Keith Ripp

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Keith Ripp

Post by scimjim » Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:41 am

Keith Ripp passed away aged 73 on 13 July.
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"Having discovered the joy of driving Rallycross in a Mini, he realised there was a gap in the market to specialise in selling tuning parts and accessories to people preparing cars for the track and ‘boy racers’ alike.
The first shop opened in Waltham Cross in the early 1970s. With money tight, Ripp couldn’t afford much stock, so tricks like filling displays with empty cartons and even removing parts from his own race car to make up the weekday window display were common. However, the business was a success and in a few years three branches orbiting London were opened, which were later consolidated into one purpose-built superstore in Edmonton.
Ripp was one of the first accessory shop owners to see the potential of upgraded in-car audio, and sold imported amplifiers and subwoofer boxes alongside the ranges of engine tuning and dress-up kit. Stocks of Mini parts began to be wound down in the late 1980s (a decision Ripp said he later regretted as the Cooper was re-introduced a short time later) and the firm instead specialised in tuning parts for Mercedes.
However, racing took a physical toll on Ripp. After crushing his spine in a bad crash at Brands Hatch, he decided to retire, describing himself in a later interview as a ‘walking wreck’. Further ailments connected to a heart condition, which eventually required a triple bypass, led him to sell the business in 1994 to Halfords” (other sources state he sold to Tony Joseph in 1996 and Halfords bought the collapsed company from him in 1999) “which still own and market the Ripspeed brand to this day."


Jim King


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Post by Coupe Racing » Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:20 am

Sad news indeed - I recall shopping at that store

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Post by DARK STAR » Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:34 am

Very sad, the loss of another personality of the golden age of motor sport.

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Post by TrevorG » Sun Aug 02, 2020 12:39 pm

Very sad...having a sporty gtm and living near potters bar in the late 60s, early 70s, I can remember Keith's opening of the wonderful emporium! RIPRIPP

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