio, no a/c).  I was 19 then. Think of how nicely-appointed I could have gotten a Japanese import back then for around that price if I had not such a buy-American attitude. A new '83 Chevy Impala started at about $11,500 and it had no a/c either. 'American' cars were a real rip for what they really were. Big Three dealerships were never warm and friendly to customers like Toyota (and most other foreign car) dealerships were and Big Three products did not have Japanese reliability and longevity. 

Even in 1983, $10K did not buy much new car in terms of size and luxury. A loaded-down econobox was about all that was happening within that price constraint then. Think 4-cylinder motor.

I was a shill for "American" brands back then to my own young stupidity. I had a paper-kite budget but wanted to shoot for the moon. I was too ostentatious for my young spoiled-rotten britches. I really wanted a new Lincoln Town Car back then but for only $10K, no way.

If one were to have had $10K cash back in the spring of 1983 to buy a brand new car as I did, one's best choice then would have been a well-equipped Toyota Corolla or Corolla DX wagon, coupe or sedan. 

I had acquired $10,000 from a lawsuit of my mother's and my mother's rule was that it had to be a new car and it could not go out the door for anymore than $10K. I told her about the possibility of a pickup truck and she said no, it had to be a regular automobile.
This was even before I got my first driver license. It's better to get a license first then you can test drive different vehicles.  My mother and the salesmen at the showroom at our local Chevy dealer pressured me into that stripped Camaro because "it looked cool, smart-styled and sporty". My mother was looking at the new '84 Corvette and that metallic-gray Camaro on the showroom caught her eye. 

I hate myself for not liking Japanese when I was young. I've had several horrible experiences with "American" car dealerships (mostly GM) and a number of crappy Big Three products (from Ford, GM and Mopar) that I've bought over my lifetime because I was such a buy-American apologist.

I now love my current 1995 Corolla DX to death. My next vehicle is definitely gonna be a Toyota truck. 
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Replies

  • JustsomedudeJustsomedude Posts: 1,319 Senior Member
    Oh, so now you want to cause static between auto makers.... 



    🤨



    Sarcasm 
    We've been conditioned to believe that obedience is virtuous and voting is freedom- 
  • bobbertbobbert Posts: 63 Member
    edited May 2020 #3
    Oh, so now you want to cause static between auto makers.... 



    🤨



    Sarcasm 
    You might not have had a first new vehicle yet. I had to share my first new vehicle experience and share why I did not like that experience entirely. I don't like dealerships that sell certain new car brands. The nicest car sales folks aren't working a Big Three lot. Some of the rottenest people I've ever met were working at Chevy stores, one Lincoln-Mercury store, one Pontiac Store and a couple Dodge stores.  I did get fairly decent treatment from an Oldsmobile dealership in Lawton, OK when I bought a new car from them in 1990 while stationed with the army there. I've also met a guy in CA at an Olds dealership in the 1980's who was a jerk.  Most Big Three dealerships IMHO are for the birds. 
  • JustsomedudeJustsomedude Posts: 1,319 Senior Member
    edited May 2020 #4
    Don't mind me. I'm just poking fun at the fact that there was a thread a few weeks ago asking whats wrong with this place. Then you're treated the way you were in the other thread because apparently you haven't been here long enough to start a discussion that asks opinion. Maybe they need a sticky of topics that new members are allowed to post.
    We've been conditioned to believe that obedience is virtuous and voting is freedom- 
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    I was just 16 years old and my dad had just bough a hot brand new import.  A Fiat 124 Sports Coupe.  The first European imported into the USA with a 5 speed manual, low profile and FAST!  It was a 2.0L double overhead cam 4 cylinder with a factory Weber 2 barrel carb and redlined just north of 7,500 RPMs.  It actually shared this engine with the Alpha Romeo Spyder of the same model year.

    He drove it for a whole week and we got stuck in a big traffic jam on the way home from him picking us up at school (my sisters and I were in High School).  In the middle of traffic he decided he had pushed on a damn clutch too many times.  He stopped the car and exited and told me it was my car now so I was to drive my sisters home and he'd meet me there.  He walked away through three lanes of traffic and disappeared, so I jumped in the drivers seat.  I'd been driving since I was 9 with my dad and since 12 on my own (licensed at 15 but dad was not a big "rules" kind'a guy) but I'd had driven a manual transmission exactly ONCE up and down my street a few days before.  I REALLY learned how to drive one that day.

    By the time I got home my dad had already bought another car and the Fiat was mine.

