5 Hyped Performance Cars That Didn’t Take-Off [video added]

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5 Hyped Performance Cars That Didn’t Take-Off [video added]

Post by kingr » Thu May 23, 2019 12:55 pm

Watch the video


Limited production cars or special editions provide an added aura of exclusivity among their lineages. More powerful and more outrageous. Even limited edition Hot-hatches bearing the Nurburgring badges have bridged the gap in levels of performance that only a handful of brands enjoyed. However, due to uncompetitive, unjustified pricing and overhyped special edition cars that didn't live up to its 'special' designation, a large portion of these limited production performance cars have been somewhat forgotten in the motoring world. That's good news for prospective buyers who were excluded from the limited amount of people who could buy them. Now that the hype has cooled off, some of the most exciting performance special editions cars are falling well-below their original retail value.

Here are five limited edition performance cars that didn't live up to the hype.

#1 Volkswagen Golf 7 GTI Clubsport S:

The Golf 7 GTI Clubsport S was already heralded as a cult classic before the 47 out of 400 designated models arrived in South Africa. Developed and tested on the gruelling Nurburgring, the Clubsport S set the record for the fastest lap time of any front-wheel-drive production car. An upgraded adaptive sport chassis, a standard turbocharged 2.0l GTi engine beefed up to produce 228Kw and overall weight reduction pushes the 40th-anniversary flagship to a 5.8 second 0-100kmh sprint time. While the Clubsport S has meticulously removed non-essential weight adding components, it still retains the air of quality that comes standard with all "S"-trims. The red accents, Recaro bucket seats and strut-brace that's replaced the rear-seating certainly sets it apart from any ordinary GTI. The unique serial number below the gearshift is a constant reminder of that exclusive membership. With its established performance credentials, attractive racetrack orientated interior and technology; the Clubsport was geared up to take its place in the VW trophy cabinet. However, it never really did live up to its hype. Why?

The price.

Retailing at almost R1 million among some private dealerships when it first arrived, the Clubsport S didn't justify the price. It was like buying a collector's car before it even became a collectors car! Considering the standard Golf 7 GTi produces 168KW and is capable of a 6.5 second 0-100Km/h sprint, the seven split-seconds and 59 KW jump for a cool half-a-million Rand just seemed ludicrous. Additionally, that performance boost puts it on par with the Golf 7 R at 228KW. However, the track is where the Clubsport S has been developed and orientated, and where it should justify its exclusive price. But even then, a R1 million hatchback for the odd track day? Make no mistake, the Clubsport S is an exciting performance hatchback and a worthy of the 40th GTI anniversary celebration, but the price has always been a stumbling block to its meteoric rise.

That may not be the case any longer. With the hype dialled down and VW looking towards its new generation of performance hatches, the limited edition Clubsport S may not be limited to select few anymore. Some private sellers have listed the Clubsport S as low as R599,000 in South Africa. At that price, the Clubsport S is an attractive option.


#2 Ford Focus RS Mk3 (2016 - 2018):

The introduction of the RS (Rally Sport) badge to Ford's Focus range was the culmination of its success with its World Rally Sport team. With the iconic Ford Escort RS Cosworth of the '80s and the dominance of Colin McCrae with the Ford Focus MK1 WRC in the late '90s and early 2000s, the first and much-loved Focus MKI to be stamped with the RS badge was met with public hysteria. The MK1 RS set the standard for its successors despite losing money of every unit of the limited 4,501 sold. A 2.0l turbocharged engine that sent 212 horsepower to its front wheels meant that the MK1 RS was capable of 5.9 second 0-100 km/h sprint - maxing out at 230kmh. Those headline figures that astonished the public in 2002 is still impressive 17 years later! The next generation, Focus MK11 RS, was no different. It was every Need For Speed and Fast and the Furious fan's wet-dream. A 5-cylinder, 312hp, 2.5l turbocharged rocket of an engine. The MK11 maxed out at 262km/h, a massive leap from the previous generation. Wildly powerful, squat and menacing - the hallmarks of RS.

The success of the MK1 Focus RS with its touch of Ford WRC gold and its wild and powerful younger sibling may have inadvertently created an impossible expectation for its successor.

