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1996 Grand Sport and LT4 FAQ

Select from the following links to get answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions about the 1996 Grand Sport and LT4 Corvettes! Don't forget to check our Tech Tips page, too.


Do YOU have suggestions for a good FAQ to add to this page? If so, please email them to info@grandsportregistry.com. Your input will help make our FAQ more informative. Thanks!


    1. How many 1996 Grand Sports were built and how do you identify a genuine GS?

    2. What is the significance of the the red hashmarks on the front left fender of the '96 Grand Sports?

    3. I need touch up paint for my '96 Grand Sport but my dealer doesn't have a listing for Admiral Blue.

    4. What are the transmission ratios in the various gears of my ZF 6-speed?

    5. How do I calculate the effects on MPH and RPM if I should change my rear axle ratio or tire sizes?

    6. How much rear wheel horsepower and torque does a bone stock LT4 produce?

    7. How fast is a stock 1996 Grand Sport Corvette?

    8. I've heard that all '96 Grand Sports started out as white Corvettes. Is this true?

    9. Why do some people refer to 1996 Grand Sports as "Skunks?"

    10. What is the size of the stock throttle body opening on an LT4?

    11. What are the GM part numbers for '96 Grand Sport wheels?

    12. What is the GM part number for the '96 Grand Sport Hashmarks decal & its dimensions?

    13. What are the GM part numbers for the '96 Grand Sport pinstripes?

    14. What are the dimensions of the '96 Grand Sport pinstripes?

    15. What are the GM part numbers for the '96 Grand Sport emblems?

    16. Where can I buy a replacement Owners Manual and Video?

    17. How can I get a copy of the original Window Sticker and Build Sheet?

    18. Does the LT4 have a factory rev-limiter? If so, how does it work and what is it set at?

    19. What is the factory recommended tire pressure for '96 Grand Sports?

    20. I'm looking for a reliable auto transport company to ship my pride and joy. Any recommendations?

    21. When were the '96 Grand Sport Corvettes built?

    22. I'm interested in buying a used '96 Grand Sport. What should I look for when shopping around?

    23. Where can I go to have some Corvette wheels refinished?

    24. How are the '96 Grand Sport hood (side) emblems positioned?

    25. Does anyone make 1963 Grand Sport replica parts?

    26. How do you reset the engine oil life monitor on a late C4?

    27. Is there a source for heavy duty power steering pump replacements?

    28. Does GM still offer the original red spark plug wires used on the LT4 engine?

    29. How much do the factory OEM '96 Grand Sport wheels weigh? What about offset, backspacing, bolt pattern, and other dimensions?

    30. How do you tell the difference between factory OEM '96 Grand Sport wheels and aftermarket reproduction wheels?

    31. How fast/quick/etc is my 1996 Grand Sport compared to other Corvettes from 1996 to 2014?

    32. I need a new removable roof panel. Are all 1984-1996 C4's the same?


    1. Q: How many 1996 Grand Sports were built and how do you identify a genuine GS?

    A: GM built 1,000 limited edition Grand Sports for the 1996 model run... 810 coupes and 190 convertibles. GM records indicate that of these, 976 Domestic (US), 13 Canadian, and 11 European exports were produced. Only one convertible is believed to have been exported to Europe and all exports were believed to have black interior. Click here for more detailed production information. The easiest way to determine a "genuine" Grand Sport is to look at the 12th digit in the VIN... it is a "1" on regular production 1996 Corvettes and a "6" for 1996 Corvettes with the Grand Sport Z16 RPO code.

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    2. Q: What is the significance of the the red hashmarks on the front left fender of the '96 Grand Sports?

    A: During the 1963 Speed Weeks Races in Nassau, Bahamas (and perhaps other races, although unconfirmed), the John Mecom team put one, two, or three strips of red tape, not paint, on the driver's side fenders to help identify the cars. There was no need to place the stripes on the opposite (passenger) side. Some claim these stripes, aka "Hashmarks", were placed on the nose, but there is no photographic evidence to confirm that like there is for the fender hashmarks photo, below. The red hashmarks on the front left fender of the 1996 version simply commemorates these markings on the original 1963 race cars. The dual hashmarks on both fenders of the C6 and C7 Corvettes is more of a styling exercise. Still, a Grand Sport without hashmarks seems a bit, well, underdressed.


    Click for a larger image


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    3. Q: I need touch up paint for my '96 Grand Sport but my dealer doesn't have a listing for Admiral Blue.

