Counting Cars is a show on The History Channel.After several appearances on Pawn Stars, Danny "The Count" Koker was given his own show focusing on his shop, Count's Kustoms, and his crew of employees as they buy, restore, customize, and sell various classic cars and motorcycles.The cast includes Danny's right hand man and best friend Kevin, the shop air-brush artist Horny Mike(so named for his obsession with putting horns on anything he makes whenever possible), the shop detailer and local Funny Foreigner Roli, project scout Big Ryan, bookkeeper Scott, and bike-shop manager Shannon. Episodes regularly show the team's various hijinks, conflicts, and occasional screw ups, but in the end it's always obvious why Danny refers to them as his "all-star crew"; they're very good at what they do.A major part of the show is how Danny, while cruising around Vegas with Kevin, will go out of his way to chase down every classic car or bike he sees on the road with the intent of making an offer on the vehicle, sometimes following people for miles just for the chance to talk to them. He's variously met with enthusiasm from fellow car fanatics to suspicion from those who don't like being followed. While he doesn't always make a deal, he always makes an offer, and if that fails leaves his business card, securing a new customer for the shop. Whenever possible, he'll take the car for a test drive, leaving Kevin as collateral, much to Kevin's annoyance.Other aspects of the show include Danny's temptation to keep the vehicles he buys instead of selling them for profit; it's mentioned his personal collection is comprised of over fifty automobiles which are on display in the shop. Also touched upon is Danny's relationship with various celebrities and the work he does for them.While everyone on the show clearly loves cars and knows what they're doing, it cannot be denied that much of the show is painfully staged for the camera in an attempt to show cool stuff and hijinks that will also pad out the running time. A good example is the time an extremely attractive woman was standing by their car carrier rig, ostensibly "admiring" it. She looks like she just got out of the make-up chair, shows no surprise at cameras recording her, and no reason whatsoever is given for her walking up to a car carrier parked on a street to "admire" it. Watch the sequence sometime. In a word, ouch.
This series provides examples of:
Acrofatic: Scott challenges Horny Mike to a race where Horny Mike is on his customized moped and Scott is on a bicycle. Scott wins. Justified in that Scott commutes between home and work by bicycle, and Mike's moped is really heavy.
The Alleged Car: Horny Mike's bus is "the alleged bus". One episode is entirely focused on Danny effectively giving him an ultimatum to fix it up or taking it out of shop, such is the state of the vehicle. Danny later goes back on his ultimatum out of charity and upgrades Mike's van for free to let them keep it.
And Some Other Stuff: Danny installs an anti-theft device on a customer's car which was stolen - twice - and turns off the cameras while showing her. In all likelyhood, it's a switch hidden under the dashboard in series with the ignition coil, published by Popular Mechanics every decade or so, all the way backin February 1925.
All There in the Manual: Roli can't figure out how to back up a Lamborghini Countach with a ludicrously tiny back window. Danny reveals that when you buy the car, the dealer and/or factory has to teach you a special method for doing so; leaning out the open door.
Audience Surrogate: Roli, being from Europe, isn't well versed in American automotive history, so will occasionally serve this role for Danny's exposition.
Beleaguered Assistant: Scott is regularly driven up the wall by Danny's inability to stay on budget and his habit of keeping cars for himself.
Berserk Button: Whenever Danny decides to keep cars for himself, Scott loses his shit. He usually can't truly lash out as most examples of this trope because Danny is his boss, so he can only complain strongly.
The Bet: Sometimes, the first example being Danny and Kevin having a bet on whether Danny can make profit on The Alleged Car Ranchero he bought. Danny wins.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: The guys at the shop are quirky to say the least, but they are all damn good at what they do. Danny specifically lampshades this with Scott, who is, in his words, "an asshole", but he's very good at his job.
The Chessmaster: Danny. Whenever he and Kevin are rolling around Las Vegas to look for cars to buy or flip, he often tries to get drivers to pull over or to talk to the drivers. Even if he doesn't get a deal, he'll leave his business card. More than once, he has gotten customers to come to his shop to either buy his cars or to request a job from his shop. All thanks to simple, albeit weird, networking.
