Ripspeed is a sub brand of Halfords, one of the leading automotive parts retailer in the United Kingdom. It began as an independent retailer in the 1970s, two decades later the business changed hands and was purchased in 1999 by Halfords, and operates as one of the five subsections of a store if it is present.
Keith Ripp, a 1970s Mini Rallycross champion started up an Edmonton, London based retail and mail order shop specialising in tuning parts and accessories for Minis as Ripspeed International in 1973
The motorsport and road car tuning and accessories side progressively grew over the years. By the 1990s, Ripspeed's main rivals were Demon Tweeks and Grand Prix Racewear, both owned by racing drivers, Alan Minshaw and Ray Bellm respectively. In 1996, Ripp sold Ripspeed to Tony Joseph. He then, in a bid for expansion, relocated the store from its original premises to Enfield with a plan for expansion in other areas, but this plan came to an abrupt end when the company collapsed due to financial problems after two years of ownership.
Ripp with his two sons Adrian and Jason later started up Xtreme Motorsport, based in Harlow, Essex, which in turn was sold off in 2001. The Ripp brothers later founded R-Tec Auto Design, based in St Albans, Hertfordshire.
Ripspeed itself has had only a limited number of demonstration cars out and about at shows and events. It started with a 1999 Vauxhall Corsa C SXI, which was followed in 1999 with a Ford Focus Ripspeed's current project is a 1991 Nissan 200SX turbo which is a drift car project and has been seen in action at Santa Pod raceway in 2007. These cars are used extensively for promoting the Ripspeed brand at car shows across the UK and at store openings or promotion weekends.
Ripspeed itself did sponsor the Doncaster Performance and Custom Car Show, which begins the UK outdoor car show season. The event was renamed Ripspeed Donny.
They have since moved on to sponsor numerous events at Santa Pod raceway which included shows such as "The Jap Show" and "USC" (Ultimate Street Car).