The Maxton Rollerskate was the brainchild of Bob Sutherland, the owner of a chain of lumber yards in Colorado, and organizer of the Colorado Grand vintage road rally. Assembling a team—which included auto designer Michael Mate, SCCA race car engineer Ben van der Linden, and suspension builder, Garry Valler—Sutherland set out to build a modern interpretation of a lightweight sports car, something a little more than a Lotus 7, and a little less than that company’s Elan. The result looked like a melding of those two cars, with some Frogeye Sprite thrown in for good measure. Motivation was expected to come from Mazda’s compact rotary motor.
In this vintage clip from Motorweek we miss the avuncular John Davis, but do get master technician and beard aficionado Pat Goss getting a tour of the Rollerskate build process and a bit of time behind the wheel of the company’s prototype. The Rollerskate was a “component car” meaning that, for about twenty-grand Maxton supplied all of the parts for the car, less the engine, and then buyer would then be tasked with its assembly. Maxton rep Dan Ripley claims in the segment that an inexperienced builder could conceivably complete a car in fifty hours. I don’t know if that estimate includes bathroom breaks.
Sadly Maxton closed up shop over financial difficulties after building only about fifty-six component kits. That number included the one Motorweek assembled, and we can see that after the jump.
Because it's Monday: Let's Watch Motorweek's Pat Goss Go Rollerskating
One response to “Because it's Monday: Let's Watch Motorweek's Pat Goss Go Rollerskating”
So that’s the guy that owned Sutherland’s? We had them here in the Dallas area. I remember the commercials, as their spokesman was the inimitable Southern comedian Jerry Clower.