Over the past dozen years, the premium small scale diecast market has seen some stiff competition. M2 Machines, one of those companies, has filled a niche with
realistic castings of older cars in both stock and custom variants. M2’s V.P. of Product Development, Sean Taylor, has been with them since their beginning in 2007. Taylor’s work on lines like M2 earned him a spot in the Model Car Hall of Fame as a 2011 Inductee. “I basically do all the fun stuff,” Taylor says, “such as develop new tooling, design paint schemes & graphics, work on packaging and anything else creative that we may need.”
In fact, Taylor goes back even farther with the M2. He was with Funlines, Inc., who produced the Muscle Machines line of diecast. After the brand was sold, one of the former owners of Castlines started M2 Machines with a mission of creating more authentic and detailed castings. “ This line was very accurate and detailed for the time,” he said. “These castings even hold up today. So when we started M2 detail was the main focus for the brand.”
Despite the past connections and even the company name derived from the old line, M2 Machines has no plans to revisit the old Muscle Machines castings. “we don’t have anything to do with the old MM tooling anymore,” he said “It’s changed hands a few times from Funlines, to Action Performance, to Motorsports Authentics, to privately owned and to currently under Maisto ownership.”
If working in the diecast industry sounds like a dream job, Taylor is here to confirm that. As a graphic designer for a small ad agency and a diecast collector, he stumbled onto his dream job and Muscle Machines. “I told my wife I collect these little ca
rs, and I have to send my resume and see what happens. I’ve never dreamt about making a living designing die cast car. I would have never imaged that it would have been a possibility, but I absolutely love it.” So yeah, that sounds cool.
In addition to their mission to keep it detailed and accurate, M2 tries to stay in their lane with what cars to represent. “Our bread and butter scale is 1/64 scale. We do produce 1/24 scale cars and trucks but definitely 1/64 is the focal point,” he sais We also love to produce the classics when it comes to cars and trucks. Currently, our newest casting is 1979. We will soon get a little newer, but not too much. The majority are American cars & trucks from the 1950s to the 1970s. We do have some vintage VW and Nissan castings.” He hinted at a couple of newer muscle cars from the 1980’s and early 1990’s coming soon.
M2 works on the leading edge of diecast technology when developing new products. They recently released a Chevrolet Squarebody trucks (1973-87) casting. “We teamed up with the Squarebody Syndicate out of Arizona, and we 3D scanned there show truck ‘SS01’,” he said. “This casting is gorgeous, and the details from 3D scanning is wild.” (The Tiger Mouth variant above is a nominee for best 1/64 scale model in the 2019 Model Car Hall of Fame. Taylor himself is a 2011 inductee.)
While justifiably proud of everything M2 has produced, Taylor has his favorites. He lists a few: 1949 Mercury custom, 1963 Ford Econoline (Van Go version), 1969 Chevrolet Camaro, 1971 Dodge Charger, and VW Double Cab truck. “One series or them I take pride in is our cars & trucks with Flames. I believe that hands down our 1/64 scale flames and the best out there.
He also lists some less obvious contenders for diecast production among his favorites: 1954 Dodge Coronet, 1955 & 1957 DeSoto, 1960 Chrysler 300 F, 1954 Mercury Sun Valley, 1955 Pontiac Star Chief, 1949-54 Studebaker 2R trucks, and 1954 Buick Skylark. “Some of these cars are a harder sell. They will never be as popular as say a ’57 Chevy, Mustang or Camaro. For us, it comes down to how many variations can we get out of tooling?”
As a native of Southern California, car culture has always been a huge part of his life, but he has other interests. “Yes, I love Star Wars and Batman, so I have a ton of figures from both fandoms,” he said. He also still has his first car, a 1972 Chevelle and a 1965 Buick Sportwagon, so 1/1 scale is of interest to him too.
What’s your favorite M2 Machines model? Let us know in the comments!
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