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    Time for laser precision

    Car #1962-Jaguar-E-Type-FHC / #Jaguar-E-Type-FHC / #Jaguar-E-type / #Jaguar / #1966

    Owned by Phil Bell (

    Time owned 9 years
    Miles this month 135
    Costs this month £0

    Previously Had the rusty heater box blasted and recoated, fitting it just in time for a run to Bicester sunday super scramble

    Last year I refitted my steering rack with polyurethane mounts in place of standard rubber parts that were allowing an alarming amount of movement, and while I was at it I added a pair of new track rod ends. Despite greasing the old ones at the factory mileage intervals the excess egress from the dust seals was starting to look rusty brown and the joints no longer felt smooth. I’d taken a great deal of care measuring the length of exposed track rod thread so that I’d end up with close to the same toe-in, but without being certain that it was spot-on I feared premature wear to my Dunlops, and they’re not cheap. To do the job properly you need alignment equipment. Normally I relish an excuse to buy more tools, unless they’re expensive and unlikely to see much action.

    Handily, #E-Type specialist E-conic, better known as Moss Jaguar, had recently relocated to nearby Letchworth and I was looking for an excuse to have a nose around. While Angus Moss showed me the charming Victorian building with its sawtooth roof and a dozen or so E-types in for work, technician Murray Simpson wheeled out a rack of modern laser alignment kit to check out my car.

    As well as the toe-in, he would give a verdict on all of the adjustable front and rear alignment parameters that can effect handling and tyre wear. Resetting everything is a fiddly process where adjustment in one dimension upsets another, so I awaited the results with some trepidation. As it turns out, only the easiest needed changing. The front track should toe in by between 1.6 and 3.2mm and mine was 3.8, so Murray wound the track rods out slightly to give a mid-range 2.5mm. My earlier DIY attempt had been a near miss. The front castor and camber were both within tolerances, as was the rear camber, which I’d had to reset with shims after the last differential rebuild and wheelbearing replacement. A normal person would be pleased that there was so little wrong, but I was disappointed.

    I’d hoped that everything would have been way out, and the healing hands of the doctor would transform my E-type into a Lotus Elise-like tool of precision. Or at least a bit less grand tourer on turn in and a bit more sports car.
    A step change in feel would require stiffer torsion bars, coil springs and anti-roll bars, but I’m not convinced that I want to go that far. Perhaps it’s better to enjoy the E-type for what it is and borrow my wife’s Boxster whenever I feel the need for something sharper.

    Would Murray’s professional kit betray Phil’s DIY tracking efforts? Laser tool allows four-wheel alignment. Rear scale checks steering is centred.
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    Some of my favourite cars are hybrids, I’ve realised, but they’re not the ones you’re probably thinking of right now. I come from an era when the word ‘hybrid’ meant something totally different. And last week I finally found one.

    I had my heart set on an Aston Martin DB5, but I just can’t bring myself to justify the price. It’s not that I don’t think it’s worth it, it’s just that I grew up in an era when used DB5s were just a few grand more than an #Jaguar-E-type . The car I’m talking about is much rarer than a #Aston-Martin-DB5 . I think they made fewer than 500 of them. It’s a car that has fascinated me for some time, probably because I never actually saw one in person. Then, about a year ago at a car show in Beverly Hills, I finally did see one. It was a deep royal blue with a tan interior, just the combination I would have ordered back in 1965 when it was new. But at the time I was 15 and working at McDonald’s.

    I did hear that Sean Connery, probably the biggest movie star in the world at the time, had one. Years later Sean was a guest on my talk show, I asked him about the car and he seemed pleased I knew what it was. Turns out he actually passed over a #Aston-Martin DB5 for a second-hand #Jensen-C-V8 / #Jensen . True enthusiast, or just a thrifty Scotsman? Well, that made me want one even more.

    Anyway, back to the Beverly Hills car show. Showing the Jensen was a German guy named Chris. I introduced myself and told him how much I liked his car. He smiled broadly and seemed thrilled that I knew what it was. Most people at the show had no idea. ‘What year Jensen-C-V8 ?’ I asked. ‘It’s a 1965 Mark III,’ he replied. To my mind the final Mark III was the most desirable version.

