Danny Koker has never shied away from the limelight, but the show that finally earned him a place among the stars of reality TV is “Counting Cars”. Considered to be the spinoff of the popular show “Pawn Stars”, this is one of the most enduring and beloved shows on History Channel. One major component of the series’ success is the eccentric and versatile character of Danny Koker, who owns Count’s Kustoms, the hot rod restoration and customization store that the show focuses on. However, he does not allow this to diminish from his impressive range of ventures, ranging from rock star to restaurateur.
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Early Life and Family
Daniel Nicholas Koker II was born on 5 January 1964, in Ohio, USA to Daniel Koer Senior and Mary Koker; he has one sibling, a sister named Kim.
Looking at his youth and upbringing makes it almost impossible to expect him to turn out as anything other than what he is today. His father was a driving force in his life with a colorful career – Daniel Senior was a musician and composer, who arranged and played for iconic names in the music industry, among them Johnny Cash, Mahalia Jackson, Pat Boone and Froggy River.
It was this affection for music that he passed on to Danny, who would go on to become a rock singer in his own right. While he was still very young, he would go on tour with his uncle’s band, The Rex Humbard Family Singers, and his father’s band, The Koker Family Singers. Daniel Senior was also an official at the Ford Motor Company, which allowed him to gift his son a cruiser when he was eight years old and foster Danny’s second great love: cars.
There is not much known about Danny’s education, as he professes to be self-taught in almost every industry that he has worked in.
Early TV Days
When Danny was 26, his family decided to try their hand at running a TV show. The Kokers purchased a Las Vegas Channel, KFBT, and it became a business that every member of the family took part in. Danny was a host of their Saturday night show, which ran horror b-movies. The show was called “Saturday Fright at the Movies”, and this was where Danny first assumed his alternate persona of Count Cool Rider. He was given this moniker for the title sequence of the show, during which he would ride a bike across the screen, accompanied by images of coffins and candles. This first venture lasted from 1990 until 2000, when Koker decided that it was time to move on.
Restorations and Customisation
Danny Kooker acheived somewhat of a following from his appearance on KFBT and was recognized as ‘The Count’. Realizing that his passion lay in cars and motorcycles, he decided to capitalize on this moniker, and named his shop Count’s Kustoms. His website for the shop very much follows the theme of the horror count’s origins, and is resplendent in metallic purples, gothic lettering, and Christian symbols. Danny, and the rest of the crew at the shop, describe it as being “one of a kind hot rod and chopper customization/restoration”.
Although he is known for his career with cars and other vehicles, Danny has not let his passion for music slide. Koker is a member of the Las Vegas-based rock group named “Count’s 77”, releasing their debut album in April of 2014 and their second in album 2016.
The group relies heavily on Danny’s fame, but that is not to say that they are without talent. The group features guitarists Stoney Curtis and John Zito, keyboard player Tommy Paris – who is also a lead singer with the band Britny Fox – bassist Barry Barnes, and drummer Paul Disibio. Combined, the group has an impressive reputation, and Koker’s popularity on “Counting Cars” has only added to their reach.
Tattoos for Days
Danny Koker is not shy to show off his multiple tattoos, and neither is he reticent about helping you get your own. In yet another spin-off from his Count moniker, Koker opened a tattoo parlor in the Las Vegas Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, which he named “Count’s Tattoo Company”.
Thank you Brotherman!!! https://t.co/3mSYePwjA6
— Danny Count Koker (@DannyCountKoker) July 23, 2020
The parlor prides itself on being different from what the conventional Las Vegas tattoo shop has to offer, creating an experience of greater variety, flexibility and creativity.
The final addition to his ‘Count’ franchise came after his marriage. His wife suggested that he open a restaurant, and that is exactly what he did. Count’s Vamp’d Rock Bar and Grill is located on Sahara Avenue in Las Vegas, and boasts an atmosphere that is evocative of the name of the joint. The restaurant offers various eating and seating options, as well as providing live music and concerts.
Koker debuted on screen as a motorcycle and car expert in the History Channel’s show “Pawn Stars” in 2012. He appeared in multiple episodes, offering expert advice and opinion on the various vehicles that were brought to him to assess.
It did not take long for the show’s directors to realize that what they had was an untapped gold mine, and they invited Koker to star in a docuseries of his own, which they dubbed “Counting Cars”.
The show follows the crew of Count’s Kustoms on their restoration process, erratic buying, and appraisals. For Danny, not every car is something he is willing to part with. To him, the intensive labor and time put into restoring a car is a labor of love, and as a consequence, Koker now owns 57 cars and 70 motorcycles. The show has had its ups and downs, but ran into an especially sticky patch when it was discovered that one of the workers had been misappropriating funds – Joseph Frontiera had been spending money on airline tickets, and a down payment on a car – a total of $75,000. Frontiera was fired, and fined $18,000 by the Inland Revenue Service.
Danny reveals that in recent years, his fame has made it more difficult to haggle and stay within the budget of the show. People know that he is making a lot of money from the show, not to mention his other enterprises, and are not as willing to part with their vehicles for bargain prices.
Danny was struck hard by the death of his father in 2008; the two had shared an incredibly close bond, connecting over shared passions and memories. In an interview with Las Vegas Weekly, Danny said “When I lost dad, I kind of lost my mind.” He described that sitting around idly would only bring dark thoughts and feelings to the surface, and he had to keep busy to push through that. He also inherited his father’s car collection, but for a time the memories were just too painful for him to even look at them. Ten years later in 2018, Koker had only just started to take out the cars and look at them.
However, Danny did not have to battle through this tragedy alone. It is not known exactly when the two met in Nevada, but Koker had the support of his loving wife, Korie Koker. Although the two do not have children, they are apparently happily married and work together on projects such as the bar and grill.
Danny’s relationship with cars is not strictly professional, given his private vast collection of cars and motorcycles, but that does not mean that he has them all. Koker claims that his dream car would be a 1972 Lamborghini Miura SV, something that he is yet to acquire in his endless search. Still, Koker drives in style, a 1995 Cadillac Fleetwood, a sleek vintage car with his personal finish.
Danny Koker never appears without a black bandanna that covers the front of his head. While this sparked some highly creative fan speculation, it was revealed that this is simply Koker’s way of dealing with a receding hairline.
The effect is to give him a hip look and attitude that is compounded by his multiple arm tattoos. Danny has long, dark brown hair that is beginning to grey. He often wears it down or alternatively in a pony, paired with his customary sideburns and a short beard. He has brown eyes and a broad figure, which could be intimidating at times. Danny is a tall man, standing at 6ft 2ins (1.89m) and weighing 202lbs (92kgs).
Net Worth and Salary
Koker has money practically pouring in from at least four different sources, including his restaurant, tattoo parlor, band, restoration shop, and multiple TV appearances. When paired with the accumulative value of his cars and motorcycles, it should come as no surprise that Koker has a net worth estimated at a minimum of $13 million, as of mid-2020.