Vol.23 No.117

Wednesday 9 August 2006    
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News
Francistown car project moved to South Africa

PATRICIA MAGANU
Correspondent

8/9/2006 3:29:04 PM (GMT +2)

FRANCISTOWN: The Harper Sports Car (HSC) manufactured in Francistown has been launched and immediately moved to South Africa. The manufacturer of the masterpiece Craig Harper said at a sneak preview last Friday that the project code named HSC 05 has been moved because Botswana does not have a big market for the car. "There is very little demand for such a sports car here in Botswana, so sadly the whole project will be moved to South Africa," he said.


Harper said that he started the project to utilise his spare time with his staff and teach them how to build cars. Harper has been building cars for years. He told Mmegi that he would like to start a car production company in Botswana.

Even though the project is moving to South Africa, his staff are happy that they got experience in building cars. The HSC with a Toyota corolla engine can travel at 185kmph. "It is not bad for a stock standard Toyota corolla 1500 CC engine," he said.

About 50 people gathered at Harper's garage to see the red sports car being driven for the first time. Harper said that the shape of the HSC is inspired by the current crop of Le Mans sports prototype racers. He said that even though it is a sports car, HSC is also meant for road use.

He revealed that there is still a lot of work to do to make the car complete. He embarked on the project last year. The car uses a mid mounted Toyota 16 valve engine and gearbox, and exclusively Toyota sourced parts for the steering and brakes. "It will be light weighing just 600 kilograms and it will reach 100kmph in less than seven seconds." Harper said that the sports car would achieve a safe top speed of 230kmph.

"Production models with more power will be faster. The concept is to provide Super Bike fun, without the danger," he said. One of the advantages of the car is that unlike many sports models it uses readily available parts hence maintenance would be affordable.

Harper said building the car is going to cost him about P300,000. He is proud of the knowledge he has imparted to his staff on car-building. Locals who worked with him on the car are Innocent Eddy, who was responsible for all the metal work and Isaac Xamu who was responsible for the fibre. Send us your comments about Mmegi newspaper Search For Old Newspaper Editions To advertise contact us through email

 
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