    Even though this was exactly what I was looking for, I never ask people at car shows if something is for sale or how much it costs. I hate when people do it to me because it just seems so incredibly rude. Chris and I chatted for a few more minutes, I complimented him on the restoration and wished him good luck.

    Not quite a year later, my next-door neighbour called me to tell me a friend of his had a car for sale, and was I interested? Normally when people call me with a car for sale, it’s something like an AMC Gremlin with a Levi jeans interior.

    ‘Do you remember meeting a German guy at the Beverly Hills car show last year?’ my neighbour asked. ‘You mean the guy with the C-V8?’ I replied. ‘Yeah, that’s him,’ he said.

    The car was less than five miles from my house. I ran out the door and bought it on the spot. No, I didn’t test drive it first. No, I didn’t put it up on a ramp and look it over like you’re supposed to do. Do you know why? Try and find another one! Luckily the car turned out to be just fine; a few small things but nothing major.

    The car is called a hybrid because, back in the ’60s, ‘hybrid’ meant putting American power plants into European cars. Think early Cadillac-powered Allards, or Carroll Shelby stuffing a 289 Ford into an #AC-Ace to create the Cobra. That started a trend of sticking very powerful American engines into English cars. Jensen used a #Chrysler-383ci-V8 , sending over 330bhp through a three-speed Torqueflite automatic transmission. I like to think of my Jensen as a #Dodge-Dart-GTS that went to Oxford.

    The reason I’m partial to English hybrids is that I love English styling, design and roadholding, and I understand American engines with their torque and durability. It seems the ideal combination to me. The Jensen is everything I wish my GTS could be. Four-wheel disc brakes instead of disc/drum. Classic British wood and leather interior, instead of plastic and vinyl. Sophisticated chassis with rails acting as a vacuum reservoir, to aid braking. It even has shock absorbers you can adjust from the driver’s seat. My GTS shares its body with the six-cylinder runabout model, but the Jensen has a fabulous (to my eyes) custom body made of fibreglass. Combine all this with a 130mph top speed, and you have to wonder why it’s a tenth the price of a DB5. I think there may be a snob factor involved because of the American power.

    I love this era of hybrids. I also have a Monteverdi, a Swiss car with a Chrysler 440, a four-speed manual and a two-door Frua body from Italy. It was bought new, right off the floor, at the Geneva show where it premiered in 1970. I bought it, years later, for less money than the Dodge Challenger with the same engine and transmission made at the Barrett-Jackson auction.

    Not all hybrids are bargains, as the Cobra proves. Yet a #Gordon-Keeble , a #TVR , a #Sunbeam-Tiger , a #Bristol-407 – if you ever see one of those for a reasonable amount of money, grab it! Because a lot of people read this magazine.

    • Mr. Leno: Welcome to the world of CV8 ownership, from an old lag, 39 years in this June! I alsofollow your deliberations on Jay Leno's Garage and in tMr. Leno:
      Welcome to the world of CV8 ownership, from an old lag, 39 years in this June! I alsofollow your deliberations on Jay Leno's Garage and in the Hagerty Magazine with considerable interest. Thank you for your stellar endorsement of these hugely underappreciated motor cars.

      I was interested in your comments about the, er, controversial front end styling of the car, which MOTOR notoriously called "a competent design masquerading as the ugliest car in the world. CV8s may have been at first intended to have covered headlamp nacelles, but Mark I and Mark II cars, while lacking covers, DO enjoy fully ducted nacelles that feed cold, high pressure air from slots under all four headlamps into the doubled walled inner front wings, whence they feed cold air to footwell vents in the interior, and to the transmission tunnel, since CV8s have something of a heat dissipation issue. That tranny tunnel air blows out into the low pressure at the back of the car via the slotted rear apron, which your Mark III retains. AFAIK, Mark III cars, having been revised to use four 5.25 inch headlamps instead of two with 2 seven-inch, no longer have this areo detail. In fact, the CV8 enjoys the same drag coefficient -so I'm told- as a Porsche 928S. Eric Neale was a downy bird, indeed!

