The Art Of Taking Risks

As I sit down to write this November editorial, I realise that this is one of those moments. A point in time in which you take a step back and ask yourself how the hell it is that you got here. These life-altering junctures aren’t always positive and I’ve certainly had my fair share of ‘what am I doing?’ moments, but this particular situation isn’t one of them.

A few weeks ago, while sitting in Gatwick Airport outside of London waiting for a flight to Amsterdam, I got a call. The voice on the other end of the line simply asked; “How busy are you at the moment?” It’s always a tough question to answer – there is no real correct response after all. But once I heard why the question was being asked, well, there’s no such thing as ‘too busy’. Within days, I had started in my new position as the Editor in Chief of So… How exactly did I get here?


Like many people, I had no idea what I wanted to do when I left school at 16 with next-to-no qualifications. As it’s transpired though, an unrelenting passion for anything and everything automotive has guided my hand the entire way. Sure, there have been a few non-car-related speedbumps along the road (I’m not going to just say no to running around in the mud for a few months dressed as an Orc and swinging my battle axe at anyone who comes near – thank you Peter Jackson!), but for the most part, I’ve spent my entire adult life working with all things fast and loud.


Most recently, I’ve just come off a five-year stint at the helm of New Zealand Performance Car magazine, but that ended only six months ago when I came to the realisation that there were too many amazing cars, iconic events and interesting people that I would never get to see, experience or meet if I didn’t resign and take a solid step outside of my comfort zone. So, half a year ago, my wife and I sold up nearly everything we owned and left our little island nation at the bottom of the world to become international wanderers of sorts; transient gypsies following automotive nirvana where ever it takes us, and capturing it for the world to see on the likes of Japan, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Spain, the UK; none of it would have been possible a few short years ago, but thanks to accommodation sites like AirBnB, we’ve been able to live in a different country each month, discovering the local car culture and not paying much more than we would have back in New Zealand renting a house.


So now that you know how I got here, what about the future of Let’s be very clear, I’m not some kind of maniacal reformist, hell-bent on changing things just because I can. I’ve always loved everything about Speedhunters and have been reading it religiously since it kicked off back in 2008. I still remember how excited I was to meet founder Rod Chong when he featured my old JZX90 in ’09 (isn’t it amazing to see how far the content has evolved?), and over the years and the cars I’ve built in between, I’ve never lost that sense of reverence for the Speedhunters project and all the great work that the team has consistently produced. It’s an amazing project, featuring some of the world’s best automotive writers and photographers, and an interesting, vibrant community of readers to back it up.


With that said, like any good publication Speedhunters is constantly evolving, growing and changing, and there’s always room for improvement. We are always going through the mountains of feedback we receive in an effort to understand our audience’s wants and needs, and it’s this aspect of my job that I think is the most important. I certainly know what I like, and from what I’ve gathered so far, it’s exactly what you all like too. I think we’re going to get on just fine!

Peter Kelly
Instagram: speedhunters_pedey



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awesome cool 911...


Hey - congrats! What an amazing opportunity. I am sure you will do well. NZPC evolved really well under your helm - I am sure this will too. First request a bit more video peppered in with each story. Where will you be based?

Gianluca FairladyZ

Just don't become mainstream.... That's all i ask for... I think this culture that we're all sharing is some sort of sub-culture. Everyone knows each other, very familiar feeling, and those people understand the values of being a car enthusiast. Keep up the good work dude!


I love your writing style and I'm happy your work is is featured more, but I'm missing the nz content that there used to be.


nustad I will be based in Stockholm - though I'm going to do my best to avoid the four hour mid-winter days and come work from NZ for a few months over summer! 

As for the video, I'm with you 100% - it's something we're working on at the moment and you may have already seen an increase in video content in the stories, with more planned for the future.



GregFentonHNHS I'm heading to NZ in a month's time, planning to stock up on plenty of Kiwi content while I'm there! 

Thanks for your kind words.


Gianluca FairladyZ I agree wholeheartedly - it's definitely something I'm mindful of, thanks for the feedback!


Good one Pedey!
Been jelaously following You and Taryn's adventures on instagram with my girlfirend( she loves Taryns Z).
I love speedhunters for obviously the quality of content, but the relatable personalities behind the articles/camera, I think you two fit in here real well.
Just wanted to say Good luck mate, I can't wait to see the places you will take us.


Reading this article has shown me a few things about
you. That you love cars and the culture around it. That you are an exceptional fit
for the role as Editor in Chief. And that I found my super hero of the 21st
I commend you on the risks that you have taken to follow
your dreams.
I wish you everything of the best in your new position and looking
forward to many more articles from you.


Congrats Pedey, I am so stoked for you, I cant wait to see where this takes you, and how Speedhunters will evolve with you in charge, you are certainly a great fit for the job! Hope to catch up with you when you come back to NZ during summer.


Congrats Peter! Always love to see how different and diverse cars are around the world! Looking forward to the articles.


This looks like a step in the right direction, congratulations!


As long as we get more posts from the king of automotive photography Linhbergh and the blog veteran Mike Garrett, like things were in 2009, I will be on board. I could not care less about the rest.


