Count’s Kustoms: The Reality TV Tour Continues…

Counts Kustoms EntranceIn 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.

Counts Kustoms Garage DoorOnce 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. Counts Kustoms 1932 Hot Wheels Hotrod
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.

Counts Kustoms 1932 Ford Hot Wheels modelThe 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.

Tips:

Shelby Series 1

Shelby Series 1

  • 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.

Counts Kustoms Forty-One

Counts Kustoms Caddy

Counts Kustoms Ranchero Pool Table

Counts_Kustoms-lamborghini

Website: http://www.countskustoms.com/
Related Articles:
Gold and Silver Pawn: Long Lines, Short Changed
Rick’s Restorations: Reality TV Take Two

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Gold and Silver Pawn: Long Lines, Short Changed

Gold and Silver Pawn Las VegasFor those that don’t know, Gold and Silver Pawn is the pawn shop that the hit reality television show “Pawn Stars” is based upon. The shop is located between the strip and downtown at 713 South Las Vegas Blvd. Due to the popularity of the show, there are often long lines of people baking in the sun waiting to get inside. When they are filming you will wait even longer… No-one is allowed in or out during most of the filming.

Once inside it’s one huge line of people snaking around the small (smaller than it looks on tv) shop. It’s pretty much single file, moving slowly around the shop in as orderly a fashion as possible. There’s enough pressure from the crowd behind you to keep you from lingering too long to fancy any one thing. You get to see most of what the shop has to offer, rather sequentially. Eventually the line weaves past the registers and out of the store, your passage out allowing one more person in.

Picadilly Circus Roulette Machine at Gold and Silver PawnI’ve joined the lines outside Gold and Silver a couple of times now. Once with my girlfriend, and once with my dad. Each time I’ve waited no less than 45 minutes in the hot Las Vegas sun to get in. In both instances, the only person I recognized from the show was Antoine the bouncer, who was manning the door. Inside I did see a number of items from the show: superbowl rings, the Jimi Hendrix artwork, presidential signatures, the Piccadilly Circus electronic roulette slot machine, and merchandise… lots of merchandise… t-shirts, coffee cups, those silver coins with the Old Man’s mug on them… you name it.

Gold and Silver pawn is no longer a pawn shop, and the stars of the show no longer “work” there. I’m pretty sure a couple of them never did. It’s a set for a tv show, and it’s a tourist trap. If you treat it as a busy museum, it’s kind of cool. You can see some neat, rare and valuable items – some of the same items that are featured on tv. If you just hit a colossal jackpot you might even be able to take one home. Otherwise, it’s “free” entertainment.. the only cost is your time and your discomfort, waiting to get in.

Superbowl Rings at Gold and Silver Pawn Las VegasTips:

  • If you go, don’t expect to meet the Old Man, Rick, Cory or Chum.
  • Don’t expect to be on television unless you have an appointment.
  • And don’t expect to pick up a cheap souvenir, unless you want to buy the same trinkets they’re hawking on the History Channel website.
  • Do bring a big jug of water, a fold up chair, and some sunscreen. The throngs waiting outside with you will think you’re a genius, and you’ll enjoy the rest of your day a whole lot more.

Website: www.gspawn.com
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