      My own car (104/2308. also blue) is a truly venerable Mark II, having been road registered and used for all of its 54 years (39 with me). If you are curious, it somehow became a vehicle of record on Wikipedia, despite its many modifications and manifest patina. Check it out online by all means.

      Please feel free to post me directly at if you care to extend this correspondence. If you are ever in Nova Scotia, I offer free beer and tech support for any passing Jensen owners.
      Warm Regards,
      Ray Whitley
        More ...
      8 months ago
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    Phil’s expensive hosiery 1962 Jaguar E-type FHC

    CAR: #1962-Jaguar-E-Type-FHC / #1962 / #Jaguar-E-Type-FHC / #Jaguar-E-Type / #Jaguar /

    Owned by Phil Bell, editor, (phil bell)
    Time owned 8 years
    Miles this month 250
    Costs this month £164
    Previously Finally cured jumpy speedometer with a new-old-stock cable

    A cross-country run to Nottinghamshire banished Phil’s garage blues. Coolant hoses looked scary. Cloth-wrapped silicone hose joy.

    The E-type is up and running after a litany of minor problems saw it beached in my garage for rather too much of the summer. Time to, er, take some more bits off it then. Yes, I know, but the increasingly alarming cracks developing in the car’s many coolant hoses were blighting every journey with the spectre of sudden and catastrophic failure. Better to deal with them in the comfort of my garage than face replacement at an inevitably dark and wet roadside. At a busy junction. At rush hour. Well, probably.

    I’m glad I did, because there are eleven of them, including all of the minor ones for the heater, and some of those are expletive-awkward to get at. The old ones have served for eight years and none had cracked all of the way through, but despite being labelled as Kevlar Reinforced, they hadn’t survived well. I liked the idea of more durable silicone hoses but not their shiny appearance. The answer came while browsing the SNG Barratt website – a kit of cloth-wrapped silicone hoses. Modern performance; period looks. Perfect.

    Emptying the system was far less messy than any other car I’ve worked on thanks to the tap on the cylinder block and drain plug on the bottom of the radiator. It was due its biennial coolant change to keep the corrosion inhibitors fresh anyway.

    Apart from the worrying moment of discovering a spare hose at the end of the job – perhaps an alternative top hose to fit later E-types – it was a satisfying job with just a few of the hoses needing to be shortened.

    So a spin up to Nottinghamshire for Sunday lunch with my folks became its longest run since Le Mans. Powering along sweeping A-roads to the blat and drone of the XK motor helped me forget about the lost summer but, inevitably, it had me drawing up a job list for winter. I still need to fit the new rev counter generator, rewire the ignition barrel, fit the solid steering rack mounts that have clogged up the bottom drawer of my tool chest for too long…
    But for now there’s lost time to be made up and I just want to drive the thing.
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    Phil gets lost in Sixties Britain

    CAR: #1962-Jaguar-E-Type-FHC / #1962 / #Jaguar-E-Type-FHC / #Jaguar-E-Type / #Jaguar /
    Owned by Phil Bell, editor ( Drive-My
    Time owned 8 years
    Miles this month 127
    Costs this month £63
    Previously Decided to take the E-type off the road to start my winter jobs list

    Went out to warm up the oil; got carried away.

    This keeps happening. I take the E-type out for a specific purpose, in this case to warm the engine before an oil change, then become so lost in the experience that I forget why I set out in the first place, returning an hour or so later than planned. I enjoy working on this car, but I love driving it, and I’m lucky enough to have a playground of lightly trafficked B-roads and swooping A-roads within minutes of my driveway. It’s like heading back to the time that the E-type was born into, before featureless dual carriageways became our dominant conduit of travel. And despite the season, bright sunshine was lighting up the landscape, just like it always did in the Sixties of course.

    But eventually the extended loop returned to my garage, where a small stack of Duckhams 20w/50 cans lying in ambush jolted me back to reality.

    With a winter jobs list inevitably provoking a period of idleness for the E-type, if not my spanners, I prefer to change the oil and filter beforehand so that the engine internals don’t sit around in a cocktail of fuel residue and acidic combustion products.