So, what really happened with your cars? Are sitting to rust in garage or I remember that you sold both of them?


Interesting - after watching SH be transformed over the last few months into a site where we got a lot more than ever before in terms of editorial, writing and diversity, someone at decided to scrap all of that and just call you up and say "how busy are you" and then hand over the reigns - sorta disrespectful to all of us loyal readers .... Appreciate your optimism that you think you are going to get on just fine, but somehow I think when we look back in a few months......


greenroadster The Impala and the Zed? Unfortunately we had to sell the Impala before we left, which was hard. Taryn's Zed is being looked after by a good friend and is waiting for us when we return to NZ next month.


Speedhunters changes every few months.


What is going on here?


greenroadster We were thinking of bringing the Zed to Sweden. I want to take it to the Nurburgring… ;)


Somehow I greatly doubt that the decision to hand over the reins was made in haste. The powers-that-be would've had this in mind for some time and, knowing Peter's past experience, passion and current state of unemployment, made the call with confidence that he was up to the task and would accept. Peter has done a superb job at the helm of NZ Performance Car magazine for the past 5 years and I am certain his drive and commitment will serve him (and his loyal readers such as you) well as Editor-In-Chief of Speed Hunters. You yourself have noticed a change for the better over the past few months; is it a coinicidence that Peter's become more involved with Speed Hunters in the past 6 months? I think not. Rest assured Speed Hunters is in good hands, Loyal SH Guy, it's onwards and upwards from here!


What happened to Rod Chong?


A forums.... where trolls come out of their caves to comment. :)

Wish you and your wife happy travels Peter, and when / if you make it to Canada, look us up. We'll have a place for you to stay, and within a day's drive from at least 3 world class tracks, and 3 for the rest of us! Not to mention the exotic car scene is pretty good here, when it's not snowing.


Taryn Croucher If that really happens, please give me a heads up because I want to shoot the shit out of that car. In a good way though... Couple of action shots on the 'Ring would be cool too.


I do not envy your role. Some of the people on here are out-right rude and incorrigible. In between people complaining about a feature because it doesn't possess 800+ hp and hating on current trends that are essentially taking over the industry right now (how could you not cover Liberty Walk style mods? It's everywhere!) I would not be able to cope.


Kirk_B Thank you for the offer, really appreciate it - I'd love to see some more Canadian content on Speedhunters - I will look into it further!


Merc I'll admit that it can get to you if you let it, but I'll gladly take a few punches on my generously-proportioned nose in order to do what I love and help bring the best content to people just like me. Cars are my entire life, so to be working with them in this capacity day in day out is a privilege and more than makes up for the stress!


MatiTryjanowski Standing high above SH in the background, captain of the ship as always. Great delegation imo.


Great to have you take over Peter. Couple points:

a) More Lindbergh
b) Bring back Jonathan Brooks
c) Less obvious product placement
Thanks and good luck :)


Well next summer I'm going to college to do a BTEC level 3 subsidiary diploma in vehicle technology so I should have SOME qualifications!


Can you get rid of the chapters and go back to a single page format with the option of presentation mode? Thanks!


@Beany Ya, this article was all one page. So much easier to read.


Congrats! From the content I've read by you so far, it seems like they made the right choice in placing you at the helm!

One thing I would personally like to see, is more of the reader's rides like there used to be a while back. And definitely more #Iamthespeedhunter content, because that is always interesting as it always turns out presenting a few amazing photographers to follow, heh.


Peter_Kelly Kirk_B Yes more from us Canucks! There's a whole lot that goes on here :)


Congrats on the new role! Like many have said I too have enjoyed all of your contributions so far and look forward to reading more. I've been reading since mid 08 or so and have only further enjoyed the site more in recent months. Variety is key and it seems you have it nailed.


MatiTryjanowski Rod recently moved on to new projects and we all wish him the best of luck!


Congratulations Peter, you are deservedly living your dreams (and ours!), and with Lady Taryn by your side I'm sure that SpeedHunters will only gain even more momentum!


one thing i ask for, is to bring back the archives menu on the side. i miss being able to just click on a random month and look back at all the old eatures


With the depart of Mr. Rodbot, will we sitll get our crazy hidden Group C, F1, IMSA GTO cars in private warehouses and collections and such? :D


BullHorn There have not been any changes in the amount of advertising or story length recently. Last month we actually reached a new record in page views for the year.

Gianluca FairladyZ

RensAdams Taryn Croucher Holy Moly just tell me when you guys hit it there!  Me, MyZed & I, will be racing it together with ya!!!:)


Gianluca FairladyZ RensAdams YES!


Taryn Croucher greenroadster  Now, that it would be a nice trip for the Zed :)


Congrats Pedey! From one kiwi car freak to another. I say sign up a video crew. or take submissions from the readership. Give us a criteria and see what you get back.


Good stuff buddy, we miss you down in NZ. You look so fresh in that 2009 post. Bring on new years with the s30


It is a little sad that your career as a professional orc did not last long but good that your roll of the dice worked out.