    A: GM marketed the Grand Sport's brilliant blue paint as "Admiral Blue" (also available as a regular production option in 1995) but touch up paint is cataloged as "Dark Cloissonne Metallic". The GM part numbers shown below are for the small bottles of touch up paint with the brush in the cap are:

    • Dark Cloisonne Metallic (aka Admiral Blue), Paint Code 28, WA128a, GM part# 12344334
    • Artic White, Paint Code 10, WA9567, GM part# 12345587
    • Black, Paint Code 41, WA8555, GM part# 1052907 (glossy finish for the '96 GS wheels)

    GM branded touch-up paint may be difficult to find or discontinued altogether, not to mention expensive, but fortunately correctly matching Admiral Blue (aka Dark Cloisonne Metallic, code 28/WA128A) and Arctic White (code 10/WA9567) paint may be ordered from our GSR approved vendor at:

    Order touch up paint on-line!
    Click HERE to order GS Touch-Up Paint

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    4. Q: What are the transmission ratios in the various gears of my ZF 6-speed?

    A: First through sixth ratios in the 1996 ZF 6-speed are: 2.68, 1.80, 1.31, 1.00, 0.75, 0.50. Reverse is 2.42.

    Note: Another source lists ratios on some earlier ZF transmissions as: 2.64, 1.78, 1.30, 1.00, 0.74, 0.49, R:2.42 but this has not been confirmed.

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    5. Q: How do I calculate the effects on MPH and RPM if I should change my rear axle ratio or tire sizes?

    Try using this handy online calculator at http://www.angelfire.com/fl/procrastination/rear.html. Surprisingly, due to the 50% reduction afforded by the ZF's 6th gear, 70 MPH in a Grand Sport equipped with a 4.10 rear axle ratio is only spinning the motor at 1950 RPM. And that leaves *plenty* of run for the top end!

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    6. Q: How much rear wheel horsepower and torque does a bone stock LT4 produce?

    A: Results will naturally vary from car to car, but one dyno expert (Vinci Hi-Performance in Orlando, FL) reports that most pure stock LT4's in good operating condition generate between 292 and 300 rear wheel hp (343 - 353 net HP) and about 300 lb/ft torque. Most "experts" concur that GM conservatively rated the LT4 at 330 net HP, perhaps because they didn't want it to eclipse the new C5 motor, the LS1, which was rated at 345 net HP. Ah, GM marketing is a strange and mysterious animal, indeed.

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    7. Q: How fast is a stock 1996 Grand Sport Corvette?

    A: Depends on what you mean by "fast." As usual YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary) but it has been reported that a top speed of 172 MPH and a 1/4 mile ET of 12.93 have been recorded on supposedly pure stock Grand Sports. Can't verify that, but there is no doubt that most will run at least 165 MPH (in 5th gear, not 6th, interestingly enough) and turn the 1/4 in the low to mid 13's. Modified cars are an entirely different matter, of course!

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    8. Q: I've heard that all '96 Grand Sports started out as white Corvettes. Is this true?

    A: No. This is another favorite old wives tale that insists that when GM was producing the Grand Sport, they started off with an Arctic White Corvette, then masked it off and painted the non-stripe areas Admiral Blue. There is an off white, primer base below the blue but its not an Arctic White finish coat. The rumor was probably started by someone who ran their fingernail over the pinstripes on a GS and noted that it caught on the blue, not the white, hence they assumed (incorrectly) that the blue paint was applied over white. The secret is that the pinstripes are not paint at all but rather tape with two parallel colors, white and blue. GM used tape for the pinstripes (and hashmarks) because they found it too difficult to paint. Understandable since the "skunk" stripe varies in width from front to back.

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    9. Q: Why do some people refer to 1996 Grand Sports as "Skunks?"

    A: Are you blind??? Check out the wide white stripe running down the center of the 1996 Grand Sport which is reminescent of a certain odiferous mammal. The official mascot of the Grand Sport Registry is affectionately known as "Stinky." Like all Corvette lovers, he likes to travel and he sure does get around. Check out his vacation photos in the "Where's Stinky?" section of the GSR Photopost image gallery.

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    10. Q: What is the size of the stock throttle body opening on an LT4?

    A: The LT4 uses the same size throttle body as does the 92-96 LT1, that being 48mm. The intake manifold TB ports are sized at 52mm (go figure), making aftermarket 52mm throttle bodies a popular bolt-on performance item. Note: The larger 58mm throttle bodies are generally not recommended unless the engine has received extensive internal modifications. Bolting such a large TB on an otherwise stock engine could actually cost horsespower rather than add to it!

