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Get to Know Danny

Danny ‘The Count’ Koker is a Las Vegas legend with an insatiable appetite for anything on wheels. He walks, talks and breathes American muscle cars, vintage Harleys, tricked-out trikes and custom-painted dune buggies.

Well known to HISTORY viewers thanks to his frequent appearances on the hits series Pawn Stars, Danny has now leapt into the driver’s seat for his own show, Counting Cars. In every episode, the 6ft 2, bandana-sporting biker acquires, restores and customises classic cars and motorcycles.

Danny fell in love with automobiles during his early years in Michigan and Ohio, where his father worked as an executive for the Ford Motor Company. He credits his dad for igniting his burning, lifelong passion when he gave him his first motorcycle at only eight years old. Danny taught himself to take it apart and put it back together again, a hobby he relentlessly pursued when he wasn’t touring the world with his uncle’s Southern gospel group, the Rex Humbard Singers.

Today Danny’s passion for music is undimmed, but a little harder edged. He owns a local tattoo parlour and The Count’s Vamp’d Rock Bar and Grill, which was first opened with Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe as a testament to their mutual love of dirty rock 'n' roll. Having since become the sole proprietor, Danny himself frequently performs there with his band Count 77, growling through covers from the likes of Black Sabbath and The Doors.

Danny first became known on the Sin City scene hosting a cable TV show, Saturday Fright at the Movies. Using a patchy Eastern European accent copied from his immigrant grandparents, he introduced classic horror movies as a vampire Elvis, decked out in cape, aviators and sipping from a goblet of blood. It’s been years since Danny portrayed the Count Cool Rider character he created for the show, but the nickname stuck and now lends itself to the dealership he acquired after turning his hobby into a full time business.

It’s at Count’s Kustoms that Counting Cars catches up with Danny’s exploits as he customises choppers, hot rods and muscle cars for highway obsessed aficionados. With the help of his talented team, Danny ‘pimps out’ the vintage rides and sells them on in a hurry. The more rough gems he unearths, the more pressure there is to flip them and stay in the black.

When Danny sees a ride he wants – whether it’s parked at a roadside diner or speeding down a freeway – he stops at nothing to acquire it, often chasing owners and making on-spot offers with handfuls of  cash. Where most visitors to Vegas bet with chips, Danny bets with cars – and while he occasionally gets teased by his money man, Scott, for bringing back a dud, more often than not Danny’s shrewd eye for an investment lands the business a healthy profit.

Every episode of Counting Cars is bursting at the seams with amazing stories about historic vehicles, incredible before-and-after transformations and wheeling and dealing at its absolute best. From vintage Thunderbirds to classic Corvettes and souped-up sidecar motorcycles, Danny will stop at nothing to find and flip the greatest rides of all time.

by Alistair Bohm