12 Things About Counting Cars' Danny Koker Only Hardcore Fans Know - SlashGear (2024)

Cars

12 Things About Counting Cars' Danny Koker Only Hardcore Fans Know - SlashGear (1)

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ByMartin Dickinson/

Danny Koker became one of the most well-known car experts in the world upon the debut of his hit show "Counting Cars," which charted the daily life of Danny Koker's Count's Kustoms restoration and customization shop.

Koker owns over one hundred cars (as of 2019) in what has to be one of the most impressive car collections in the world. A few notable inclusions in this are a 1966 AC Cobra which would set one back around $2.1 million in today's money, as well as a priceless 1966 Mustang GT350, a gift from his father that was the true starting point of his love affair with automobiles. When it comes to collecting cars, Koker says to The Globe and Mail, "I'm truly addicted. I think I need an intervention. I need some help! I have a lot of different cars from very high-performance exotic cars and sports cars to hot rods."

Here are just a few facts that only hardcore Danny "The Count" Koker fans will know.

He is a self-taught mechanic

12 Things About Counting Cars' Danny Koker Only Hardcore Fans Know - SlashGear (2)

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Danny "The Count" Koker owns Count's Kustoms, one of the most famous automobile restoration and customization shops in the world. With such a pedigree one would think that Koker himself would have extensive training and schooling in the field of mechanics. That however is not the case as Koker himself said to the American Profile, "The only really schooling I had was what you can get in high school and that is your basic shop class and automotive class. Other than that, it is just a matter of getting your hands dirty and taking something apart to see how it works. Then you've got to figure out how to put it back together."

Being basically self-taught in the field of automobile restoration and customization really goes to show just how much hard work and dedication Danny Koker has put into his craft. Koker is a proudly self-made man and the success of Count's Kustoms really is a testament to that.

He started Count's Kustoms as a hobby

12 Things About Counting Cars' Danny Koker Only Hardcore Fans Know - SlashGear (3)

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Danny Koker's interest in cars started before he could remember. Joking with the American Profile Koker says that as soon as he started talking, he was always talking about cars. That interest in cars was a driving force in the relationship with his father, as the two would work on cars together while Koker was just a child. He spoke about his relationship with his father on "Counting Cars," saying that when it came to car restorations, "My father taught me all about style and flavor."

Working on cars with his father is what spawned his interest in the field and that hobby has grown into a phenomenon. Speaking to the American Profile, Koker said, "When you spend literally your entire life—starting as a hobby and then evolving into an actual business—it really is a self-taught type of thing." Koker's hobby has certainly cultivated a lot of success over the years, with the success of "Counting Cars" as well as his own extensive (and expensive) collection of automobiles, it certainly isn't bad for something that started out as a hobby.

He lost the chance to own one of his favourite cars, a 1972 Lamborghini Miura SV

12 Things About Counting Cars' Danny Koker Only Hardcore Fans Know - SlashGear (4)

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The 1972 Lamborghini Miura SV seems to be the bane of Danny Koker's life. Koker has never had the chance to own the Lamborghinihowever he does tell the tale of how he was once within reach of buying the car before the deal fell through at the last minute. In a 2013 interview with the American Profile, he says of the 1972 Lamborghini Miura SV, "Somewhere between 15 and 20 years ago, I almost had a deal on one and then it fell through," Koker remembers, "I lost the car and I am still looking for one. They get more and more expensive every day."

Six years later in 2019, Koker was still talking about how close he was to owning one, saying on his YouTube channel Count's Kustoms Network, that the 1972 Lamborghini Miura SV "could be one of the most beautiful cars ever made." Going into more detail on the infamous deal that wasn't, Koker says the seller of the 1972 Lamborghini Miura SV got sentimental just before they could shake hands on the deal and pulled out of the sale at the last minute. "Smart move on his part, because a '72 Lamborghini Miura SV by today's standards, depending on condition, has got to be a $2-3 million dollar car."