When Ford introduced the long-anticipated MKIII Focus RS in 2016, it was different but still maintained the exciting aspects of the RS moniker. It has the menacing and ostentatious look that's synonymous with RS but in a much more attractive way compared to its bulkier predecessor. The MKIII finally moved to an all-wheel-drive system but with a smaller engine with a focus on driveability. The 2.3l turbocharged, 312 hp engine is by no means slower - a full 1.2 seconds faster 0-100kmh than the MK11 at 4.5 seconds. Retailing at R699,999 when it first hit our shores, the MKIII was also competitively priced compared to its rivals. While being outperformed by the 45 AMG and Audi RS3, the Focus RS is more fun to drive with its Hulk-like unpredictability and unique features like "Drift" mode that will have you blaring "Like a G-Six".

Naturally, all 300 Focus MK3 RS's that were shipped to South Africa were instantly snapped up, but Ford's pursuit of maintaining its "Rally Sport" performance heritage with the Focus has caused some problems. After increasing reports of faulty gasket heads and issues with overheating, Ford, under immense media pressure, announced in early 2018 a worldwide safety recall of their 2016-2017 Focus RS models. Drivers reported that the cylinder gasket heads were developing coolant leaks in the combustion chamber, emitting white smoke from the exhaust. Despite Ford announcing that the fix would be at no additional charge, the damage to the MKIII Focus RS prestige had already been done. The updated 2018 RS model did little to spark desirability and stem the tide of disappointed drivers.

The prestige of the RS badge may have taken a knock, but what prospective buyers should be looking at is the knock to the value of the Focus MKIII RS. From its original price tag of R699,000 in 2016, some used models are listing now at R449,000.

A high depreciation rate
(39.41%) may be a cause of concern; it shouldn't deter you from the somewhat forgotten third child of the Focus RS family. It's still faster, sleeker and ultimately more lenient on day-to-day driving than its old siblings. More importantly, it's still a Ford Rally Sport creation. While Ford did implement a safety recall on the 2016-2017 Focus RS models, knowing the VIN number will establish whether your prospective RS was part of that recall. A comprehensive extended motor warranty, car evaluation, and continually maintaining your car's value will go a long way for the future trade-in value and peace of mind.

#3 Honda Civic Type R 2.0 Turbo FK2 (2015–2017):


The Civic Type-R series is a deity in hot-hatch folklore. Loud and with looks characteristic of a cereal box toy that comes standard with the Type-R treatment, the development stages of the 4th generation Civic pocket rocket back in 2015 was followed with feverish anticipation. While looks may be divisive, the MK4 Civic Type-R was a bellow of fresh air in a market dominated by German subtlety. A step towards the future to complement its futuristic looks, Honda introduced a turbocharger to the legendary, usually naturally-aspirated, high revving 2.0l VTEC engine. The front-wheel Nurburgring lap record set by the MK4 in 2016 (before being usurped by the Clubsport S) sent the motoring press into delirium. Even among the most cynical of purists, the performance stats of the FK2 raised eyebrows - if the four-tail-pipe set-up hadn't already.

The first turbocharged Civic Type-R pushes an astonishing 306 bhp from its 2.0L 4-cylinder engine, maxing out at 270 kph. On paper, the FK2 sprints 0-100kph in 5.7 seconds, leaving a wide wake for the Renault Megane RS and Leon Supra. Honda has also implemented a similar Focus RS RevoKnuckle suspension system to handle those extra 150 torques coming from the 4th generation VTEC engine. The heavy air channels, massive aerofoil and gaping grills may appear to be the result of overzealous modders given too much leeway, but they all play a part in keeping the FK2 firmly to the tarmac - with the help of 350mm Brembo brakes of course. Honda kept to their word of "a race car for the road" with their interior styling. The competition style, high-backed bucket seats and aluminium pedals certainly give you that impression. The menacing red-glow of the instruments and red stitching matches the aggressive exterior styling.

Despite Honda sticking to its recipe of success with previous generations, there was something fundamentally "Type-R" that was missing with the 4th generation. A small but crucial element of the driving experience, and what made a Type-R a head-turner.

