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Friday, April 15, 2016

The M2 Van Go Econoline is one of the coolest diecast series this year...


They got me.

I have been asked numerous times why I haven't featured M2 on Lamley.  My answer has always been that Lamley is about what I like to collect, and I have never collected M2.  I have always enjoyed looking at M2, but just from the pegs while I was perusing.  The models look great, but fear of losing more space at home kept M2 at the store.  I didn't want to start another phase of collecting.  It's a slippery slope.

But M2 kept trying.  Many times I picked up an M2 model, really looked at it, and considered that maybe just this one would work in the collection, and I would be happy with just that one example.  You and I both know that doesn't happen.  Buy one, and a few days later you buy its companion, and a few days after that all of its series mates, and a few weeks after that all the previous versions, and then all of the previous series, and soon your wife is wondering why you no longer have space to hang the winter coats in your office closet.  Theoretically of course.

Well, I resisted for a long time with M2, but they finally prevailed.  And I am more than happy to lose this battle, because the models that pulled me in are phenomenal.  I hope my wife can find space elsewhere for the winter coats.

The M2 models that did it are the Van Go 1963 Ford Econolines.  Initial glance, you see three cool versions of the Econoline.  Dig deeper, and you discover how cool these three are.

To start, you need to know what the Van Go Econoline is.  Many of you do, but if you don't, this article on Speedhunters from a few years ago will catch you up:

Van Go: When Art Collides with Utility

photo credit: Speedhunters

You learn two things from that article: First, Coby Gewertz is a lot more talented than you and me, and second, his van is truly a work of art.  Further proof of his talent is all over his website.

How Church and M2 hooked up, I have no idea, although I think the SoCal scene had something to do with it.  But hookup they did to create a 1:64 replica of the Van Go, but they took it a few steps further.  Instead of doing a straight up replica, M2 actually did three versions of the '63 Econoline, a casting they had already created for other lines.



Since Coby took a standard Econoline and customized it into the Van Go, M2 did the same, and the Van Go series documents it.  White is the original, complete with stock bumper and exposed hinges, primer grey is the modified but incomplete van, and green is the final product.  They laid it out on these e-sheets.  Pay particular attention to the photos of the real thing accompanying the e-sheets:




The detail on these is amazing.  It isn't just the exterior, but the interior as well.  It was a clever choice to do it this way, and it makes for a must-have set.

But you can't go to your local Walmart to get it.  These are available on the Church website only.  I don't know how many there are but they are surely limited.  There is a chase as well, which I have only seen on eBay.

In an era where we are seeing more and more most-welcome diecast collaborations, this one stands out.  Props to M2.  You pulled me in.  You bastards...



























12 comments:

  1. got to get them... somewhere...

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    Replies
    1. Check ebay, way more reasonably priced.

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    2. Also NOT signed ... if you prefer them that way.

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  2. I collect only a few M2s. They have good castings, but the quality is bad. I've seen too many M2's on the shelves that were unattached to their baseplates. Sorry, but I don't see myself paying $5-6 for a model that has come apart while still in its packaging.

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    1. ISrael, this is a known problem that has been addressed by Castline, Inc. the maker of M2 Machines. What collectors need to understand is that each and every M2 Machines product is assembled by hand. There are times the screws that are used are either not tightened enough, and thus have come loose in shipping and handling, or have been over tightened. As long as the chassis has not been broken, they are very easily repaired

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    2. I understand that. But how do you explain an entire package of unscrewed models? that was the Motown Muscle series I just purchased the entire set from my local Walmart for $1.00 each, with no screws in each package. I'm using the wheels to customize some other models.

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  3. Great article and well deserved praise for M2 and Coby !

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  4. Thank you for the very kind words. These were a LONG time coming. The attention to detail is FAR more than I ever expected. Completely humbled, as I'm sure everyone who helped with the van is.

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  5. Because your sponsors didn't sell M2 until this peg:)

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  6. I tell you, the guys at M2 are passionate about the what they do. Lamley story is the same as mine. I lost the battle against M2 a long time ago, and I don't regret it. I just put them in plastic cases for play and display, and the presentation and display case in a box in storage. That way the wife is happy.

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  7. M2 is fantastic when they don't have opening features messing them up. Doors with gaps and misalignments that destroy the view of the car from the side, ill fitting hoods, and just overall poor craftsmanship are a steady staple from M2. Who cares how hard they are to make and how many parts they use if the final product is a shabby gimmick. The Ford van is a great example that those gimmicks are not needed.

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  8. I want the opening parts, and would like to see M2 put a little more effort into better tolerances. I have Matchbox and Hotwheels from the 1960s with much more precise gaps. The hoods on my Autoworlds have completely acceptable gaps. Come on, M2 - address this issue.

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