West Coast Report 40th Edition by John Gilbert

Counting Cars in Las Vegas with Count’s Kustoms Customers

 

WCE-40-REPORT-bYjG-01Whatever happened to Flight 370 was the question of the week, but I had other fish to fry. I was on a quest to discover if it was Elvis Presley’s personal over the top sense of style that influenced Las Vegas’ tastes, or was it the other way around? Welcome to the 40th edition of West Coast Eastwood’s West Coast Report, and in particular our giant Hullabaloo 40th birthday special filmed entirely in Las Vegas on genuine Kodachrome film.

WCE-40-REPORT-bYjG-02It's been over 10-years since the magazine publishing industry ceased to use film. No stranger to being featured in magazines I first heard about Danny Koker at Count’s Kustoms in Las Vegas in 2004 while I was an editor on the staff of Hot Rod Bikes and the humor editor for Hot Bike. My friend and fellow Hot Bike editor Ernie Lopez had returned from Las Vegas and was very excited about what a cool shop he found at Danny Koker’s Count’s Kustoms and what a great guy Danny was.

WCE-40-REPORT-bYjG-03I’d call the giant green metalflake TV thing with all the skulls at Count’s Kustoms a Pagan Shrine done to the fullest extent of Elvis style combined with the design ethos of a hardcore mini-trucker… RIP Mini-Truckin’ magazine. That said, Danny “The Count” Koker is no Pagan, come to find out he’s a devout Christian having spent his youth as a member of the Rex Humbard Family Singers, and follows his faith to this day. WCE-40-REPORT-bYjG-04If the guy with his arm in a sling looks familiar its no wonder he’s Steven Mack, brother of Count’s Kustoms general manager Kevin Mack. Steven is Count’s Kustoms’ attorney, and the reason I ended up in Las Vegas shooting coverage for Classic Trucks, Street Rodder, Rod & Custom, and of course the images you’re viewing here on my blog for my friends at Eastwood. At Steven’s left is Judge William “Bill” Kephart. Bill is the owner of the ’71 Chevy C10 that I shot for Classic Trucks along with Steven’s ’62 Chevy C10.

WCE-40-REPORT-bYjG-05Steven’s beautiful blue ’62 Chevy C10 and Judge Bill’s deep black with “real” flames ’71 Chevy C10 are soon to be seen in one of the many forms of media Classic Trucks can be found.

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Here’s the showroom at Count’s Kustoms. One of the best deals in Vegas next to the free vibratory chair ride at Caesar’s Palace is the free tour anyone can enjoy seven-days a week at Count’s Kustoms.   

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Danny owns the original Hot Wheels “Deuce” roadster. Do you have the car in your Hot Wheels collection?

WCE-40-REPORT-bYjG-11Its named the “Forty-One” my guess is it’s a 1941 year model something… Cadillac maybe? The first extreme over-the-top flame job in the years after Larry Watson’s signature spaghetti, or seaweed  flames were done by Steve Vandemon.

WCE-40-REPORT-bYjG-12Another familiar name from 10 years ago in my past is Count’s Kustoms’ custom painter extraordinaire Ryan Evans. Back in my days when I created Tailgate magazine I was in Las Vegas quite a bit shooting trucks for cover that Ryan had painted under the name Kaotic… was it Kaotic Kustoms? eh, can’t remember must be the paint fumes. Did I mention Ryan flamed the “Forty-One”?

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Steven told me the Count’s dad bought this ’55 Chevy convertible brand-new as a gift to the Count’s mom. Ain’t it cool the ‘vert is still in the family.

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A ‘Busa, and the world’s largest Whizzer chopper?

WCE-40-REPORT-bYjG-19I dunno, what do you wanna do?

WCE-40-REPORT-bYjG-20Sorry,  I didn’t know the mike was on. Here’s looking back at the lobby, you can tell by the smiles on people’s faces they really dug touring Count’s Kustoms free tour. Its open 7 days a week, this was on a Sunday.

WCE-40-REPORT-bYjG-21The Chevy panel truck is either a ’58, or a ’59. Since the panel was shaved its like you can’t tell the if the carpet matches the drapes.

WCE-40-REPORT-bYjG-22I don’t think Steven was expecting to take the shot right then.

WCE-40-REPORT-bYjG-23Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bare — the girl’s name was Sharon and she don’t care.

WCE-40-REPORT-bYjG-24Here’s what Count’s Kustoms looked like when we were leaving. Sometimes my COPD makes it hard to breathe, and other times the LAPD makes it really hard for me to breathe. No, that’s not true it was just a reaction to watching TV commercials while I write.

WCE-40-REPORT-bYjG-25My first Harley-Davidson Shovelhead was a ’68 FL LAPD bike. LA had black wheels on an FL, and the CHP had FLH’s with chrome wheels. It’s a historical fact. The Count’s logo: Here’s proof yet once again that a really cool logo is the key to success…plus you got to be good at what you do.

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Look for Steven Mack’s Count’s Kustoms built ’62 Chevy C10 in an upcoming issue of Classic Trucks… also online and social media, and what else have we got?

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Here’s Judge Bill Kephart’s ’71 C10 on location getting

WCE-40-REPORT-bYjG-34One more caption then I have to go. Please check out Count Kustoms’ website for the video clip on Shane and Tanya’s Chevy A-D. Its another Classic Trucks exclusive feature that’s coming up. Please check in next week for the 41st edition of West Coast Eastwood’s 41st edition of the West Coast Report where we’ll pick up with more coverage from Las Vegas, and nude photos of a Chevy in bare metal.

—John Gilbert

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