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    11. Q: What are the GM part numbers for '96 Grand Sport wheels?

    The following info on GS and ZR-1 5-spoke wheels is current as of 10/07 (limited stock):

    Part # 9592480 17x11 black grandsport
    Part # 9592379 17X9.5 black grandsport
    Part # 9592377 17X8.5 black grandsport
    Part # 10214047 17x11 bright silver ZR1
    Part # 10214046 17X9.5 bright silver ZR1

    The GS black center caps are Part # 9592388

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    12. Q: What is the GM part number for the '96 Grand Sport Hashmarks decal & its dimensions?

    The GM part number is 10279781, listed at "STRIPE, F/FDR WHL OPG". The width of each stripe is very slightly different. The left (front most) stripe is 2-13/16" wide while the right (rear most) is 2-11/16" wide. Each is approximately 8-7/8" long and they are spaced just over 3/4" apart. Torch Red is a perfect match in color for those who wish to duplicate hashmarks in paint.

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    13. Q: What are the GM part numbers for the '96 Grand Sport pinstripes?

    GS pinstripes are actually 2 colors, Arctic White and Admiral Blue, on a single decal. These vinyl stripes made it a lot easier at the Assembly Plant to lay down perfectly parallel stripes. Note that some decals are specific to either coupe or convertible or export models.

    As of 10/07, most of these decals are NO LONGER AVAILABLE FROM GM as they have been discontinued. You may occasionally find a dealer with one or two components in stock, however. If you find a set of OEM pinstripes, inspect them carefully before laying out big bucks for them as they do have a tendency to dry out and possibly crack with age.

    Fortunately for us, Phoenix Graphics has recently released their reproduction stripe kits for the GS coupe and convertible. These are high quality vinyl decals and use the same template designs as used on the original OEM parts. They are only available as a complete kit for coupe or convertible and include all pinstripes and hashmarks required for one car (including exports). Even better, we've arranged special pricing through the GSR Store.

    The GM part numbers of the original discontinued pinstripe components are as follows:

    • stripe hood center pos #1 rh side 10280900 coupe & convert
    • stripe hood center pos #2 lh side 10280901 coupe & convert
    • stripe front bumper fascia upper 10279777 coupe & convert
    • stripe fr/fender wheel opening (hashmarks) 10279781 coupe & convert
    • stripe roof panel (between hatch & roof panel) 10285096 coupe only
    • stripe roof panel center (removable top) 10279782 coupe only
    • stripe roof panel rear (rear hatch) 10280903 coupe only
    • stripe rear end fin panel 10279784 coupe only
    • stripe rear bumper fascia lower 10279786 coupe & convert
    • stripe rear bumper fascia lower 10279788 MAE export convert
    • stripe folding top stow compartment lid 10280189 convert only
    • stripe body upper rear panel 10280190 convert only

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    14. Q: What are the dimensions of the '96 Grand Sport pinstripes?

    The factory 2-color decal pinstripes are 1/4" wide (white) and 1/4" (blue). Actually, they are just a tiny bit narrower than this, but 1/4" is plenty close enough.

    The wide center stripe is painted on (Arctic White) and varies in width across the car. From the front of the car going back, the approximate width of the wide center stripe (not including the pinstripes) is as follows:

    • at the very bottom of the nose below the front license plate: 17"
    • across "Corvette" on the front license plate cover: 17-1/8"
    • across the Corvette emblem on the nose: 18"
    • even with the top of the headlamp openings: 19"
    • 1/2 way up the hood: 20"
    • at the rear of the hood: 21-1/4"
    • across the top, front (coupe): 19-5/16"
    • across the top, middle (coupe): 19"
    • across the top, back (coupe): 18-5/8"
    • across the gas cap: 17"
    • across "Corvette" at the rear: 16-7/8"
    • below the rear license plate: 16-3/4"

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    15. Q: What are the GM part numbers for the '96 Grand Sport emblems?

    • emblem hood chrome 10198699 coupe & convert.
    • emblem hood side (grand sport) 10254347 coupe & convert.
    • emblem fuel tank filler door 10198700 coupe & convert.
    • nuts for front & rear emblems 11516056 coupe & convert.

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    16. Q: Where can I buy a replacement Owners Manual and Video?

    You can frequently find '96 Owners Manuals on eBay, or you can buy them with or without the VHS videotape, from Helm, the OEM supplier, at www.helminc.com.

    As of January 2013, Helm's prices are:

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    17. Q: How can I get a copy of the original Window Sticker and Build Sheet?

