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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

Finally, the Maxton was ready for prime time. The Englewood factory was set up, the jigs and body molds were ready. Autoweek and Grassroots Motorsport had published very favorable reviews in late 1991, and allied with the publicity from the Motorweek TV series, there was every expectation that sales would follow. Unfortunately for Bob and the Maxton staff, the economy slipped into a recession. Suddenly, classic cars, such as the Ferrari GTO, that had been selling for ten million dollars could be had for half that price. The recession effected the sales of many performance cars across the market. With only a few sales and a number of Rollerskates “in the pipeline” at the factory, Bob Sutherland hit upon the idea of awarding many of the cars to his managers at the various Sutherland Lumber Company stores as a bonus for their years of loyal service.

While the company was not suffering financially, thanks to profits that were injected into the company from the sale of a number of Ford RS200 Group B rally cars that Bob had imported and sold to collectors,(another of Bob’s automotive ventures) the sales of Maxtons simply did not materialize, and with the economy still struggling to recover from the recession of the early Nineties, the decision was made to wind things down. The cars that were in the factory were finished and a couple found buyers. The last factory demonstrator, chassis 0003 ( Silver) and a long wheelbase chassis 0015 (Dark Blue) were kept by Bob in his personal collection. Chassis 0003 was driven for many years on the annual Colorado Grand rally. Both cars were subsequently sold by the Sutherland family when Bob died unexpectedly in November 1999.

The Maxton story does not quite end there. After falling in price for many years, the cars are now increasing in value as they find more appreciative second or third owners. Owners that understand how well the cars were designed and built and how much potential there is to increase the performance even more and how the car provides a truly unique and ”pure driving experience”.

-Written by Alan Singer, former Maxton owner.
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