    I do have a love affair with Japanese cars having owned a bunch of Nissans, Toyotas, and currently we have two Mazdas in our home which we bought new.  Wife drives a 2019 CX9 Grand Touring and I drive a 2018 Mazda 6 Signature Turbo.  They are EXCEPTIONAL cars.

    BUT we've had a bunch of American trucks too, including several Ford and Lincoln SUVs, Ford trucks and our beloved and no longer available Hummer II.  All of them great vehicles on their own accord.
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    Summer of 96'.. I was 31 yro.. Leased a 96' Ford Bronco. 5.0 litre. 4 speed manual. Spit bench. Yada yada. Went in to look. Drove off a happy fool. Good truck for what it was. ........
  • bobbertbobbert Posts: 63 Member
    I have buyer's remorse about that new red 1992 Corvette LT1 coupe I bought at age 28 but that's another story. Suffice it to say, it was dumped 4 years later by me for about $10K less than I had paid for it new. It had a 6-speed that missed the gate often when shifted aggressively. It had a horrible transmission whine. Whenever the targa top was removed the car shaked very badly. It had leaky seal issues for the targa top. The engine ran horribly for about 75 miles until dried out after washing the engine compartment with a garden hose. The car got stuck in the snow easily. The interior was rather shoddily constructed: cheesy ill-fitting plastic everywhere.

    I've concluded that steel is the best material for automobile body construction. My '89 black/over/red 'Stang GT 5.0 ragtop was solid (unlike the glass body Vette) with the soft top down but that Ford Fox Body had other issues. Leaky windshield header. Trouble with the headlights. Bought used in the summer of 1998 and dumped six months later at a 2 grand loss. 
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 10,664 Senior Member
    Bought a house in 1999. Needed a truck to haul materials to remodel. 

    Went to a Ford dealer and they had a base (work) Ranger for $9900 and a base F150 for $12,000. 

    Bought the Ranger. 4cyl, 5 speed, no A/C or anything . Got 30mpg. Owned it for near 7 years.

    I was happy with it...... I wish I bought the F150 though. The bigger bed would have come in handy many times
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 24,985 Senior Member
    edited May 2020 #9
    If you don't count a couple of motorcycles, the first was an '81 Datsun pickup. Rust bucket from day one, but I abused that poor little thing by towing a fifth wheel trailer with it, and it went down the road with no problem other than a blown head gasket at 20,000 miles (which they were notorious for). Traded it off on an '86 Chevy 1/2 ton "C-10" which was half the truck for twice the money that my dad had paid for his '78 1 ton. Nice truck, but it soured me forever on computer controlled engines. Traded that off after 10 years on an '87 F-250 Diesel with Banks Turbo. LOVED THAT TRUCK! Got out of RV towing in Y2K, so sold it and bought the '85 Mercedes which I still own.
    When it comes to Japanese, I personally like Mazda - owned a used one once. Bought wife an '05 Toyota Matrix (new) - reliable enough but completely soulless. Engine had zero low end grunt - as a result the clutch only went 124K miles. We also had a '96 Passat TDI - which was an exact re-run of my father's experience with a '77 Rabbit. Like him, I'll never own another Volkswagen. The engine/drivetrain was fantastic, the rest of it not so much. The overpriced luxuries and electronic crap were a constant problem.
    Now we have a '14 Fiat - and it appears that "Tony" managed to fix it this time. Wife and I both adore it, its overloaded with electronics of course, but at least they're not intrusive like they would be on an even newer one. The manual transmission is the best I've ever driven on anything, "smooth as glass".
    And of course, I just bought the '06 Jeep and am still learning what that means. One thing that shocks me is how quickly Jeep has discontinued parts - its appears to be about equal difficulty getting parts for this 14 year old as it is for my 35 year old Mercedes - the latter has me spoiled! Thank Goddess for the aftermarket, but some of that isn't as good as the original MOPAR, and other stuff just isn't available. I can get just about any part I want, brand new, from Mercedes - its only been the last 3 or 4 years that I've noticed parts are harder to get than they used to be.
    Somewhere in there, we had an '87 Yugo (loved it!), an '88 Ford Tempo (Loved it), and a '91 T-bird (I hated it, wife loved it). But I'm now officially out of the new car business - I don't intend to ever buy another, used and at least pre-2018 from here on out (I hope).
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • JKPJKP Senior Member Posts: 2,541 Senior Member
    As good as MOPAR made me chuckle!
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,126 Senior Member
    What a question-----back in the dark ages we went into a dealer and bought it.