    I’d been wondering what to do after the local stockist stopped supplying my usual Millers classic oil when Duckhams relaunched its 20w/50 at the Classic Motor Show back in November, so I took the opportunity to stock up. I did ask whether I could supplement it with a 15-odd-year-old can of Duckhams Q rediscovered under my workbench, but the technical people warned that the blend might have settled in that time. Not worth risking a £6k engine rebuild on a £30 can of oil then. Maybe I could sell it in an automobilia auction.

    Like many jobs on this car, replacing the oil filter involves removing other parts for access. It is possible to do it without detaching the aluminium undertray and huge air cleaner canister, but that makes it so much harder to ensure the oil filter canister is properly aligned on its seal afterwards. Getting that wrong leads to a massive oil slick on the garage floor at best – stained concrete remains as a painful reminder – or catastrophic oil loss out on the road. So, like all the fiddly routines on this car, I’ve learned to allow extra time and pretend that I enjoy the opportunity to inspect all of the extra parts that must come off and the hidden areas that they expose. And I’ve convinced myself that the improved dexterity I’ve developed in fitting the rubber boot between the air filter canister and plenum chamber qualifies me to run a sideline in freelance keyhole surgery. Despite the aluminium sump and brass plug being in good order they’ve never made a good seal with a new copper washer, so this time I’m trying a steel one with a rubber seal bonded to it.

    After the agonisingly slow process of tipping 8.5 litres of cold oil into the nearside cam cover – these charmingly period-style metal cans don’t have the handy extendable spouts of the modern age – I summoned my wife to crank the engine over while I checked for leaks. All good, but to be sure the car clearly needed a proper road test and B-road Britain was beckoning once more.
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    CAR: #Jaguar E-type / #Jaguar-E-type / Jaguar
    Run by Gaynor Cauter
    Owned since 1980
    Total mileage 113,795
    Miles since October
    report 10
    Latest costs nil


    It’s decision time. I’ve been putting off the evil moment for too long and, in the meantime, poor old Boo is at risk of becoming a bit too scruffy. I hate taking the car off the road – so much so that, apart from the week of The Great Propshaft Disaster of 2006, it hasn’t been laid up since its major rebuild in 1995.

    However, the writing is on the wall – or, more to the point, on the bodywork. While most of it is solid and showing no sign of rust, small stress cracks in the rear corners of the door frames, which were repaired about 15 years ago, have appeared and, since the previous respray, little bubbles have come through the paint along the bonnet edges. Thanks to a man in a modern Mercedes at a Goodwood Breakfast Meeting, I also have a dent in my passenger door and, since then, another ding has appeared in the nearside front wing.

    Taking the car off the road for the winter is not the problem, it’s finding the money to pay for the work. Marrying an engineer with a wizard way with welding helps, but I’ve also had an offer from a top Jaguar restorer to paint the car once Len has done the repairs.

    While we’re at it, we’re going to pull out the engine and gearbox, too. The last time they were out was in ’04, when the clutch packed up five days before the #Le-Mans-Classic . It was the usual panic job and I only made it to the ferry thanks to old friend Ray Brown at Surrey Jag Centre, but it left me no time to tidy up the subframe, which hasn’t been touched since before I got the car in 1980. The engine is leaking oil from the back seal and from a stripped thread in the head, both of which need sorting, and Len is thinking about looking at the gearbox, too. As far as I know it’s original and, although it works fine for a unit that may well have done 150,000 miles or more, the synchromesh is weak on two gears.

    Len has had some experience – and success – in rebuilding Jaguar gearboxes, not to mention fabricating replacement parts. And there’s no point in pulling the engine without replacing the clutch. It’s all going to add up, but better to do it now than let the car deteriorate. It’s always good to have a deadline, and for us that’s next summer when, hopefully, the rebuilt #E1A E-type prototype will make its commemorative run through the Brecon Beacons. I’ll probably feel better once Len has made the first ‘cut’, but the thought of his grinder biting into Boo’s bodywork makes me shudder… perhaps I should take myself off to the pub for a pint while he fires up his torch?

    / #Door-frame crack has suddenly got worse. A ding in the front wing needs attention. Although in decent overall shape, Boo is crying out for a few preventative running repairs.
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    Electric future for E-type. Jaguar is electrifying its classics – starting with the E-type Zero.

