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Count's Kustoms in Las Vegas

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Count's Kustoms in Las Vegas

Too cool for school, has to be seen to be believed.

Terri Lynn Coop
Tucked away in a small industrial park at 2714 Highland Drive in Las Vegas is Count's Kustoms. Although unassuming on the outside, any thoughts or expectations a visitor has of a typical body shop disappear when they see the spiderweb iron gates and walk into the velvet and brocade lined waiting room. I was even lucky enough to catch sight of Horny Mike as he zipped by sporting one of his spiky creations. Nothing about Count's Kustoms is ordinary.

It is a combination museum, customizing shop, dealership, and memorabilia outpost. If it is cool, you'll find it at Danny Koker's lair.

History

In the early nineties, Koker, part owner of the Las Vegas television station KFBT, appeared as "Count Cool Rider" on the B-movie "Saturday Fright at the Movies." Even after the show ended, Koker, didn't lose his cool. As a collector and customizer of motorcycles and muscle cars he became a legend in the hot rod and chopper scene.

Count's Kustoms

The shop is open to the public, although calling ahead to (702)733-6216 for hours and tour availability isn't a bad idea. After you leave the velvet-lined waiting room, the next stop is the Count's personal car collection and museum.

To the right is an ultra-cool memorabilia and swag shop. You can order Count merchandise online, but nothing compares to seeing the display in person. Count's also offers a club membership. Count's Friends receive a shirt, newsletter, and entry into a contest for a trip to Las Vegas, Count Cool Rider style.

To the left is a dazzling array of custom cars, trucks, and motorcycles, including the 1932 Ford Roadster used as the model for the original Hot Wheels "Deuce Roadster." Follow the path and you'll see the working shop on your left. Check out the ongoing projects, but keep your camera down. The Count's staff is friendly and welcoming, but take the boundaries seriously.

Photography

Obey the rules and all will be cool. Since the debut of "Counting Cars" on the History Channel, Count's Kustoms is a television set as well as a working customizing shop. Cars may be under wraps for future episodes or customers may want to keep their projects private. Ask permission and keep your camera pointed where it belongs. There are plenty of fantastic cars, bikes, chrome, hood ornaments, emblems, trim, paint jobs, and logos in the public area to add to your memorabilia photo collection. In the hands of the Count and his minions, car customization becomes fine art.

Highlights include an ultra rare Shelby, the Count's personal hearse, and, of course, the life-size Hot Wheels Roadster. Photos of the hearse and roadster are also available as downloadable computer wallpapers on the Count's website.

Counting Cars

After numerous appearances as an expert on Pawn Stars, the Count got his own History Channel show, Counting Cars. The formula is simple. If the Count wants it, he gets it, often chasing down owners of classic American muscle cars and making cash offers on the spot. Back at the shop is a scramble to buy, restore, customize, and sell their creations. Count's Kustoms is always looking to buy and sell. Contact the shop if you are in the market.

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