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JimNap

It's back...2006 Lincoln Zephyr!

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Hello to all my fellow LZOC members and Lincoln Zephyr fans!

In addition to owning and restoring a 37 Coupe, I also work in the automotive industry for a Tier1 supplier. In a popular trade magazine appeared the following article about the upcoming New York Auto Show Preview:

LINCOLN

New York will signal the future look of Lincoln cars. The brand will unveil a concept that insiders say is about 80 percent of the V-6 sedan Lincoln will sell in the 2006 model year. Both the concept car and the production car will be called Zephyr, a name previously used on Lincoln and Mercury models.

The car will be created off Ford's new mid-size car platform, which is essentially the re-engineered Mazda6 platform. The concept's wheelbase is a little longer than that of the Mazda6.

-Automotive News, April 5, 2004 Pg.22

No picture was shown.

Well folks, after nearly 70 years after it's initial introduction and 20 years since it's last appearance as a Mercury, the Zephyr is making a comeback! Albeit as a V-6 and a rather smallish platform I'm glad the name is making a comeback.

I can see the TV ads now... A classic 37 coupe travels down a country roadway and a new 2006 pulls up alongside and the driver's exchange appreciative glances! Something tells me it's going to at least have a V-shaped grille!

Oh god, what if they screw this up like they have their last few concepts for Lincoln? Maybe we should be prepared to demand a name change out of respect and descency!

Hmmm, now I wonder exactly how big the engine bay is going to be....A V-6 they say? Come on Ford, That was the Mercury version, if you're bringing it back to Lincoln you could at least borrow a V-8 from another program!

Anyone have spy pics they want to share? wink.gif

Jim N.

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Starting to do some more searching on the subject, found an article at blueovalnews.com that released a few days before about the upcoming coupe.

Entry level Lincoln, below-LS at $30k? Hmmm....a Zephyr for the masses!

But wait, isn't that what they did with the Mercury version?

Apparently the show starts April 7th. Pics of the 80%-final concept should be available on or about then.

BlueOvalNews 27Mar2004 Zephyr article!

Jim N.

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OK here's a press release (?) from Ford (copied from a thread at blueovalnews.com:

2006 LINCOLN ZEPHYR BRINGS ACCESSIBLE LUXURY TO LINCOLN

* The 2006 Lincoln Zephyr represents "the most youthful of Lincolns"- an all-new sedan that will attract new and younger customers to the Lincoln showroom.

* The 2006 Lincoln Zephyr shows how the Lincoln hallmarks of refined luxury, exceptional comfort and elegant style translate into a new class. This will be the first sedan to fully incorporate Lincoln's expressive and lavish new interior design themes.

NEW YORK, Apr. 8 - The 2006 Lincoln Zephyr teaser unveiled at the 2004 New York International Auto Show illustrates how Lincoln can bring its hallmarks of elegant design and comfort to a new generation of customers. The midsize, five-passenger Lincoln Zephyr is a premium sedan with features that assure comfort and refinement worthy of a Lincoln. Just as significantly, it also introduces the design elegance and refinement that have made Lincoln Navigator and Aviator such desirable nameplates.

This teaser vehicle unveiled in New York sets the stage - and sends a strong signal - for the production version of Lincoln's next sedan. The concept builds on themes explored in the Lincoln Mark LT and Lincoln Aviator concepts that were unveiled at the 2004 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Production Version is on the Way

The Lincoln Zephyr fits perfectly with the brand's strategy of providing additional entry points to draw new customers into the Lincoln showroom.

"The Lincoln Zephyr is a clear example of how we are able to bring exciting new products to the Lincoln stable by leveraging efficiencies throughout the Ford Motor Company organization. These great new products and the new customers they will attract are at the core of the Lincoln renaissance." said Darryl Hazel, Lincoln Mercury president.

Production of the Lincoln Zephyr will begin in 2005 and will go on sale later that year as a 2006 model. It will complement the existing Lincoln lineup and provide a new entry in one of the "sweet spots" of the luxury market - the growing midsize premium segment.