The sound.

The once high-revving, wailing, naturally-aspirated VTEC engine that made it so distinct to the industry-standard, turbocharged pops and crackles of the hot-hatch segment had now diminished to a whine. Hearing a whistling and fluttering turbocharger in a cockpit of a Type-R, which still provides a provocative sound system, was a dealbreaker among diehards. Another aspect that disappointed fans was a somewhat outdated feel of the infotainment system that didn't match its futuristic looks.

For the budget-minded petrolheads with an eye on performance and sheer driving pleasure, the "sound" of the FK2 might sound pedantic and something that can be easily overlooked. Initially retailing around R599,000 when it hit our shores, the FK2 has been seen listing as low as R350,000 among some used car sellers.

#4 Jaguar F-Type SVR (2016):


When Tata Motors acquired Jaguar Land Rover from Ford back in 2008, some motorists saw it as the last and final farewell of the glorious old warship being led to scrap. The frayed brown Chesterfield couch of British automobile manufacturers dumped by Ford - who was still reeling from the global financial crisis - and bought by a relatively unknown Indian based manufacturer. However, Jaguar managed an astonishing turnaround when it revealed its new generation of jungle cats, and this can be attributed to two things. The massive injection of finance and free-rein granted by Tata, and more importantly, the new design head Ian Callum. Kicking Jaguar into the modern age, Ian Callum (who led the design of the Aston Martin DB9 and DBS) pulled away from the retro and outdated looks that characterised post-2000's Jaguars. With the massive success of the reboot X-Type medium sedan series with the XE and long-based version XJ, the first concept designs of the long-awaited two-seater roadster F-Type was immediately hailed as the spiritual successor to the iconic E-Type. If you're a lover of the classics like myself, any comparison between a modern successor and an icon would be scoffed at, but the Jaguar F-Type comes pretty damn close. You don't need a Tom Hiddleston and Ben Kingsley commercial to let you know that the F-Type is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and exciting cars ever produced in Jaguar motoring history.

The F-Type, particularly the supercharged 335-395 bhp V6 engines, is everything you want from a performance roadster. The perfect balance of thrilling, but not excessive, power and comfort. The ultimate weekend cruiser that will have you smiling rather than white-knuckled and sweating while you drive around Chapmans Peak. If you're looking for a bit more oomph, the F-Type R supercharged V8 produces 565 bhp - sending it 0-100 kph in 3.7 seconds. Those extra cylinders also come with the sacrifice, a sporty but uncomfortable suspension that compromises day-to-day driveability — quite an easy sacrifice with those performance figures. Besides its extraordinary performance the F-Type, even with its V8 supercharged demon, is still a quality roadster that ticks all of the other boxes too. It has an exquisite engine that when pushed, produces a cacophony of noise that reverberates through the cockpit. The interior has a feel of almost German-like attention to detail with attractive finishes and stitching. A user-friendly and quality infotainment system finishes off the luxury cabin.

Jaguar had done it. They had emulated their success of the '60s despite the massive expectations that followed the F-Type being dubbed the natural successor to the E-Type. But for some reason, Jaguar felt like they had to do something more.

The Jaguar F-Type SVR:


Whether Jaguar got caught up in its own success or whether they forgot that the F-Type was a still roadster, they decided to bring in their high-performance division SVO. The Special Vehicle Operations team is responsible for all of Jaguars halo models and limited run collectors editions. The highly sought after and limited Jaguars stamped with the SVR (Special Vehicle Racing) badge are naturally the most powerful and performance-orientated editions of their series. They're typically, exponentially more expensive. The F-Type SVR is no different but with some caveats.

When Jaguar unveiled the hyped and limited edition F-Type SVR the general mood of the room was, "What's the point?".

The tweaked supercharged V8 engine now produces a whopping extra 25 horses over the F-Type R with 567 bhp. The SVR is capable of 0-100kph in 3.6 seconds, a dramatic improvement of 0.1 seconds. All for the small asking price of R2.1 million (in 2016), a short leap from the R1.5 million F-Type R. Sarcasm aside, visually there isn't that much setting the SVR apart from the R edition. A few carbon accents and fixed rear wing does little to justify the exponential asking price. A weight-saving upgrade to the exhaust and brake system did little to sway fans who didn't want a further compromise to driveability. Ultimately, the SVR was viewed as just an overpriced facelift.

