Harleys at Work: The Topper H and Utility Box
Harley-Davidson released the Topper in 1960. It was powered by a single cylinder two-stroke engine mounted horizontally in the frame. The 10 cubic inch powerplant could produce up to 9 horsepower using a high compression head and larger carburetor available only the “H” models. It’s top speed was 60 miles per hour and boasted a fuel efficiency of 100 miles per gallon. As always, Harley-Davidson was looking to expand into the commercial sector, so they designed a wheeled utility box which could be mounted to the Topper to convert it into a delivery vehicle.
The utility box featured a diminutive 5 cubic feet of cargo space and had a payload of 200 lbs. Harley hoped that it would appeal to couriers, messengers and small delivery services. After 5 years of production, the Topper had “topped out” and was removed from the product line for the 1966 model year.
It is clear that Harley missed a great opportunity with the Topper and Utility Box. If only they would have marketed it to Pizza Hut as a pizza delivery vehicle, we still might have Toppers on the road today!