"The Lincoln Zephyr has all the design and comfort leadership that consumers expect from a Lincoln, but in a new segment that is more accessible to young professionals. This is definitely the most youthful of all Lincolns. It's all about great, elegant design, exceptional comfort and a youthful attitude," said Mark Birnhart, product marketing manager.

Shape of Things to Come

The Lincoln Zephyr's confident stance is wide and planted, suggesting a bold and aggressive attitude. It is instantly recognizable as a member of the Lincoln family - note the distinctive chrome waterfall grille and marquee placement of the Lincoln star emblems front and rear.

Design statements such as the bold horizontal lines of the taillamps and grille reinforce its athleticism. Instead, the Lincoln Zephyr establishes its sport sedan persona with geometric elements such as a steeply raked windshield, strong horizontal themes and wide, large-diameter, spoked alloy wheels.

"Wheels play an important role in generating a positive first impression, and these wheels reinforce the Lincoln Zephyr's confident personality," said design chief David Woodhouse, who led the teaser concept design under Executive Director Henrik Fisker at Lincoln's California Design Center. "The Lincoln Zephyr sits low, with a strong, wide stance. Everything emphasizes the purposeful, confident character of this vehicle."

The wheels are 19 inches in diameter and feature a symmetrical 12-spoke layout that complements the Lincoln star located on the flush center caps. The spoke pattern puts the Lincoln logo in the "crosshairs," like a telescopic sight, drawing the eye toward the wheel center.

The car's color - a warm golden silver called Cashmere - was chosen to work in harmony with the dramatic cabin design.

Luminous and Luxurious

"It's a very light and bright combination," Woodhouse said. "Everything from the body color to the interior is very light. This gives it a luminous, luxurious feeling, which accentuates the real wood, genuine leather and metallic accents."

The side profile is complemented by chrome trim at the belt line, door handles and mirror caps, and the soft glow of satin aluminum wheels. The light body color also provides a strong contrast to the bold, dark window graphics.

The rear window sweeps well up into the roof, but due to its steep angle, appears wide and low from the rear, reinforcing the strong horizontal lines of the taillamps, which extend well into the trunk lid.

The rear bumper surface is nearly flush, contributing to the clean, uncluttered lines. Completing the effect is a lower tray framed by a thin line of bright metal trim milled from solid aluminum. Twin chrome tailpipes set wide apart extend through the lower fascia.

The horizontal theme continues at the front of the car, where a classic Lincoln grille, executed in chrome, is flanked by wide, jeweled headlamps with projector-style barrels whose lower edges dip down into the horizontal turn signals. Side markers are integrated into the headlamp barrels as well, for a tailored appearance.

The front bumper fascia is likewise nearly flush, surmounting a lower fascia that repeats the rear theme with a wide, horizontal air intake and wide-set, twin round running lamps with chrome trim rings.

Lavish Interior Design and Package

"There's a strong European influence in the design theme, but we didn't lose the essential North American qualities," said Phil Simmons, chief designer. "You see that in the way it carries itself - there's a uniquely North American confidence, a certain swagger, almost."

Design themes explored in a series of recent Lincoln concepts come into sharp focus in the interior of the new Lincoln Zephyr. Expect to see most of these elements again when the production car is unveiled.

"Lincoln is renowned for being a design leader, and nowhere is this more apparent than in our interiors," said Marek Reichman, director, Interior Design Strategy. "The design philosophies explored in our concept vehicles, as well as many of the materials such as real wood, are already making their way into Lincoln production vehicles, such as the Navigator and Aviator. With the new Lincoln Zephyr, they will find their fullest expression in an automobile."

The key interior features of the Lincoln Zephyr are a commanding driving environment and the sophisticated interplay between surface textures, such as satin aluminum, chrome, leather and wood.