Not anymore. Some used prices have dropped as low as R1.3 million for some 2016 F-Type SVR models. At that price, being the owner of Jaguars fastest ever production car has a nice ring to it.

#5 BMW i8:

The most technologically advanced and outrageous BMW ever made has been giving neck-strain to pedestrians since 2014. The closest thing that any Star Wars fan or futurists will get to getting behind the wheel of the Millenium Falcon, the i8's performance certainly gives you that idea.

Headline figures of 0-100 km/h in 4.6 seconds put it on par with some V8 and V6 monsters such as the 2007 Audi R8, Porsche Cayman GTS and BMW M3. You'd think that it must be running on Vibranium fuel but underneath the i8's bonnet (floor would be more accurate) is a measly Mini Cooper 1.5L 3-cylinder engine that drives the rear wheels. The intelligent power of the electric motor and battery pack working in conjunction with 1.5l engine is how the i8 is capable of producing 266kW/ 570Nm flat out. The interior cabin matches the futuristic exterior with BMW's iDrive operating system. Another unique feature of the i8's is the sheer amount of recycled material used in its cabin while still keeping to the BMW standards of luxury. Blistering pace and beautiful lines while saving the planet one polar bear at a time.

The South African market was slow to pick up on the hype surrounding the i8 despite its performance credentials and its eco-friendly selling point. Performance electric-hybrid powered cars are still a new phenomenon in the motoring world, and the uptake has been slow. Traditional future trade-in values for electric vehicles[ has also impeded the i8's popularity. According to our survey, South Africans shares this attitude in particular.

However, that's beginning to change. Almost all of the giants of the motoring industry have introduced an electric-hybrid vehicle in their lineups to mirror evolving consumer demand and interests. The success of the electric Jaguar I-Pace at the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb, whose performance astonished top touring car ace Mark Briggs, is another example of a shift in sentiment. The BMW i8 was retailing at an eye-watering R1,755 000 in 2014. However, these days some used 2015 models have been spotted as low R900,000.

Summary
Another thing to keep in mind with limited edition cars is the possible opportunity for investment, as these cars may become prospective collector's items in the future. Before you go about securing your place among the elite of car owners, always be sure to check the cars VIN Number for its complete history. Far too often buyers have bought used vehicles only to find mechanical defects and substandard replacement parts later down the line.
Last edited by kingr on Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 5 Hyped Performance Cars That Didn’t Take-Off

Post by Ian_F » Thu May 23, 2019 1:08 pm

Nice post.

Except the SVR is offered in AWD option, which brings the 600 or so horses it produces into play. Its also phenomenally quick around a track.
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Re: 5 Hyped Performance Cars That Didn’t Take-Off

Post by kingr » Fri May 24, 2019 9:02 am

Ian_F wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 1:08 pm
Nice post.

Except the SVR is offered in AWD option, which brings the 600 or so horses it produces into play. Its also phenomenally quick around a track.
Thanks, Ian. We should add the AWD detail.
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Re: 5 Hyped Performance Cars That Didn’t Take-Off

Post by V6 Capri » Fri May 24, 2019 3:24 pm

kingr wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 12:55 pm
#2 Ford Focus RS Mk2 (2016 - 2018):

The introduction of the RS (Rally Sport) badge to Ford's Focus range was the culmination of its success with its World Rally Sport team. With the iconic Ford Escort RS Cosworth of the '80s and the dominance of Colin McCrae with the Ford Focus MK1 WRC in the late '90s and early 2000s, the first and much-loved Focus MKI to be stamped with the RS badge was met with public hysteria. The MK1 RS set the standard for its successors despite losing money of every unit of the limited 4,501 sold. A 2.0l turbocharged engine that sent 212 horsepower to its front wheels meant that the MK1 RS was capable of 5.9 second 0-100 km/h sprint - maxing out at 230kmh. Those headline figures that astonished the public in 2002 is still impressive 17 years later! The next generation, Focus MK11 RS, was no different. It was every Need For Speed and Fast and the Furious fan's wet-dream. A 5-cylinder, 312hp, 2.5l turbocharged rocket of an engine. The MK11 maxed out at 262km/h, a massive leap from the previous generation. Wildly powerful, squat and menacing - the hallmarks of RS.