American cars are his favourite

12 Things About Counting Cars' Danny Koker Only Hardcore Fans Know - SlashGear (5)

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Working on as many cars as Danny Koker has over the years, it must be hard to decide which type of cars, which makes and models, are his favorite. Many countries have made many beautiful cars and on his YouTube channel, Koker was asked the question, "If you could pick one place in the world that has the best cars to restore where would it be?"

That question apparently wasn't too hard for Danny Koker as there wasn't a doubt in his mind that the best place in the world to restore cars was "Right here in the great US of A." Koker says he is a "big, flag-waving, patriotic guy so I love American iron." Koker goes on to say that doesn't mean he doesn't love cars from other countries, as he has many cars in his collection he loves from all over the world "but American iron I think is a number one."

He lost his mind trying to restore a Ford Ranchero

Restoration and customization must come to Danny Koker like the back of his hand. Many would think he would be able to do it with his eyes closed and fans will think there is nothing that Danny Koker can't restore. However, one fan asked him if there was one car that he couldn't restore.

Koker recalled an early to mid 60's Ford Ranchero he saw at auction. As it was cheap and he thought it would be a blast to fix up, Koker bought it much to his later annoyance. Once he got the car back to Count's Kustoms, Koker realized "what a bag of garbage that Ranchero was." The car was nothing but rust. Koker claims he could have restored it, as you can restore anything if he'd had "a gazzilion dollars and an old Ford Falcon Ranchero." But even if he had done that, the car would have been probably worthless anyway.

Not to miss a trick, Koker transformed the car into a Ford Ranchero pool table that still lives in a hotel in Las Vegas.

The car that got him hooked on rebuilds was his first car, a 1979 Camaro Z28

Danny Koker was hooked on cars and bikes from a very young age. The car that got him hooked on restoration and customization specifically however was the very first car he owned, a 1979 Camaro Z28. In spite of the Camaro being his very first car, Koker decided he wanted to completely take the car apart and customized it all from front to back. Nostalgia be damned, Koker transformed the Camaro into a "street style Can-Am race car."

Not one to throw away nostalgia completely, Koker still owns the vehicle and it sits pride of place in Count's Kustoms. It has been so long since Koker customized the Camaro however that the car needs yet another restoration as it has been sitting in the shop for years.The 1979 Camaro Z28 must have a special place in Danny Koker's heart for it to still have a place in his expansive collection after all these years.

A rebuild he is most proud of is one he did for Barry White's widow, a 1979 Stutz IV-Porte

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Over the years Danny Koker must have restored too many cars to count, a question he always gets asked however is; which one of those rebuilds is he most proud of? When talking on Count's Kustoms Network, Koker said a build that means a lot to him personally is a restoration he did for Barry White's widow. The car was a1979 Stutz IV-Porte, a custom car with an American chassis and an Italian body, once owned by Barry White himself. After Barry White had passed away the car had been sold and thought to be lost. Years later Barry White's widow Glodean had contacted Koker hoping she could find the very same car once owned by her late husband.

With a little searching, Danny Koker was able to find the exact car and was able to restore the vehicle and give it back to Barry White's family. Koker says, "That was a really, really significant car that I would say was a really significant rebuild/restoration for me."

The hardest car he ever parted with was a 1973 Boat-Tail Riviera

Putting as much work into a car as Danny Koker and Count's Kustoms do, it must be hard to finally part with the vehicle once they are finished. On his YouTube channel, Koker was asked, "What was the hardest car you have ever sold or parted with?" A car that stuck out in Koker's memory was a 1973 Boat-Tail Riviera which he sold to a gentleman in Maryland.

The 1973 Boat-Tail Riviera was showcased on "Counting Cars" in season 4 and was described by Koker as "one of the sexiest cars to come out of the 70s." Koker bought the car with cash for $5000 and made it the centerpiece of his car show. The restoration was a labor of love and Koker's whole team worked on it from top to bottom. Watching the video of the car's restoration it can be easy to see why Koker had so much trouble letting go of the 1973 Boat-Tail Riviera.