The center console flows upward into a symmetrical, full-width instrument panel. The center stack features a prominent information center that serves as the controller for the exclusive THX?-certified ultra premium audio system as well as a navigational screen. All buttons and knobs are chromed, as are the one-touch louvered air vents, interior door handles and the control stalks on either side of the steering wheel.

One show-stopping feature that was seen on the Lincoln Mark LT - a corrugated aluminum waterfall that flows downward into the center stack from the top of the instrument panel - is personalized to the Lincoln Zephyr with wider, more tactile raised surfaces.

"It's a bit like a roll-top desk brought to the 21st century," Woodhouse said. "Metal ribbing gives the center stack a lot of surface interest and lends a feeling of strength and confidence."

In keeping with the light exterior colors, the Lincoln Zephyr interior features light surfaces including sophisticated Harewood, an exotic wood installed with its fine grain pattern running horizontally. Wood is used symmetrically with a wide horizontal band on each side of the instrument panel, as well as facing the center console. Wood frames the chrome center of the substantial shift knob and is used in the hand grip area between the spokes of the steering wheel.

The gauges were inspired by stylish wristwatches, with rounded rectangular housings, light faces and chrome hubs and pointers. The tachometer is given equal prominence with the speedometer in the symmetric array. The effect is enhanced by white LED lighting at night.

The steering wheel is distinctively Lincoln, with four parallel horizontal spokes. Redundant audio controls and speed controls reside in satin metal inserts that serve as the inner face of the spokes. The steering wheel is trimmed in leather, with a prominent Lincoln star at its center.

The seats are faced in new, softer premium leather, with shapes inspired by the classic Eames lounge chairs. "There's a clean, tailored theme to the seats," Woodhouse said.

The two-tone theme, with seats that are lighter in color than the center console and other panels, reinforces the organic symmetry of the design. Yet the overall impression is one of light and airy elegance and refinement.

The rear-seat passengers are just as cosseted as those up front - a testament to the efficient packaging in this midsize Lincoln.

The rear seat features a generous fold-down arm rest with contrasting surfaces. As in the front, door panels use accents of satin aluminum, as well as technical metallic speaker cover fabric.

Driving Enjoyment

The Lincoln Zephyr is designed to provide confident and effortless driving enjoyment. It builds on Ford Motor Company's CD3 midsize-architecture, customized for Lincoln ride comfort and driving dynamics.

The Lincoln Zephyr features a specially tuned and more powerful version of the Duratec 30 3.0-liter V-6 engine with intake variable cam timing (VCT), mated to a premium six-speed front-wheel-drive transmission and, following the launch, available all-wheel drive.

The new six-speed transmission amplifies engine torque to provide better acceleration than comparable vehicles with four- or five-speed transmissions. Electronic throttle control and the electronically controlled transmission calibration assure smooth and seamless shifts, for quiet performance worthy of the Lincoln brand.

This is the first new front-wheel-drive Lincoln since the Continental, which featured front drive from 1988-2002, and is the lightest Lincoln - a key enabler in creating a responsive driving experience. The twin exhausts behind the single central muffler help to reduce back pressure, for added performance.

The Lincoln Zephyr team was able to develop, tune and refine a complete vehicle package in about 30 months - a very short time for a new vehicle program, made possible by the ability to tap into assets throughout the Ford Motor Company. Much of the initial work, including analysis of potential interior noise sources, benefited from the use of sophisticated computer-aided-engineering tools.

Dampers, spring rates and bushings in the fully independent suspension have been specially selected and tuned for Lincoln driving characteristics, with an emphasis on comfort without sacrificing nimble response. The power steering system also has been uniquely tuned to complement the suspension and tires, which have unique internal construction for comfort and quiet performance. The large, four-wheel disc brakes provide confident stopping performance.