The success of the MK1 Focus RS with its touch of Ford WRC gold and its wild and powerful younger sibling may have inadvertently created an impossible expectation for its successor.

When Ford introduced the long-anticipated MKIII Focus RS in 2016, it was different but still maintained the exciting aspects of the RS moniker. It has the menacing and ostentatious look that's synonymous with RS but in a much more attractive way compared to its bulkier predecessor. The MKIII finally moved to an all-wheel-drive system but with a smaller engine with a focus on driveability. The 2.3l turbocharged, 312 hp engine is by no means slower - a full 1.2 seconds faster 0-100kmh than the MK11 at 4.5 seconds. Retailing at R699,999 when it first hit our shores, the MKIII was also competitively priced compared to its rivals. While being outperformed by the 45 AMG and Audi RS3, the Focus RS is more fun to drive with its Hulk-like unpredictability and unique features like "Drift" mode that will have you blaring "Like a G-Six".

Naturally, all 300 Focus MK3 RS's that were shipped to South Africa were instantly snapped up, but Ford's pursuit of maintaining its "Rally Sport" performance heritage with the Focus has caused some problems. After increasing reports of faulty gasket heads and issues with overheating, Ford, under immense media pressure, announced in early 2018 a worldwide safety recall of their 2016-2017 Focus RS models. Drivers reported that the cylinder gasket heads were developing coolant leaks in the combustion chamber, emitting white smoke from the exhaust. Despite Ford announcing that the fix would be at no additional charge, the damage to the MKIII Focus RS prestige had already been done. The updated 2018 RS model did little to spark desirability and stem the tide of disappointed drivers.

The prestige of the RS badge may have taken a knock, but what prospective buyers should be looking at is the knock to the value of the Focus MKIII RS. From its original price tag of R699,000 in 2016, some used models are listing now at R449,000.

A high depreciation rate (39.41%) may be a cause of concern; it shouldn't deter you from the somewhat forgotten third child of the Focus RS family. It's still faster, sleeker and ultimately more lenient on day-to-day driving than its old siblings. More importantly, it's still a Ford Rally Sport creation. While Ford did implement a safety recall on the 2016-2017 Focus RS models, knowing the VIN number will establish whether your prospective RS was part of that recall. A comprehensive extended motor warranty, car evaluation, and continually maintaining your car's value will go a long way for the future trade-in value and peace of mind.
Why does heading say MK2 and the whole thing is about MK1 and then MK3? :geek: :fear:
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Re: 5 Hyped Performance Cars That Didn’t Take-Off

Post by MTM777 » Sat May 25, 2019 1:45 am

Lovely piece, nice read and also enjoy the survey results as well... Would have loved to see depreciation comparisons for each relative to the others as a %, likewise how they compare to their tamer siblings again on depreciation.
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Re: 5 Hyped Performance Cars That Didn’t Take-Off

Post by Titleists » Sat May 25, 2019 11:26 am

Yes the Clubsport S is expensive, but the manual gearbox is also to blame for the low popularity. Guys in SA are just not interested in a proper driver’s car. It’s about pops and bangs. :bang:

A good thing is that the dealers who thought they were going to make some quick bucks are paying serious schoolfees... :grin:
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Re: 5 Hyped Performance Cars That Didn’t Take-Off

Post by kingr » Sat May 25, 2019 2:21 pm

V6 Capri wrote:
kingr wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 12:55 pm
#2 Ford Focus RS Mk2 (2016 - 2018):

