It’s been quite a week for M2 Machines here on the Lamley blog. With uncanny timing, my cases of SEMA Show 2020 exclusives – ordered in November last year but with delivery Covid-delayed by a couple of months – finally made it to me a couple of days ago after staging via a friend in the US. There was some more cool stuff for my collection from other brands in that mail call, too – watch out for further articles in the next couple of weeks!
I’m not a big M2 collector but this is the third straight year that I’ve ordered some of its special SEMA Show releases. They’re only usually available to order in person at the huge aftermarket show in Las Vegas, but with it being an online-only event last year, previous customers were given the chance to order them via email, so I did. Shipping is always US-only, so mine made a quick stop in Ohio en route to Canada.
Last year’s model choices were an appealing trio of the 1941 Willys Gasser, 1973 Chevy Cheyenne 4×4 and a 1987 Ford Mustang GT Custom. Each vehicle comes in a case of six (max one case of each per order); each case breaks down as four, 600-off Chase models and two, 300-off Super Chases with gold wheels and trim. Let’s take a look at each in turn.
The Gasser first appeared in 2020 and has already been released in a Hurst version, with Coke, a hobby exclusive ‘flames’ model and a Vegas Super Convention edition all coming soon. I don’t have the RLC casting to compare it with, but this is a good-looking car in gloss black with red windows and interior. Wheels are skinny chrome five-spokes up front and black steelies at the rear. The deco commemorates the NHRA’s 70th anniversary in 2021.
The red-and-white striped package art is terrific. Note that all three of this year’s SEMA models come in the familiar M2 display case, additionally mounted on a plastic-encased blister card. I hate having to damage the blister to open the model, but I know I’m not alone in wondering whether the blister arrangement provides some additional damage-resistance during transit.
In the case of the Willys, slicing the plastic blister open to remove the display case reveals the NHRA logo in all its glory. Here’s a shot of the regular Chase with the Super Chase. Looks pretty cool, doesn’t it?
The SEMA models are priced higher than you’d pay for a regular M2 release, so I think it’s fair to expect good quality. With so much discussion around M2’s quality control this week, it’s good to report that the level on the 18 models in the boxes I ordered is much better than Sam recently experienced with his IROC Camaros. Some issues remain, which I’ll deal with as we go.
On the Willys I opened, the front tire won’t mount right (a problem seen on other brands, too) and I’d have preferred less play in the front axle, although that’s a design rather than a quality issue. Still, a really nice little model.
Next comes the lifted ’73 Cheyenne 4×4. Squarebody trucks are so hot at the moment that I guess it was inevitable that we’d see one as a SEMA model choice.
This casting comes with an opening hood that reveals a supercharged LT4 beneath, understated stainless-steel paint and a dark-brown interior. There are SEMA logos on the rear quarter panel and rear screen. The 4×4 chassis is visible underneath and there are further separate parts for the roll hoop, chromed bumpers and brush guard. Those all turn gold on the Super Chase.
It’s a pity that the offside A-pillar is dented on this particular example (see head-on view, below) and there’s a strange finish to the glazing, a bit like it’s been sprayed with a matte clear coat. The bed isn’t mounted quite horizontal, either. This is the same on all the trucks in the case. The Cheyenne rolls nicely, albeit with that front-axle play in evidence again.
The Super Chase is a much brighter model overall, thanks also to the satin gold-finished chassis.
It’s fair to say that I’m no Chevy truck expert so for a second opinion I spoke to my friend and avid Chevy truck collector, Jon (Instagram @calgarycollector). He pointed out that M2’s recent 4×4 Squarebody casting retains the raised bed floor of the lowered trucks that came before, which wouldn’t normally be the case for a lifted or stock-stance pickup. The engine bay seems oversized, too. He’s still a fan of this Cheyenne, though, and enjoys the fact that anyone with a screwdriver can take an M2 model apart and swap out the wheels or other components.
The third and final SEMA 2020 release is the custom ’87 Mustang GT. Again, this was perhaps an expected model choice given its status as a new-for-2020 casting and the renewed interest in Fox body Mustangs.
It’s finished in a really attractive two-tone scheme of Cyanide Blue Pearl on top and gloss black beneath, separated by a grey pinstripe, with black wheels. There are SEMA Pace Car graphics and white stripes along the sides to pay tribute to Fox body pace cars of old, with Ford ovals at the front and Mustang graphics on the hood, either side of a matte-black power bulge.
A 5-liter, twin-turbo Coyote motor is beneath the hood but unfortunately the opening was restricted to just a crack on this particular example; I didn’t want to force the hood and break it. I assume this is an assembly issue, but I haven’t taken the Mustang apart to check. I was also disappointed with the front headlamps, which aren’t cleanly molded.
The Super Chase Mustang brings a lot more bling – not just gold wheels, but a gold chassis and gold chrome seats, too!
The Fox body isn’t my favourite of this year’s three SEMA M2 castings, but it will doubtless be popular with Mustang collectors. I know that people are already excited for the Cheyenne, too, but the Willys Gasser shouldn’t be overlooked. For me, that black and gold Super Chase is perhaps the most attractive model of all six in the set.
Finding these low-run SEMA exclusives is always tricky if you weren’t able to attend the show (or in this case, if you hadn’t attended before). Some hobby dealers ordered them, but eBay is probably your best bet. Happy hunting!
(follow me on Instagram @diecast215)