Built-In Safety

For occupant safety, the Lincoln Zephyr features a robust steel "safety cage" construction, with engineered crush zones to absorb impact energy. Ford Motor Company's industry-leading Personal Safety System provides a combination of active and passive safety features, such as front and side air bags, side air curtains, occupant classification sensing, three-point safety belts with front-seat pretensioners and retractors, tire pressure sensing, anti-lock braking and traction control.

A production version of the Lincoln Zephyr will be offered for sale in the United States, Canada, Mexico and other markets in late 2005 as a 2006 model. Pricing and final specifications will be announced closer to launch.

Lincoln Zephyr Name Recalls Era of Elegance

The original 1936 Lincoln Zephyr was based on an innovative concept by Dutch-born designer John Tjaarda of the Briggs Body Corp. He drew inspiration from the aerodynamic "streamliner" trains that were catching the nation's imagination - including the record-setting diesel-powered Burlington Zephyr that helped to end the age of steam.

Lincoln Zephyrs also were noted for spirited performance - with an impressive (for the time) 110 horsepower from their flathead V-12 engines. This combination of elegance and attitude made the 1942 Lincoln Zephyr convertible a perfect prop - along with a succession of martini glasses - for the famed "Thin Man" movie series, starring William Powell and Myrna Loy as debonair crime fighters Nick and Nora Charles.

Despite its elegant appearance, the new Lincoln Zephyr was by far the least costly Lincoln of the time, benefiting from mass-production efficiencies.

Delivering on the Promise

Lincoln Mercury's revitalization is built on strong products - 11 new vehicles including five new Lincolns in six new segments within the next four years. The Lincoln Zephyr follows the Aviator and Mark LT as the third new Lincoln introduced so far in 2004.

The new Lincoln Zephyr expands the brand into the fast-growing premium-midsize market, where Lincoln expects to find a new generation of customers.

"This will be the first taste of luxury for many buyers and their first exposure to the Lincoln brand," said Product Marketing Manager Mark Birnhart.

"We see tremendous potential for Lincoln in new categories, including the medium premium segment, where we will be competing with the Lexus ES330, Acura TL, Infiniti G35 and Cadillac CTS. Consumers are telling us that they want new choices, and we're responding in a highly targeted way," he added.

Source: Ford Media

Link to the discussion thread: (there may be more, feel free to browse through the board!)

http://warnerrobert.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=10;t=003133

Jim N.

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OK everyone, finally some close-up pics...go to:

www.wieck.com

It's a media service site. Click the public button on the left and search on "Zephyr". Pics for use in the media, etc. are posted!

I don't know about you guys/gals...but I actually like it!

No V-Shaped grille, but I think it has a shot as along as the V-6 actually has a bit of power behind it! Sadly in this FWD/AWD configuration, we're unlikely to see anything biiger than a V-6 I think.

On the flip side my 2002 Volvo S60 w/AWD has quite a bit of pep with it's low-pressure turbo I-5. The normally aspirated I-5 is nothing to shake a stick at either - but that's Volvo.

Remember, these pics are of the CONCEPT - about 80-85% of the production car is seen here.

Time will tell when it comes to looks and performance. But I think so far Lincoln finally has a winner!

Jim N.

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Thanks. I was hoping for something a bit more retro and art-deco, but it is not a bad looking modern car. The main thing is that it brings the name back and matches it to Lincoln.

Ace

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I'm a but surprised.. almost a 120 views so far on this thread and the only feedback so far is from Ace!

Doesn't anyone want to share their thoughts?

I figured the return of the Zephyr would generate a lot more excitement than what I've seen so far! Especially since Ford didn't screw it up as bad as I thought they might have!

Where's your 2 cents?

Jim N.

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Ok Jim, I am always good for a comment, even though for this I have to struggle a bit, the Zephyr name was a advertising gimmick in '36, but the car was radically different, in this case the name is almost 70 years old, and the car looks to me to be very plain jane and ordinary, a V-6 may be fine with $3 a gallon gas, but when you are talking good looking modern Lincolns, give me a Mark 8 please, Rolf

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I guess my response is...

zzzzz

Just another new car, albeit a pretty decent looking one. Just nothing to get my blood flowing.