The introduction of the RS (Rally Sport) badge to Ford's Focus range was the culmination of its success with its World Rally Sport team. With the iconic Ford Escort RS Cosworth of the '80s and the dominance of Colin McCrae with the Ford Focus MK1 WRC in the late '90s and early 2000s, the first and much-loved Focus MKI to be stamped with the RS badge was met with public hysteria. The MK1 RS set the standard for its successors despite losing money of every unit of the limited 4,501 sold. A 2.0l turbocharged engine that sent 212 horsepower to its front wheels meant that the MK1 RS was capable of 5.9 second 0-100 km/h sprint - maxing out at 230kmh. Those headline figures that astonished the public in 2002 is still impressive 17 years later! The next generation, Focus MK11 RS, was no different. It was every Need For Speed and Fast and the Furious fan's wet-dream. A 5-cylinder, 312hp, 2.5l turbocharged rocket of an engine. The MK11 maxed out at 262km/h, a massive leap from the previous generation. Wildly powerful, squat and menacing - the hallmarks of RS.

The success of the MK1 Focus RS with its touch of Ford WRC gold and its wild and powerful younger sibling may have inadvertently created an impossible expectation for its successor.

When Ford introduced the long-anticipated MKIII Focus RS in 2016, it was different but still maintained the exciting aspects of the RS moniker. It has the menacing and ostentatious look that's synonymous with RS but in a much more attractive way compared to its bulkier predecessor. The MKIII finally moved to an all-wheel-drive system but with a smaller engine with a focus on driveability. The 2.3l turbocharged, 312 hp engine is by no means slower - a full 1.2 seconds faster 0-100kmh than the MK11 at 4.5 seconds. Retailing at R699,999 when it first hit our shores, the MKIII was also competitively priced compared to its rivals. While being outperformed by the 45 AMG and Audi RS3, the Focus RS is more fun to drive with its Hulk-like unpredictability and unique features like "Drift" mode that will have you blaring "Like a G-Six".

Naturally, all 300 Focus MK3 RS's that were shipped to South Africa were instantly snapped up, but Ford's pursuit of maintaining its "Rally Sport" performance heritage with the Focus has caused some problems. After increasing reports of faulty gasket heads and issues with overheating, Ford, under immense media pressure, announced in early 2018 a worldwide safety recall of their 2016-2017 Focus RS models. Drivers reported that the cylinder gasket heads were developing coolant leaks in the combustion chamber, emitting white smoke from the exhaust. Despite Ford announcing that the fix would be at no additional charge, the damage to the MKIII Focus RS prestige had already been done. The updated 2018 RS model did little to spark desirability and stem the tide of disappointed drivers.

The prestige of the RS badge may have taken a knock, but what prospective buyers should be looking at is the knock to the value of the Focus MKIII RS. From its original price tag of R699,000 in 2016, some used models are listing now at R449,000.

A high depreciation rate (39.41%) may be a cause of concern; it shouldn't deter you from the somewhat forgotten third child of the Focus RS family. It's still faster, sleeker and ultimately more lenient on day-to-day driving than its old siblings. More importantly, it's still a Ford Rally Sport creation. While Ford did implement a safety recall on the 2016-2017 Focus RS models, knowing the VIN number will establish whether your prospective RS was part of that recall. A comprehensive extended motor warranty, car evaluation, and continually maintaining your car's value will go a long way for the future trade-in value and peace of mind.
Why does heading say MK2 and the whole thing is about MK1 and then MK3? :geek: :fear:
Noted we will fix this error thanks.

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Re: 5 Hyped Performance Cars That Didn’t Take-Off

Post by kingr » Sat May 25, 2019 2:23 pm

MTM777 wrote:Lovely piece, nice read and also enjoy the survey results as well... Would have loved to see depreciation comparisons for each relative to the others as a %, likewise how they compare to their tamer siblings again on depreciation.
Sending this suggestion to our content team.

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Re: 5 Hyped Performance Cars That Didn’t Take-Off

Post by Unobeat » Sat May 25, 2019 2:52 pm

Very niice Read, thumbs up Kingr and team.
Love such reads.
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Re: 5 Hyped Performance Cars That Didn’t Take-Off

Post by kingr » Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:51 am

Unobeat wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 2:52 pm
Very niice Read, thumbs up Kingr and team.
Love such reads.
Only a pleasure

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