Wednesday, December 3, 2014

16k: Cheapskate: 1992 Maxton Rollerskate

The Maxton Rollerskate is a kit car along the lines of the Noble M12, in that it's classified officially as such (having the engine installed costs extra) but not colloquially. Really, neither belong in the same weight room as a VW-based kit with eastern bloc build quality, or another Gazelle Mercedes SSK or Frazer Nash knock-off. No, this is a genuine rotary-powered sports car hand-built in limited numbers. How limited? Fifty. The one you're looking at is one of eight long-wheelbase versions and the only such example running a fuel-injected engine with rear disc brakes and a limited-slip differential. Some sleuth work reveals an earlier attempt to sell in March 2013, again in February, and yet again via My Classic Garage. Each time, it gets a little closer to a reasonable deal. Find this 1992 Maxton Rollerskate in Media, PA for $15,800 via craigslist.

All Rollerskates rolled with the engine, transmission, and rear end from an RX-7. Some had the 12A, while others (like this one) the later 13B. Either one sat snug against the firewall, wholly aft of the front axle. In this case, the 13B is ported with a freer-flowing fuel system and a tune. It exhales through a big 3-inch exhaust tube (separated from the passenger's ankles by one-ply fiberglass) before exiting out a pea-shooter pipe in the back. Developing 200 horsepower in a car that weighs just 1,708 pounds is an equation for the pants-wetting fun normally reserved for base jumping, or jump-scaring a shotgun-toting meth head.

Not everyone will like the Lotus-Seven-with-birth-defects styling. The makeshift top doesn't do it any favors either. Exposed snaps along the door sills paired with the faux leather top and chrome rollbar coagulate for something that resembles a dominatrix heel. And yet, it's so happy to see you.

That lumpy toupee aside, any car with RX-7 and Mustang parts should be relatively easy to work on, especially under a massive clamshell hood. Not that it should need much maintenance, with only 3,635 miles. If you can stand driving something called a Rollerskate that looks like frog with a gland problem, this could be yours for the price of an NC Miata with equal mileage  a car weighing 800 more pounds and making 30 fewer horsepower.

See another quasi-kit performance freak? Email us at

PhiLOL actually likes the tuna here, but abhors structural rust. Save the manuals.


  1. I was one of the six original dealers for the Maxton. I have original brochures and DVD of the original sales video. For sale. Website for the Maxton

    1. Bill,
      Thanks for the information -- this car is number 19 per the vin and it looks like the registry info is up to date.
      Vince DT Editor-in-Chief

  2. A lotus Europa , and then this? It's a good thing I'm currently broke ' otherwise I'd be trying to figure out where to keep these.

  3. Pat Goss built one on MotorWeek back in the 80's. I remember watching it when I was a kid. I could only find the intro on YooToob:


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