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Dear Jim,My 2 cents,i think it looks just like a new Continental.Nothing at all to distingush it from anything else on the road.I believe the reason we all love our Zephyrs is the fact that they stand ALONE in all aspects of styling.Have you checked out the NEW Volkswagon Phaeton[an open car with a folding top].The only way that top is going to fold is if you were to drive it under a tractor trailer.Another gimmick.diz laugh.gif

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At the risk of being yelled at here's my two cents. The automoble industry has changed, it's international now, not just dominated by Detroit. They put out units, GREAT units, safer, better ride etc. But individual. no. Does this new Zephyr lead the pack in anything? Style? Grace?

In the middle of Zephyrdom in 1938-39, a person could spot a Lincoln by its art deco style from across a parking lot. And most upper priced cars durring that time had destictive styling. During the 50's was the highth of styling. One could really see a difference in design with all the car companies, not just the big three Then came the 70's when nobody wanted to take a chance and end up with a looser. Almost every unit looked like a Mercedes-Benz.(ei. the Ford Granada). Today, most cars just fill a price need with pretty much bland styling. However there is a trend toward large, intimidating cars, the Hummer, Big SUVs. "Don't get in my way, 'cause I'm important" cars.

Back to the new Zephyr now that my third cup of coffee has worn off. Why does the public need a new Zephyr. Why not cash in on another name, with another also-ran. You already blew that name in the 80s.

End. Your turn.

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While I agree it's not quite groud-breaking in any respect, I think the proposed Zephyr (at least in this incarnation) is a great leap forward for Lincoln. A huge improvement over the god-awful ugly styling of the Mark X concept, and certainly shows a lot more orginality for Lincoln than their Mark LT pick-up - which is essentially a modified F-150.

http://www.autoextremist.com/detroit2004/companies/Lincoln/index.html

Even though there is some platform sharing here, I believe the execution has been done fairly well with belying too much of it's (forthcoming) Ford Futura heritage.

Much like the recent auction results of the heavily modifed 39 Zephyr, the Scrape-rod and the release of the Precision 100 series model, the new Zephyr can only bring more notice to our beloved pre-war Zephyr's and post-war Continentals.

I'm excited for a number of reasons. Primarily because the debut of the Zephyr shows that Lincoln is likely to survive. I don't think Zephyr alone will save Lincoln, but it is definitely a start.

Secondly, I believe as I already mentioned that the new model is likely to give our lovely V-12's a little more exposure that they so greatly deserve.

I only wish they had reserved the name Zephyr for their forthcoming replacement flagship sedan, and that they had a more arranged for production version with a more powerful and respectable engine. And granted, Mexican production has improved greatly in recent years, but I wish they had arranged production at Wixom Assembly or one of the other under-utilized plants in Canada. I guess it could be worse, they could be building at it's platform-mates facility in Flat Rock. Thank god they didn't build it there - I feel sorry for the Mustang moving there.

Well the Zephyr is back, and I for one am glad.

Jim N.

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Hey Jim, I wish I could transport you back to the 1950's, to a gathering of we Lincoln fans. Then the only H models worth considering were the Continentals, Zephyrs were just parts cars, and if you said "I believe as I already mentioned that the new model is likely to give our lovely V-12's a little more exposure that they so greatly deserve.", you would have been met with a hail of laughter and derision, and met with un-kind comments like "drain-oil specials" and the old favorite "boat-anchor". V-12's were not always highly regarded, to say the least, Rolf

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Well, after looking at all the pictures and reading all the press release information, my conclusion is that it will be a very nice, comfortable, safe, modern Mazda. Despite sales protestations that the styling is unique, it STILL looks a lot like almost every other late model mid-size car out there. There's nothing about it's appearance that will entice me out of my 1997 Town Car (the last of the pretty Town Cars), my 1996 Mark VIII (the last of the really pretty Mark VIIIs), my 1947 Continental (the next-to-last of the REAL Continentals), or my 1939 Zephyr (the last of the art-deco Zephyrs). Perhaps I'll be around to buy the last of the "resurrected" Lincoln Zephyrs when my Town Car or Mark VIII wears out, but maybe not! grin.gif