    / #Jaguar-E-Type / #Jaguar-E-Type-Zero / #Jaguar / #Jaguar-E-Type-Electric / #ElectricCar

    Jaguar Land Rover Classic electrifies the past with an inventive Jaguar E-type sports car featuring fully electric powertrain.

    Acclaimed by Enzo Ferrari as “the most beautiful car in the world”, the Jaguar E-type now combines breathtaking beauty with zero emissions for the first time.

    E-type Zero is based on 1968 Series 1.5 Jaguar E-type Roadster, and features a cutting-edge electric powertrain enabling 0-62mph in just 5.5 seconds.

    Engineered by Jaguar Land Rover Classic at company’s new ‘Classic Works’ in Warwickshire, UK

    E-type Zero makes world debut during Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts

    London. The event begins with a media preview on 7 September and is open to public visitors from 8-10 September

    E-Type Zero will sit alongside the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE at Tech Fest, which goes on sale in 2018

    Enquiries regarding E-type Zero should be made using
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    Electric future for E-type. Jaguar is electrifying its classics – starting with the E-type Zero. Words Glen Waddington. #Jaguar-E-Type / #Jaguar-E-Type-Zero / #Jaguar / #Jaguar-E-Type-Electric / #ElectricCar / #2017

    Jaguar has announced that by 2020 it will offer an electric or hybrid variant of every model it makes. It has gone a step further by announcing an electric version of the E-type – and the powertrain could underpin more from the back catalogue. Could this be the most beautiful electric car in the world? The Zero is based on a #1968 Series 1.5 E-type Roadster, and appears outwardly identical. Inside are a carbonfibre facia with touchscreen and TFT dials that ape the graphics of E-type instruments. Bigger differences are underneath.

    And there’s genius in the packaging. Put together by Jaguar Land Rover’s new #Classic-Works in Warwickshire, the Zero is powered by a 40kWh lithium-ion battery pack that has similar dimensions and weight to the outgoing XK engine, in place of which it sits. The 220kW motor was specially designed, and sits in place of the gearbox, sending power via a new propshaft to a carry-over differential and final drive. Suspension, brakes and all other mechanical components remain unchanged, and a 170-mile range is promised from a seven-hour charge.

    Weight is down by 80kg, and Jaguar says the Zero ‘handles, rides and brakes like an original E-type’. It will accelerate from rest to 62mph in just 5.5 seconds, although, as a privileged passenger ride confirmed, an eerie whine replaces the traditional XK growl. Will it be made? That depends on potential orders. This car took 18 months from concept to reality; a production version could be batch-built for around £300,000, including an E-type Reborn donor car.
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    My Le Mans trip hots up
    CAR: #1962-Jaguar-E-Type-FHC / #1962 / #Jaguar-E-Type-FHC / #Jaguar-E-Type / #Jaguar /
    Owned by Phil Bell, editor Drive-My
    Time owned Seven years
    Latest mileage 899
    Latest costs £152.78
    Previously Took part in the Royal Windsor Jaguar Festival

    Getting the #Jaguar-E-type MoT tested a whole month – yes, really – before heading of to Le Mans gave me the chance to sort a few ongoing niggles, particularly the car’s reluctance to start after a week or more of inactivity. Jumping it with my 15-year-old Optima battery always gave a quick result, so I decided to treat it to a 73Ah Lincon unit (, made in a period-style rubber casing to look the part in a 55-year-old engine bay.

    Wish I’d done it years ago. Come 5.15am on Le Mans Thursday I savoured the joy of a classic car firing at the first prod of the starter button. First mission was to scoop up friend Steve, whose Vauxhall VXR8 had decided to taunt him with a Christmas-lights dashboard display of MoT unfriendliness just before the trip. Seems like modern cars have the same cruel sense of humour as classics.

    So, I had just three cars to meet at Portsmouth: regulars Alfa-Romeo 2000 GTV and Porsche 911 964 Targa, and newbie Mercedes-Benz SL500 R129. Despite the hottest temperatures in 20 Bell Le Mans trips, all of this year’s cars seemed unfazed on the A- and B-road blast to our hotel, but traffic crawl around Le Mans on the Friday brought back an almost forgotten heat-related gear selection problem. By the time we reached Maison Blanche campsite I was resorting to switching of the ignition before selecting first or reverse.