    Duplicate window stickers and build sheets may be ordered from the National Corvette Museum at www.corvettemuseum.com. NCM Members get a discount. You ARE a NCM member, right? ;-)

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    18. Q: Does the LT4 have a factory rev-limiter? If so, how does it work and what is it set at?

    Yes, the LT4 comes factory equipped with an engine rev-limiter that functions by temporarily cutting off the fuel flow at a pre-set RPM. The stock setting is 6411 rpm. The "resume" rpm after fuel cutoff is 6397 rpm (at which point fuel starts flowing again). While effective, the rev-limiter can be quite disconcerting and somewhat violent, especially if you "bounce off it" in the middle of a high speed shift. Those that install a higher lift, higher revving camshaft, suggest reprogramming the PCM to move the rev-limiter up a bit, to 6800 RPM or so. Doing so will get it out of your way while still providing some level of protection for your your engine from excessive over revving.

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    19. Q: What is the factory recommended tire pressure for '96 Grand Sports?

    30 PSI (cold) for both front and rear tires, coupe or convertible, and 60 PSI for the emergency spare. If tires are hot, add 4 PSI. Click here to view the Tire-Loading Information door jamb sticker.

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    20. Q: I'm looking for a reliable auto transport company to ship my pride and joy. Any recommendations?

    Based on the experience of GSR Members, we can recommend the services of the following highly reliable and professional auto transport companies:

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    21. Q: When were the '96 Grand Sport Corvettes built?

    The Z16 Grand Sport RPO was a 1-year only option for 1996 Corvettes. The production run for the Grand Sport ran from April 3rd, 1995 for GS VIN #0001 and ended with GS VIN #1000 on June 14th, 1996.

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    22. Q: I'm interested in buying a used '96 Grand Sport. What should I look for when shopping around?

    Shopping for a Grand Sport is not much different than any other late model C4 Corvette. But there are a few things you should pay particular attention to. To help you out, take a look at the GSR Grand Sport Buyer's Guide. This PDF document goes into great detail about how to find just the right Grand Sport for you and is an excellent guide on shopping for any used Corvette (special thanks to GSR Member Paul Martens, #919, for compiling this guide!)

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    23. Q: Where can I go to have some Corvette wheels refinished?

    For Corvette owners in or near Florida, consider Turbax Wheel Corp (www.turbax.com). They have offices in Miami, Pensacola, Jacksonville, and Ocoee.

    Another recommendation is USA Wheels in Fairfeild, NJ (www.usawheels.net/).

    Another recommendation is Ye Olde Wheel Shope in Elkridge, MD (www.yeolewheelshop.net/).

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    24. Q: How are the '96 Grand Sport hood (side) emblems positioned?

    The chrome plastic Grand Sport hood emblems are positioned on either side of the clamshell hood just above the side vents. While it is not unusual for factory stock cars to have emblems slightly canted one way or the other, a good rule of thumb for placement is 1-3/4" inches above the bottom of the hood opening and 4-3/8" forward of the door opening. Click here for a photo.

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    25. Q: Does anyone make 1963 Grand Sport replica parts?

    Other companies have come and gone, but the only known current supplier of such components is Mid-America Industries, phone 309-787-5119, in Illinois. Mongoose Motorsports also makes very high quality, turn-key GS replicas and kits in various stages. You can also check with Grand Sport Vettes, a distributor for Mongoose cars based near Tampa, Florida, who just happen to be GSR Lifetime Members, as well!

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    26. Q: How do you reset the engine oil life monitor on a late C4?

    To reset the oil light, put the key in the ignition and turn to accessory setting (but do not start the car). Push the English/Metric button twice and then push and hold the "Gauges" button. The "Change Oil" light will flash for about 15-20 seconds and then go out. Release the button and turn key off. When you turn the key back on, the light should be out. If it is not, repeat the above steps.

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    27. Q: Is there a source for heavy duty power steering pump replacements?

    The OEM power steering pump is a known weak point for all 1996 Corvettes, especially if you frequently compete with the vehicle in autocross or road race events at high RPM. The solution is to contact Turnone Performance Steering Systems, www.turnone-steering.com. You can have your existing pump rebuilt or you can use it as a core. Pumps are also available with optional A/N fittings.

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    28. Q: Does GM still offer the original red spark plug wires used on the LT4 engine?