  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 24,985 Senior Member
    JKP said:
    As good as MOPAR made me chuckle!
    The word on the Jeep forums is that "most" parts are best if they're MOPAR, the aftermarkets usually aren't as good. *shrug*

    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,911 Senior Member
    My first car in 1964 was a 1957 Chevy convertible. It was in pristine condition and I loved it. I have never owned a foreign car and I don't regret it. Back in the 80's foreign cars were being dumped on American markets at lower prices than US made cars, which is why they cost less at the dealer. Besides that, most of the lower priced ones were pretty FUGLY anyway, which was not a great selling point for me.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 8,227 Senior Member
    In the summer of 1969, I was 17, and wanted my own car so bad I could taste it.  My folks couldn't afford to buy one for me, and probably wouldn't have if they could.  They figured it was up to me to do it myself, and I agree with that decision.

    I had worked summer jobs and part time jobs during school for several years by then, so I had a little money saved.  I found an ad in the paper for a '56 Chevy for only $300.  I bought it.

    When I bought it, the seller told me that there were some gaskets or something like that which needed to be replaced so it wouldn't leak oil, and that it was a cheap fix.

    He lied.

    My cousin, who was my Dad's age, was a mechanic, and checked it out after I bought it.  He told me it needed a ring job and other work, and to demand my money back.  I did, and the seller talked me into keeping the car and gave me back $100.

    I helped my cousin rebuild the motor and do a few other things that needed to be done.  The labor was free, but I had to pay for all parts.

    The car was also in need of a paint job.  At the time, my dad was the bookkeeper for the local Ford dealership, and swung a deal with the body shop guy that only cost me $20 for a paint job.

    When it was all said and done, I had a pretty nice clunker.  It was a 2 door post model, with a 265 ci motor bored to 283, 4:11 gears, 3/4 race cam, but a 2 bbl. carburetor.  I drove it for 3 years relatively problem free.  I have lots of good memories from that old car.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • RugerFanRugerFan Senior Member Posts: 2,689 Senior Member
    1st brand new car was a 86 Tempo. Had 2 or 3 others with the last one being a 03 Escape. They're just too expensive now to consider brand new vehicles.

    My wife bought a 19 Flex last Fall but she bought it used at an auction. 
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 8,227 Senior Member


    The first totally new car I bought was a 1975 Mazda Cosmo with a Rotary motor.  It had a 5 speed manual transmission, and very nice red velvet bucket seats.  Other than that, it was 100% junk.

    By the time I had 50k miles on it, I had to have the motor rebuilt and the clutch replaced.  I ended up selling it for scrap after I replaced it with a '78 Buick LeSabre (good car, BTW).  For a long time, Japanese cars held no fascination for me.

    Since then, I have owned a 2009 Mazda RX-8.  It was nice, but not really practical, especially for Colorado winters.  We traded that in on a 2012 Honda CR-V, and then traded that CR-V in on a 2018 CR-V, which is our primary car now.  I like Hondas just fine, but also like my 1997 Dodge Ram that has over 215k miles on it and has taken quite a beating over years.  It still runs great.

    In my experience, both Japanese and American car makers make good vehicles.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 5,032 Senior Member
    My first new ride was a motorcycle, to the best of my memory it was a 1952 Velocette 350 cc single cylinder.

    My first new car was a 1957 Chrysler 300 C, 392 cu. in. Hemi , I bought it at Bass Chrysler Plymouth. No hassle just walked in told the salesman what i wanted , agreed on a price and drove it off the showroom floor.

    Since that time every new car/truck i bought has been a Mopar with the exception of a 1967 Ford Bronco, 1972/3 Jeep CJ 7, 1973 Porsch 914 Spyder, & 1974 Porsche 914 Can Am Targa.

    The last new truck I bought is my 1998 Dodge 1500 4WD it has well over 200,000 mi and at my age they can bury me in it.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 4,349 Senior Member
    I've never bought a new vehicle and probably never will, unless I can afford to pay cash for it.  Not likely, since the trucks I normally drive are $40-50K+ new these days. I prefer to let other people buy them new, take the HUGE loss of value hit in the first 2 or 3 years, then I buy them with 50,000 miles for $25k and drive them 150,000 miles before trading it in for the next 2-3 year old truck.. 
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 8,227 Senior Member
    Jay,

    I bought my '97 Dodge Ram 2500 in '99 from someone advertising in the paper.  It had 31k miles on it, and I paid $25k.  That was probably 15-20k less than what it would cost new, but I'm not 100% sure.  It was in like new condition, so I have no complaints.


    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    I mostly drove old used cars when I was young. All those experiences are explained in this video.

