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The Maxton Story

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Maxton on blocks without the body Cream Maxton with cockpit cover Cream Maxton with the hood up Cream Maxton test drive Cream Maxton on blocks with the body Horizontal Line

But before becoming a manufacturer, there was more work required. Ben van der Linden and welder Jeff Novotny built a set of chassis jigs. Another frame was built up on these jigs and the mechanicals from the first prototype were transferred into what was now called chassis P1. In the spring of 1990, Walter Thurner of Lamar, Colorado created a set of molds from Mate’s design, and the first pre-production body was made and fitted to the chassis. Over the the next year, P1 was not only the company’s test bed, but also it’s demonstrator. It ran in the first “Colorado Grand” 1000 mile rally (another vision that Sutherland brought to fruition), garnering significant positive publicity for its’ trouble free run. Pictures of this prototype appeared in company brochures and enthusiasts publications. In July 1991 the final production version of the body replaced the first body. The now bright red car became the Maxton’s full time demonstrator. This and all subsequent Rollerskate bodies were made by Walter Thurner of CF Maier Composites of Lamar, Colorado.

P2, the final prototype, was probably the most storied of all Maxtons. This car was constructed by the staff of the PBS Motorweek TV program (with some help from the Maxton staff) during early 1991. After finishing it in British Racing Green, a drawing was held in the fall. Some 900,000 entires were received, with the winners being Monte and Chris Payton of Long Key, FL. The PBS crew trailered the car from Maryland and filmed the delivery for another episode. The PBS archives are reputed to still contain tapes of the Maxton shows. Apparently the Payton’s were not “gearheads” as they decided to part with the car. An enthusiast with connections to Motorweek quickly snapped it up and owns it to this day. Pat Goss, one of the Motorweek hosts, has been quoted as saying the Maxton Rollerskate was his favorite car of all he has driven in his years on the show.

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