This is the Howe & Howe Ripsaw that was used in both Fast and Furious 8: The Fate of the Furious and in the GI Joe movies, it cost $750,000 to build, it’s the first prototype of this model with the VIN #000000001, and it’s now being offered for sale.
This Howe & Howe Ripsaw is powered by a 2007 LBZ Duramax turbodiesel engine and power is fed to the tracks via an Allison automatic transmission. The top speed is said to be 60+ mph (98+ km/h) and it’ll reach that speed on almost any terrain given its remarkable off-road ability.
Fast Facts – The Howe & Howe Ripsaw
- Howe & Howe was founded by identical twin brothers Geoff and Michael Howe in the year 2000 to build and develop the fastest and most innovative tracked vehicles the world has ever seen. They introduced it to the world at a Dallas vehicle show and it immediately caught the attention of the U.S. Military.
- Hollywood was also paying attention, and in the years that followed the various Ripsaw models were featured in films, including the model you see here which was used on screen in both “Fast and Furious 8: The Fate of the Furious” and in the “GI Joe” movies.
- Given the high speed and low weight (compared to an armored tank) of the Ripsaw it’s been able to fill a niche in the U.S. Army, new armed autonomously operated versions have been developed as scout vehicles to travel ahead of a convoy and clear the way without risking any soldier’s lives.
- The Ripsaw you see here is due to roll across the auction block with Mecum in mid-May, due to its Hollywood provenance and it’s unusual off-road abilities it’s likely to attract a fair amount of bidding attention, though it’s worth noting that it’s not road legal.
The Evolution Of The Ripsaw
The Ripsaw project began in 2000 when twin brothers Michael and Geoffrey Howe founded Howe & Howe Technologies in Waterboro, Maine. Their vision was to create a revolutionary tracked vehicle that could traverse rough terrain with unmatched speed and agility. The first iteration of the Ripsaw, the MS1, was completed in 2001.
Above Video: This memorable clip from The Grand Tour features Richard Hammond driving a custom-built Ripsaw EV2 in Dubai on city streets, in the desert, and through a shopping mall.
The Ripsaw MS1 was designed as a small, lightweight vehicle that could be used for recreational purposes. However, its impressive capabilities soon caught the attention of the U.S. Military, which led to the development of the Ripsaw MS2 in 2005.
The MS2 was a more robust, military-grade version of the MS1, featuring a more powerful engine, improved suspension, better armor, and perhaps most interestingly, it is remotely operated. This iteration demonstrated the Ripsaw’s potential as a combat-ready UGV (unmanned ground vehicle).
In response to the changing demands of the military and law enforcement agencies, the Ripsaw continued to evolve. The Ripsaw MS3, unveiled in 2010, featured a more versatile design, allowing for the integration of various mission-specific modules. These modules included surveillance equipment, weapon systems, and cargo carriers, enabling the Ripsaw to perform a wide range of tasks on the battlefield.
Subsequent versions of the Ripsaw, such as the Ripsaw EV and Ripsaw EV2, further improved the vehicle’s capabilities. These iterations boasted increased power, enhanced mobility, greater autonomy, and more advanced onboard technology.
The Ripsaw’s futuristic design and unmatched capabilities have not gone unnoticed by the entertainment industry. The vehicle has made appearances in several high-profile movies and TV shows, including in the films Mad Max: Fury Road, Fast and Furious 8: The Fate of the Furious, and in the GI Joe movies.
Howe & Howe is currently working closely with the U.S. Military on new combat ready versions of the unmanned Ripsaw, and given the remarkable effectiveness of unmanned vehicles in the Ukraine/Russia conflict we’re likely to see ever more capable iterations of the Ripsaw going forwards.
The Howe & Howe Ripsaw Shown Here
As noted in the introduction the Ripsaw you see here is one of the most famous vehicles ever built by the company due to the fact that it was used in Fast and Furious 8: The Fate of the Furious starring Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Kurt Russell, and Charlize Theron.
Above Video: This is the official theatrical trailer for “Fast and Furious 8,” the Ripsaw also makes an appearance in the memorable scene that takes place on the ice.
This Ripsaw makes a prominent appearance in the film, and it’s featured in the trailer (you can see it embedded above). It later appeared in the G.I. Joe movies, though of course these are less well known that the Fast and Furious film franchise.
A number of different engines have been used in different versions of the Ripsaw, oftentimes diesels as this is the fuel type preferred by most militaries. This Ripsaw is powered by a 2007 LBZ Duramax turbodiesel engine which produces 360 hp and 650 lb ft of torque according to the manufacturer. It has a cast iron block, aluminum heads, forged steel connecting rods, and cast-aluminum pistons.
Power is sent through a 6-speed Allison 1000 automatic transmission to the tracks, and the vehicle is said to be able to exceed 60 mph (98 km/h) even when off-road. Looking over the images it’s clear that this Ripsaw will need a recommissioning as it’s been on static display for a number of years in a museum, and there is some surface rust and patina now showing.
If you’d like to read more about this unusual tracked vehicle from Howe & Howe you can visit the Mecum listing for it here, it’s due to roll across the auction block in mid-May and at the time of writing there is no reserve on it.
Images courtesy of Mecum
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.