  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 4,349 Senior Member
    Jay,

    I bought my '97 Dodge Ram 2500 in '99 from someone advertising in the paper.  It had 31k miles on it, and I paid $25k.  That was probably 15-20k less than what it would cost new, but I'm not 100% sure.  It was in like new condition, so I have no complaints.


    My dad did almost the exact same thing when he got his 2001 Ram 2500.  The truck was just over a year old and about the same mileage as yours when he got it.  A lady he knew got it in a divorce, then couldn't afford to pay for it.  All she wanted was what she owed on it, and she owed much less than it was worth.  So he got a great deal on it.  He still has it.  Just over 100,000 miles on it now, 18 years later.  He was working in AZ at the time and bought it there. I rode back to AZ with him and drove his old truck back here when he got the Dodge.
  • ilove22silove22s Senior Member Posts: 1,507 Senior Member
    i got my 1st new car in 2017 when i was 58 y/o.   a Subi Legacy.

    my other cars were all used and were all USA made (at the least "assembled" in the USA), 1 Ford (74 mav) , 1 Dodge (76? dart) , 2 Chevys (88 beretta & 02 imp).   all of them were good USED cars.  Never thought i would buy a NEW since i had good luck with all of my USED cars.  

    but its funny with all the redneck people way back then.  I still remember USA this, USA that and so forth.  But i will say that back then, some of the imported stuff wasnt that great either.  But eventually they were able to put out a good product and kick the redneck USA A$$ too.  

    I made a comment about driving a **** truck to my redneck friends.  They dont say much or if they do its "they make a great truck" and sometimes "better than any USA crap".  So the tides have turned for now.

    but so far my Subi has been good.  I did have some water stains on the back roof liner and have no idea on where they came from or when, but i had it in the shop and they did all they could do to find any leak, but no joy.  I could have left the windows open during a rain or something, but dont remember.  Also getting old sucks.   In the beginning i was able to get almost 30 mpg in combined city/highway  mostly to work/home, but its dropped now to about 25 mpg combined.  So the next time it goes into the shop i have to remember to ask them to look into the mpg drop.  its only a few mpg better than my imp did and my imp had a V6 with way more get-up-and-go.






    The ears never lie.

    - Don Burt
  • 10canyon5310canyon53 Member Posts: 2,122 Senior Member
    My observation is this:  Japanese products were cheap after World War II while Japanese industry and economy were recovering.  But they then transitioned to innovation and quality engineering while the American car companies were resting on their past successes.  When the Japanese car companies handed the American companies their collective butts, the American companies were forced to re-evaluate and adapt in order to survive.  That's kinda how free enterprise works.  Everything keeps changing.  Nowadays, to me it appears to be a pretty level playing field with comparable quality between American and Japanese manufacturers.  The ironic thing is, many of the Japanese brand vehicles sold in the US are now assembled in the US while many American brand vehicles are assembled elsewhere.  As to where the parts come from?  Those are pretty much sourced globally no matter the brand.  My first 4-wheeled vehicle that I bought new off the lot was a '96 GMC Sonoma extended cab 2wd manual shift with a 4cyl.  Nothing fancy but it fit my needs at the time.  I was impressed with the quality during the time I had it, but that was less than 2 years because my needs changed.  My first motorcycle that I bought new off the showroom floor was an '06 Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 that I proceeded to put 40,000 miles on in only 2 years.  It did have a catastrophic transmission failure, but Kawasaki covered the repairs 100% with no fuss.  I got rid of it because my needs changed again.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 18,118 Senior Member
    Spring, 1969...I had been working my butt off and had saved the down payment...Mom co-signed the the loan for a 1964 Chevy Impala...enlisted in September and sold it to a girlfriend for enough to pay off the loan...end of story...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,043 Senior Member
    zorba said:
    JKP said:
    As good as MOPAR made me chuckle!
    The word on the Jeep forums is that "most" parts are best if they're MOPAR, the aftermarkets usually aren't as good. *shrug*

    Not the radiator that I replaced in my old TJ.  The MOPAR part was designed to leak and fail.  The 100% aluminum aftermarket replacement unit (which was cheaper than a MOPAR part) was so much better


    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,043 Senior Member
    bobbert said:
    .

    If one were to have had $10K cash back in the spring of 1983 to buy a brand new car as I did, one's best choice then would have been a well-equipped Toyota Corolla or Corolla DX wagon, coupe or sedan. 