    After a thrilling race that saw Aston Martin V8 Vantage driver Jonny Adam snatch GTE Pro victory on the last lap we were looking forward to the cool, air-conditioned civilisation of our Sunday night hotel as we trundled out of the campsite. And then the fuel smell hit me. As I weathered Jaguar reliability banter from the rest of the crew, I spotted that the carburettor fuel pipe banjos were leaking – the fibre gaskets don’t like modern fuel – so I nipped up the bolts and carried on. Could that be the only glitch on this year’s trip? Of course not...

    Our run back to Cherbourg on the final day came closer to disaster when the acrid whiff of burning wiring suddenly filled the cabin. The sight of grey smoke billowing out of the dashboard as I veered to the roadside is one that will stay with me forever. While Steve disconnected the battery, I grabbed my ire extinguisher. By that time, though, the smoke had already stopped, and lipping down the centre dash panel revealed two scorched wires on the ignition barrel.

    Steve discovered that the problem was nothing worse than one of them being loose in its spade connector. By the time he’d opened it out, cleaned it and remade the crimps we’d only lost 15 minutes, so we made the ferry check-in with 20 minutes to spare. By our standards, not even tight enough to break sweat over.

    Period-style Lincon battery cured lazy starting.

    Now, we haven’t broken down – just a fluid check before the Friday runs to Le Mans.
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    CAR #Jaguar-E-Type-V12 / #Jaguar-E-Type / #Jaguar-V12 / #Jaguar / #V12 / #Jaguar-E-type

    Year of manufacture #1972
    Recorded mileage 80,920
    Asking price £39,950
    Vendor Runnymede Motor Co, Bucks; tel: 01753 644599;

    Price £3631
    Max power 272bhp
    Max torque 304lb ft
    0-60mph 6.5 secs
    Top speed 150mph
    Mpg 14

    This tidy coupé – all three-door V12s are 2+2s – has recently been repainted in its original Willow Green, which remains pristine. Much of the brightwork was redone, so that’s very good, too. It rides on a newish set of chromed wire wheels, shod with older but well-treaded Yokohama tyres on the front, plus not-so-old Pirelli P4000s on the rear. There is an aged #Dunlop-SP70 , the original-spec fitment, on the spare.

    The structure appears entirely solid, with evidence of previous repairs to the sills – fairly normal on a V12 – and the doors have dropped only fractionally on their hinges. Inside, the Suede Green leather seats have been retreated and are only lightly creased, plus the dashboard is all good, including the top, housing a modern Alpine stereo. The few minus points are: the doorcards have several small cracks in the vinyl around the pull handles; there are a couple of patches in the load-bed vinyl; and there’s one tiny bit of chrome rear window trim missing.

    The motor is tidy and standard, and the ignition amplifier appears to have been moved from the vee – later cars had this feature because the early ones would regularly fry their electrics. The coolant is clear and green, the oil cleanish, although the car will be serviced before sale. The exhausts are in sound shape. It fires instantly and goes well, with a supple and rattle-free ride, plus easy power steering and a decent gearchange. The brakes are smooth and pull up straight, but they could be sharper. On the move, the gauges read 55psi of oil pressure, 14.5V and the temperature needle sits toward the cold end of the scale.

    The paperwork wasn’t with the car at the time of our visit, but is said to include a full photographic record of the bodywork restoration, lots of old invoices, a JDHT production certificate and previous MoT certificates dating back to 1987 when the recorded mileage was just under 60,000. The Jaguar will be supplied with a fresh MoT.


    EXTERIOR Excellent appearance, with fine paint and chromework
    INTERIOR Holding up well; few problems
    MECHANICALS Drives well and behaves itself

    VALUE ★★★★★★★✩✩✩

    For Manual gearbox; goes well
    Against The chromed wires won’t suit some people


    One of the cheapest ways into a usable E-type with no stories, making this car good value. Room for children – and it’s not an auto!
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