In a warehouse tucked in between I-15 and the Circus Circus lives one of Danny “Count” Koker’s many enterprises, Count’s Kustoms, yet another Las Vegas business to get the History Channel “Reality TV” treatment. It’s a bit harder to find than Gold and Silver Pawn, and not nearly as popular a fan destination – yet.
As I entered the parking lot at the site of “Counting Cars” at 2714 South Highland Drive I could already see Danny’s signature Gothic biker style dripping from the place. Blocking the entrance to one of the work areas was a custom half-height garage door made from welded rebar. There were antique cars in various stages of rust and restoration. The front door is tinted black with a three foot Count’s Kustoms logo. Just like Rick’s Restorations, there were (graciously) no lines outside the shop.
Once inside, I found myself in a small dark room with a bank teller style window and a bright shiny computer in the corner. The gentleman behind the window informed me that I needed to sign in on the computer, then I could enter the shop through the door on the left. There would be no charge. The computer offered up a short, simple questionnaire – an attempt to collect some basic demographics on their visitors and an opportunity to join the “Count’s Friends” fan club. It only took a minute or so, and I did not find any of the questions terribly invasive.
Through the door was the main attraction – Danny’s collection of toys. There’s a pool table made out of a Ford Ranchero, a lineup of choppers and Danny’s collection of wild, rare and exotic cars.
There were a couple of cars from the show, and a lot from Danny’s personal collection. I spotted three Lamborghinis, two Corvettes, a 1932 Ford Roadster that was used as the model for one of Mattel’s Hot Wheels, a Shelby Cobra, a Shelby Mustang and even a Shelby Series 1. As expected, there are flames and skulls everywhere. Paint jobs are wild, with colors that wouldn’t look out of place on a Jolly Rancher candy. Over the center of the collection hangs a larger-than-life head-shot of the Count… perhaps a little ostentatious. Really, it’s all pretty over the top, but that’s what makes it so fun to see.
The tour was completely self-guided, and photography was allowed. I could see into (but not walk into) a part of the garage where they were working on customer cars. It would be neat to see one of these featured on the show. Hidden tastefully behind Danny’s car collection is a small gift shop where they sell Count’s “7″ branded clothing and a few other nicknacks. Most of the shirts are $25-75. For a cheaper souvenir, you could pick up a skullcap (kerchief) for $10 or a sticker for $7.
On the way out I ran into Scott, the Project Coordinator. He was obviously very busy at the time, but managed a polite wave and a few words before returning to his business. Perhaps Danny was out chasing cars.
- If you want to see a Shelby Series 1, this is the place to go. Even the Shelby Museum did not have one on display the last time I visited.
- This is a great hidden gem to take any motor-head (petrol-head, for my UK readers) to. There are roughly half a dozen choppers and fifty or sixty cars in and around the shop. The cars are rotated around a bit, so if you go more than once you’ll get a up close view of some different rides.
- Plan about 15-30 minutes to tour the place and get some pictures. Unless they become overwhelmingly busy, this should be enough to get a good look at everything.
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