As a regular guest on Pawn Stars, Danny Koker proved he’s so good at cars that the History Channel gave him his own show, Counting Cars. So who better to talk to in order to get some bits of wisdom for the gearheads and the scared-of-the-stick-shift alike? Here are his top picks for living the motoring life in Las Vegas:
Best Weekend Destination Drive
Zion National Park is a nice drive, or it’s a nice ride. Take a motorcycle, take a hot rod. They’ve got those cabins you can rent and chill out in. You can cruise up there and disappear.
Best Stretch of Road to Open Up Your Car
Take Blue Diamond toward Pahrump, and as you crest over that hill near Mountain Springs Saloon, there’s a stretch of road that’s straight as an arrow. It’s like five lanes wide. Brother, you can open it up. I’ve been clocked on that road at … [redacted]. I’ve got a custom Dodge Viper that’s got a bunch of go-fast goodies on it. I don’t want to get in trouble for that one.
Best Custom Shop (Other Than my Own)
A cat named Steve Darnell owns a place called Welderup. He specializes in the rat rod style of hot rods. He’s a good guy. He’s got a lot of creative ideas for that vibe of a car. Welderup.com.
Best Car Collection in Town
Ron Pratt would probably be No. 1. He’s got everything. He’s the guy the rest of us car collectors love to hate, and he’s a super-nice guy. He doesn’t follow any particular rhyme or reason; he just collects stuff he likes.
Best Piece of Vegas Auto History
I have to tip my hat to the Imperial Palace car collection. They’ve got some magnificent pieces in there. They keep the collection flawless. They do a ton of their stuff up at Indian Springs prison. There’s a magnificent automotive program inside the prison where they do incredible restorations. A lot of those end up at the Imperial Palace collection.
Best Place to Buy a Car
I’m a private-party kind of guy, but if you don’t want to deal with private parties, I strongly recommend Classic & Collectible Cars Las Vegas. [Mike Nicholl] is a good friend and an honest guy, and his selection of vehicles is quality. 3063 Sheridan St., ClassicCarsLasVegas.com.
Best Place for Basic Car Maintenance
Midas is a safe place. They’ve been around for 100 years, and they’ve got a great reputation. They’re supported nationwide. They’re solid people. There are other quickie joints, but I’m not sure how much I trust the quickie joints.
Best Accessory for the Flashy
If you want to look flashy, it’s always wheels. What I do is I order my stuff from wheel manufacturers. I measure the fender wells on a vehicle, and I have wheels custom-made to fit. To me it’s not just the look of a wheel, but it’s so important that it fits the wheel well properly. It makes the car sit right, and it gives it a presence on the road. There’s a company I work with on a regular basis, the Wheelsmith. These guys are awesome. They specialize in custom wheels for old cars. TheWheelsmith.net.