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						Maxton Rollerskate 8
Maxton Rollerskate Prototype for Sale

Maxton Rollerskate portotype 2 on Craigslist

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, Craigslist

When I first saw the Maxton Rollerskate, it took me a minute to trace its theoretical origins. Right off the bat, the car screamed Lotus 7-type throwback, but that was just the half of it. Mazda Miata maybe? Nope, that’s not quite it, but it’s on the right track. But alas, it came to me — FB RX7, Mazda’s first-generation rotary-powered coupe!

The bodywork actually looks a lot like a slimmed-down FB with its flip-up headlights fixed, and there’s even a peppy 13B rotary under the hood from the FB. But it turns out there’s a lot more to the Rollerskate, and this is actually a pretty significant example.

The Maxton was dreamed up in Colorado in the late 1980s by a man by the name of Bob Sutherland, who wanted to build a car that harkened back to the Lotus Seven, Ginetta G4 and Bugeye Sprite (see, I was on the right track). But it needed modern performance, and for that, the rotary from Mazda’s first-gen RX7 was selected. The newly formed Maxton team set about engineering and constructing the car, which was sorted out and proven by 1991. While the Rollerskate was raved in reviews, economic downturn squashed Maxton’s hopes, and production halted at just 52 units.

In review of the Rollerskate’s story, it’s actually quite a shame Maxton couldn’t make it work. The essence of its design has been the goal of many kit car projects, and this one’s really quite good under the skin.

The square-tube space frame features fabricated A-arm front suspension with a spiced-up Mazda live axle out back. When fit with the fuel-injected 13B Mazda engine, a peppy 135 hp was available, but Maxton listed outputs up to 240 hp in their technical documents. The mid-front mounted engine sent power to the rear through a Mazda five-speed manual. With a curb weight of 1,680 pounds, the Rollerskate was capable of mid 14-second quarter-mile times, and 0 to 60 mph in 5.48 seconds.

Listed on Denver, Colorado, Craigslist for $16,500, this little red Maxton appears to be a nice example of the marque. But from the data on Maxton registry website, it might be one of the earliest examples of it, as it appears to be the car known as “prototype 2.”

Prototype chassis number two was fitted with all the components from prototype one to make the first complete car. It was used for promotional purposes and raced in the Colorado Grand classic car rally. While the bodywork was soon swapped for the production-style bodywork, this car is still one of the most significant Rollerskates ever built.

Check out the Maxton Rollerskate here on Denver Craigslist.

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