Two of the most powerful vehicles in his collection are a 1932 Ford Roadster and a 1983 Lamborghini Countach 5000 S

On Count's Kustoms Network, Danny Koker revealed that one of the most powerful vehicles in his collection is a 1932 Ford Roadster. Koker is obviously very proud of this particular car and it gets shown off on social media as much as possible. On Count's Kustoms Facebook page in 2018, they post, "Did you know that Danny owns the original model for Mattel's "Hot Wheels" collection? It's a 1932 Ford Roadster that was hot-rodded way back in 1949."

Another powerhouse in Koker's collection is a 1983 Lamborghini Countach 5000 S. "There is only like, I believe, 16 of them known in the United States." The car is quite the collectors' item and Koker says, "For a car from 1983 to be able to hits speeds of 210 plus is quite an impressive vehicle."

He has close to 100 cars in his collection but only 25-30 of them get out on the road

12 Things About Counting Cars' Danny Koker Only Hardcore Fans Know - SlashGear (10)

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In a 2019 Q&A on his YouTube channel, Koker was asked "How many cars does Danny have in his collection, and how many of them get out in the wind regularly?" Koker answers that he guesses, "I am pushing close to 100 cars personally in my collection. I was up to probably 135 in my collection at one point. I've been trying to like slow down and get rid of some vehicles that I know other people could enjoy and that I wasn't spending time with."

135 cars is an impressive collection and is well over double the amount he had in his collection when he did an interview with Las Vegas Weekly in 2012. Back then, promoting the second season of "Counting Cars," Koker said he owned over 50 restored cars and motorcycles.

When talking about how many of his cars get out on the road, Koker said, "I try to rotate vehicles that I personally drive on a regular basis. So I'm gonna say there might be 25-30 that I get out regularly and then most of them are kept in what I call dry storage where you empty out all the fluids, you put them to sleep."

He was 17 when he built his first car from the ground up

12 Things About Counting Cars' Danny Koker Only Hardcore Fans Know - SlashGear (11)

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When Danny Koker was asked "What age did Danny build his first bike or automobile?" on Count's Kustoms Network, Koker's reply was, "From the ground up? 17... I was tinkering with motorcycles and tinkering with cars, man since I was, you know, 8." Koker grew up in Cleveland and Detroit and along with his father restored many vehicles and motorcycles throughout his childhood.

This passion for working on cars at such a young age is what turned Count's Kustoms into a success. This success is what helped Danny Koker get a spot on the History Channel's "Pawn Stars" and "American Restoration" before securing his own spin-off in "Counting Cars." "Counting Cars" was very successful for the network, spanning 10 seasons, and Koker's passion for all the cars that come through his shop is apparent. That passion all started when Koker was just a child.

His hardest build was a custom chopper for Ozzy Osbourne

Danny Koker has worked on hundreds if not thousands of vehicles over the years since he started Count's Kustoms. With so many cars coming and going, many fans have wondered what was the hardest job Danny Koker has ever taken on. Koker answered this question on Count's Kustoms Network and his answer was a surprising one. There have been many big names that have come through Count's Kustoms: Alice Cooper, Tommy Lee, Dee Snider, George Lynch, DJ Ashba, Paul Shortino, and Judas Priest just to name a few. Koker's hardest build however came when he worked on a custom chopper for Ozzy Osbourne of all people.

Koker picked Osbourne's custom chopper as one that stuck out as difficult in his mind, "It was really a challenging build because we really wanted it to reflect what would be Ozzy's flavor without it being like a theme bike." One of the most challenging features of the bike was the tribute to Randy Rhoads (Ozzy's guitar player who had sadly passed away) in which Koker replicated Randy Rhoads' flying V guitar on the back fender.

The bike was for Ozzy Osbourne but Koker actually bought the bike back off of him years later and the bike currently sits in Danny Koker's collection.

12 Things About Counting Cars' Danny Koker Only Hardcore Fans Know - SlashGear (2024)
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