    Yes, but they no longer have the individual cylinder #'s embossed on the plug wires. That's how you tell if you have an original set or the OEM replacment. Original wires have the cylinder number imprinted about every 1 inch running the entire length of the wire with the word "Packard" and a logo symbol every other number. Insulators are identical between the original and the replacement wire sets. The AC Delco part number for the replacement red wires (less the cylinder number markings) is # 748D. The GM part # is 12173591. MSRP is currently listed as $254.51. Actual street cost is about $135 per set. You can occasionally find used original LT4 plug wire sets at Corvette swap meets. Now that you know what to look for, if you find them, buy them! ;)

       
    Click any of the above for a larger image

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    29. Q: How much do the factory OEM '96 Grand Sport wheels weigh? What about offset, backspacing, bolt pattern, and other dimensions?

    The factory OEM wheels for both Grand Sports and ZR-1's were manufactured by the A-Mold Corporation. These were high quality wheels manufactured with a high percentage of virgin aluminum, hence they tend to weigh considerably less and are inherently stronger than comparable after market wheels. For example:

    A-Mold (OEM)
    out-of-stock from GM
    Front 17x9.5" - 20.5 lbs (GS/ZR-1: 54mm offset)
    Rear 17x11" - 22.0 lbs (GS: 50mm offset; ZR-1: 36mm offset)

    Factory Reproductions (GS & ZR-1 repros)
    http://www.factoryreproductions.com
    Front 17x9.5" - ? lbs (50mm offset)
    Rear 17x11" - ? lbs (50mm offset)

    Autumn Fleet Sales (GS & ZR-1 repros)
    http://stores.ebay.com/AFS-Wheels
    Front 17x9.5" - 23.5 lbs (56mm offset)
    Rear 17x11" - 27.0 lbs (50mm offset)

    Original Equipment Wheels (GS & ZR-1 repros)
    http://www.oewheelsllc.com
    Front 17x9.5" - ? lbs (56mm offset)
    Rear 17x11" - ? lbs (50mm offset)

    Performance Wheel Outlet (GS & ZR-1 repros)
    no longer in business
    Front 17x9.5" - 27.0 lbs
    Rear 17x11" - 30.0 lbs

    There is NO difference in weight of GS vs ZR-1 5-spoke factory wheels. They are identical except for the painted finish and rear wheel offset (50mm GS, 36mm ZR-1). You can use ZR-1 17x11" wheels on the back of a production C4 but the tires will stick out just a bit more. Both the GS and ZR-1 front wheels have a 54mm offset. While it has been done, it is NOT recommended to run 17x11" wheels on the front due to tire clearance issues.

    To calculate Backspacing, use this formula:

    Backspacing = [(Rim Width inches)/2)*25.4 + (Offset in mm)] then divide by 25.4 to get back to inches

    So for a 9.5 in 1996 Grand Sport Wheel, the Backspacing measurement should be:

    9.5 / 2 * 25.4 + 54mm = 174.65mm / 25.4 = 6.88 inches

    And lastly, the bolt pattern for all 1996 GS wheels is 5 x 4 3/4.

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    30. Q: How do you tell the difference between factory OEM '96 (A-Mold) Grand Sport wheels and aftermarket reproduction wheels?

    OEM Grand Sport wheels (originally manufactured for GM by the A-Mold Corporation) are generally much lighter in weight than even the best reproduction wheels (see above) and far superior construction than most aftermarket wheels. The black finish on the original wheels is paint, not powder coat. Note that most reproduction 1996 Grand Sport wheels we've come across have a much wider polished lip (see below) than the original A-Mold wheels. Many buyers have reported premature failure of such wheels so you should be suspect of their strength and integrity, especially if you intend to use them in racing applications.

    Reproduction Wheel

    OEM Wheel

    The best way is to examine the back side of the wheel and look for the A-Mold stamp (looks a bit like "UM") inside one of the spokes. A tiny, much harder to see A-Mold symbol can also be found (raised and embossed) on the front side of the wheel on the black painted, flat surface of the rim between two spokes.


    Click for a larger image


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    31. Q: How fast/quick/etc is my 1996 Grand Sport compared to other Corvettes from 1996 to 2014?

    This question was aptly addressed in this online article published by Motor Trend in July 2013. Read the article here.

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    31. Q: I need a new removable roof panel. Are all 1984-1996 C4's the same?

    No. Three different mounting bolt patterns were used on C4 Corvettes from 1984-1996:

    Measured from bolt to bolt O.C. across top of windshield frame.

    • 1st design 84 - Early 86 = 28.5"
    • 2nd design Late 86 - 88 = 31.5"
    • 3rd design 89 - 96 = 32.5"

    For lots more information of C4 Roof Panels, read the article here.

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