Nickelback guitarist Ryan Peake turned 50 yesterday (March 1) and he received a very special gift from his longtime bandmate Chad Kroeger, one that would certainly bring a bit of nostalgic envy to many of the band’s fans who grew up in the ’70s and early ’80s.
“Well it’s Ryan Peake’s 50th birthday coming up and that’s a big one. You never know what you’re going to get someone for their birthday, so I went a little nuts and I got him this,” said Kroeger, before the camera pans over to a black Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am with the gold-winged logo on the hood of the vehicle.
While the car is a classic in its own right, the vehicle holds a special place for those growing up in the late ’70s and early ’80s as the black 1977 Pontiac Trans-Am was featured in the Burt Reynolds-starring box office hit Smokey and the Bandit. A replica vehicle of the one used in the film that was gifted to Reynolds sold for close to $500,000 at auction in 2022. While Kroeger doesn’t reveal how much he paid for the Trans-Am he gifted Peake, you can bet given the vehicle’s popularity that it cost him quite a few nickels.
As seen in the video, Kroeger and Peake get an up close look at the vehicle’s engine before Kroeger is able to hand Peake the keys and by the end of the clip, Peake is sporting a wide smile sitting behind the wheel of the classic vehicle.
The video was also shared on social media by Kroeger with the message, “Happy birthday Ryan! Break out the 8 tracks and Get Rollin!,” an obvious nod to the band’s latest album which includes the pop culture nostalgia-filled video for “Those Days.”
Peake is an original member of Nickelback, having performed lead and rhythm guitar and provided backing vocals over the course of their career that started in 1995. He’s been a part of all 10 Nickelback albums, including their most recent release, 2022’s Get Rollin’.
After the posting, Peake was greeted with a wealth of birthday wishes, but also those acknowledging the awesome gift that Kroeger provided to his bandmate. And several made note of the Smokey and the Bandit ties of the vehicle as well.
Nickelback are currently on a break from the road, giving Peake some time to test out his new wheels on the highway, but the band will be back in action supporting the Get Rollin’ album this summer. At present, their next tour leg starts June 12 in Quebec City, Quebec, wrapping in late August while hitting both U.S. and Canadian stops. Get your tickets here.