Owner's Spotlight: Jim Page's Harper Type 5

Jim Page's automotive journey took a remarkable turn when he discovered Harper Sports Cars and their unique Harper Type 5. Living in Port Elizabeth and working abroad, Jim had long envisioned his dream car, sketching it on serviettes and even constructing a balsa wood model. His vision was a three-seater, steel tube chassis car with a mid-engine layout, similar to the McLaren F1, and open to the elements like an Ariel Atom or DJC V-Storm.

However, lacking the means to build it himself, Jim scoured the internet until he stumbled upon Harper Sports Cars in 2013. Convinced that the Harper Type 5 was the answer to his automotive dreams, Jim flew to Cape Town to meet Craig, the builder behind Harper Sports Cars, and promptly ordered one.

Craig initially promised a 3-4 month build time, but fate had a different plan. Just two weeks later, Jim received a call informing him that one of Craig's early builds was available due to lack of use. Jim seized the opportunity, and Craig traveled to Nelspruit to collect the car and bring it back to Cape Town.

The car, now named Roxy, was equipped with a Toyota Blacktop 20v motor and C63 transaxle with LSD. Jim enjoyed driving Roxy, especially during a year-long sabbatical when she became his daily driver, racking up 30,000 km in just 17 days out of the cockpit.

Jim's passion for driving didn't stop there. Encouraged by a friend, Sparky Bright, he joined the Algoa Motorsport Club and began racing in the local "Street car" class. Roxy's performance on the track earned Jim several trophies and solidified his bond with his Harper.

Over the years, Roxy underwent upgrades, including a switch to a 2.0L turbo Toyota 3SGTE engine, boosting her power from 105kW to over 200kW. Despite changes in Jim's employment that limited his time with Roxy, he continued to enjoy road trips between PE and CT and even participated in a 3050km round trip convoy to spectate at the 24 Hours of Ilimuna at Red Star Raceway in Mpumalanga.

Reflecting on his ten years of driving joy with Roxy, Jim has covered over 110,000 km and has no plans to stop anytime soon. Roxy has become a familiar sight on the roads of Cape Town, even attracting attention for her passenger, Theodore Edward Beare, the mascot of the Cape Town Toy Run, who sits in the passenger seat promoting charitable causes.

Jim's Harper Type 5 is a testament to the fulfillment of a dream, the joy of driving, and the bond between man and machine. With each mile, Jim continues to write the story of his Harper, adding new chapters to a journey fueled by passion and a love for the open road.