     I had a 1983 Toyota Tercel.  It was a totally great car. I had it in 1992, and it was still a bulletproof little rice grinder, and ran much better than it should have.  It died when my brother wrecked it falling asleep behind the wheel.

    First car I ‘bought on my own’ was a 1980 Chevy Silverado 1/2 ton 2 WD long bed. Bought in probably 1994.  GREAT truck.  Paid like $1200 for it and drove it everywhere.  Perfect for college.  It died when my brother’s girlfriend pulled a left into oncoming traffic. (Starting to see a pattern here?)

    First ‘actually new’ car that I bought was a 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser.  Still have it, its my daily driver.  Buying was easy- Ordered the way we wanted from the dealer, and had it delivered.  

    That will probably be the LAST new car I ever buy.  New cars are stupid expensive these days.  I’ll buy a 2-3 year old truck from now on.  
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • 10canyon5310canyon53 Member Posts: 2,122 Senior Member

      (Starting to see a pattern here?)


    Yup, I recognize that pattern.  My first car out of high school was a '76 Dodge Aspen which I had for a little over a year before selling it to my brother's girlfriend (now wife).  She fell asleep at the wheel and rolled it.  Back in February my 21 year old daughter did this to one of my more recent vehicles:
    It had a good life though.  I bought it in '08 when it was 2 years old with around 30,000 miles on it.  At its demise it had a little over 200,000 miles on it and was still going strong.

  • JustsomedudeJustsomedude Posts: 1,319 Senior Member
    The "Big Three" aren't domestic anymore. Now its Honda, Toyota and Nissan. I swear the American car manufacturers motto must be "don't make anything from one part that can be made from ten". 
    And this thread made me realize that I've bought plenty of brand new stuff, including motorcycles but never a car.
    We've been conditioned to believe that obedience is virtuous and voting is freedom- 
  • JKPJKP Senior Member Posts: 2,541 Senior Member
    Yep. Just bought my wife a German SUV that has this on the sticker:



  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,043 Senior Member

      (Starting to see a pattern here?)


    Yup, I recognize that pattern.  My first car out of high school was a '76 Dodge Aspen which I had for a little over a year before selling it to my brother's girlfriend (now wife).  She fell asleep at the wheel and rolled it.  Back in February my 21 year old daughter did this to one of my more recent vehicles:
    It had a good life though.  I bought it in '08 when it was 2 years old with around 30,000 miles on it.  At its demise it had a little over 200,000 miles on it and was still going strong.

    I have two brothers.
    i have never (knock on wood) totaled a car
    one of my brothers has totaled 4 of my cars. The other brother has had a Girlfriend total one of mine. 
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • bobbertbobbert Posts: 63 Member
    edited May 2020 #31
    bobbert said:
    .

    If one were to have had $10K cash back in the spring of 1983 to buy a brand new car as I did, one's best choice then would have been a well-equipped Toyota Corolla or Corolla DX wagon, coupe or sedan. 


     I had a 1983 Toyota Tercel.  It was a totally great car. I had it in 1992, and it was still a bulletproof little rice grinder, and ran much better than it should have.  It died when my brother wrecked it falling asleep behind the wheel.

    First car I ‘bought on my own’ was a 1980 Chevy Silverado 1/2 ton 2 WD long bed. Bought in probably 1994.  GREAT truck.  Paid like $1200 for it and drove it everywhere.  Perfect for college.  It died when my brother’s girlfriend pulled a left into oncoming traffic. (Starting to see a pattern here?)

    First ‘actually new’ car that I bought was a 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser.  Still have it, its my daily driver.  Buying was easy- Ordered the way we wanted from the dealer, and had it delivered.  

    That will probably be the LAST new car I ever buy.  New cars are stupid expensive these days.  I’ll buy a 2-3 year old truck from now on.  
    The thing I hate most about "American" cars is that their dealerships can be downright rude, pushy and condescending. On top of that, since about 1975, Big Three products have been largely overpriced and not made well. Some have horrible safety records like Ford Pinto. I should have listened to my mother when I was young. She praised Toyota's high ratings in Consumers Reports (circa 1979-1980) for a very good reason. Customers are mostly treated very nicely at "foreign" car dealerships. The gnarly ungentlemanly characters who work at "American" car dealerships often think you owe them something. I got screamed at by some old fart at a Pontiac dealership F&I office for accidentally walking out the door with his cheap pen. This was a week after I bought a three-year-old Firebird off their lot for over $10K in 1991. I don't know how "American" car dealerships operated before the 1980's but I know how they were from the 1980's onward. You're a sad sucker if you think you have to take such abuse to buy "American". 
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