One important thing to remember is that Ford is NOT in the business of building CLASSIC cars! They build what they think they can sell. If it turns out to be a "classic", that's kind of an accident. The grandson of Edsel Ford was under the impression that his grandfather's "original" (1941) Lincoln Continental was in the carriage house at Edsel's estate in Michigan. He was amazed when he saw Bob Anderson's 1939 Prototype Continental at the Amelia Island Concours in 2001!

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"Even though there is some platform sharing here..."

Now this *is* one area I wish Ford really had emphasized more on my '37 Zephyr blush.gif

'Course, I don't have it nearly as bad as you folks with later Zephyrs! cool.gif

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I miss your point Cecil, your '37 has many shared components with the Fords of the era, not in the styling particularly, though some point out the '37 Ford and LZ grilles were similar, but many many mechanical components were shared, transmissions, rear-ends, brakes, for sure, what did you find different about the later Zephyrs? The things I mentioned before on the '37, were all made unique in them, Rolf

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Hey Rolf -

I agree my 37 shares some things with Fords, but not nearly as many as you would think (or I would hope for). For example, virtually nothing from the brake systems, suspension, or steering is shared. Not even stupid lousy bushings! Heck, even the rubber bumpers on the front axle and the bushings have a Zephyr-only part number -- are you kidding me? crazy.gif

Not a big deal, just thought it was interesting.

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I just wrote a HUGE exposee about style and pride and Edsel, Harley Earl, Pontiac lit up Indians on the hood, money, greed, and more. It was great, then something experienced a problem when I went to use spell check and I lost it all. Actually your loss, it was a great piece of literature disguised as a forum response.

I think the doors are too big for the wheelbase. I like the exhaust outlets, the tailight setup, the lower front grille and the use of brushed aluminum which seems to be the rage lately.

Lord my first post was good. frown.gif

It woulda made Rolf proud, but then He would have corrected me on something so maybe just as well. grin.gif

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Naw Dave, not me, I am way too mellow tonight, not even ready to take on Cecil, because the parts numbers all run together this late at night, but I know there are early Ford parts numbers galore in the '36 and '37 Zephyrs, but of course I would have pointed out to you that Harley Earl, even with his cool hat, was a major fraud, and GM is welcome to exploit him all they want, hopefully it will entrench the Ford faithful even more, and spare us from lighted up indians!!! Sorry, to each his own, be well and happy, Rolf

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told you Rolf would correct me and chastise me by saying "spare us the lighted Indians" or something. Starts talking to me then talks about part numbers for Cecil or Ace or somebody. The man needs rest, lots and lots of rest.

Do not antagonize the crazy person in California. smirk.gif

Goodnight Rolf cool.gif

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Yes and you enlightened, intelligent voters in Florida, can go right ahead and elect Harley Earl as president or something, with the states present leadership, anything is possible. Any part number in your Lincoln parts book that does not have an H in it is a Ford number, there are a lot of these numbers in the parts book, especially for '36 and '37 Lincolns, what is so controversial and provocative about that?? I am cure Cecil and Ace glance at these postings, even if they are addressed to you, so as crazy as my method is, it saves time and is effective, Rolf

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ditto to aces response and in addition do you think the local Lincoln dealership will pay for a expensive paint job for my 42 in exchange for putting it on the show room floor for a couple months (winter)???????????

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Dream on Rick, Lincoln dealers have been trying to forget our Zephyrs for a long time as a regular policy, the body shop would probally not paint your '42, or my '41 for full price, they are too hard, and don't look right with base coat/clear coat paint, nice idea though, Rolf

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