Cool Car / Cool Bike: Many, if not all the cars, bikes, and trucks seen on the show. If they are not cool when they arrive, Danny and his crew will make them cool.
In fact one of the problems the shop has is that Danny often refuses to let a project go out the door until he considers it sufficiently cool. He's such a perfectionist with his love of vehicles that between making something look better and keeping a good profit margin, the profit margin is such a distant second it doesn't even see coolness finish the race.
Creepy Good: They're nice fellows, but their tendency to randomly approach people (sometimes relentlessly) without warning and trying to pull them over to buy their cars does terrify a bunch of people.
Since Danny is still the main car consultant on Pawn Stars and Rick will still bring cars to Danny on Counting Cars, the Crossover aspect happens quite frequently.
Dark Is Not Evil: A more mundane form of the trope. Danny and his comrades dress and paint the shop with some very threatening and fearsome imagery, but they're actually really nice guys.
Determinator: When Danny wants to look at a car, it's extremely, extremely rare for him to stop before he's convinced its owner to pull over and talk with him about it, which frustrates (and occasionally frightens) Kevin to no end.
Diabolus Ex Machina: In one episode, they spend the entire episode trying to custom a car for a man's wife, and the exact second they finish the car Scott comes out and tells Danny the couple just split up and the man no longer wants anything to do with the project.
In terms of the family of shows stemming from Pawn Stars, he does more haggling than Rick Dale, but not as much as Rick Harrison. The main difference between any of the other History Channel reality shows where this is involved is that Danny has a problem with knowing when to stop. If the owner is willing to sell, he'll generally buy, no matter how much it costs... he just loves cars too much to pass one up that catches his eye.
He gets caught off guard when someone gets him to pull over and offers to buy his 1973 Plymouth Satellite Sebring Plus. Because they were obvious car people, he sells it for $34,000.
Dub Name Change: Danny "The Count" because the pun in "Counting Cars" usually does not translate to many foreign languages. For instance, in the portuguese dub he's called Danny "The Crazy" and the serie's name is switched to "Crazy for cars".
Dynamic Entry: In some occasions Danny does this with the customized car to display to his client just how great it looks.
Friend on the Force: None of them are private detectives but the basic logic still applies: Kevin's brother, Steve (who is an attorney and Judge in L.A), helps them with any legal issues there might ocur.
Funny Foreigner / Straight Man: Roli, is, oddly enough, a combination of both (just the fact that he's the closest thing to the Straight Man in a group of nonstop goofballs is enough to single him out).
Indy Ploy / Xanatos Speed Chess: Danny sometimes does stuff at complete random (often for the art) like buying a car too expensive or spending too much into a car and has to adjust his plans to make profit off that.
Kill It with Water: One episode featured the shop's sprinkler system water main rupturing beneath the shop, and they wound up losing a their parking lot and come close to losing the shop floor.
Mad Artist: The Count borders on this with this. His teammates effectively think of him as such.
Pædo Hunt: Why Danny painted his windowless van bright red. When it was satin black, he was pulled over by the police a lot, because "it looks like you're hiding something".
Patriotic Fervor: Danny and the crew are firmly in the Patriotism is Good camp; they love doing projects for veterans or other military causes. There's a good reason for this; Danny's father was a Green Beret, and he has nothing but respect and gratitude for the men and women who serve.
Pimp Duds: Donned by Danny when he restores a Dunham Coach-built Cadillac El Dorado in the style of Superfly.
Product Placement: Roli and Horny Mike go to a Napa Store in order to buy a part they have very scant info to go on.
Put on a Bus: At the beginning of the third season, the Count's narration explained that Scott had left the shop and moved to Tennessee.
Real Men Wear Pink: Kevin owns two small lapdogs and will baby-talk with them. Danny himself has a soft spot for small animals as seen both on this show and once on Pawn Stars. Horny Mike claims to own four cats that he will walk on a leash.
Spin-Off: Not technically, but it's very clear that this show is a result of Danny's association with the stars of Pawn Stars (and his frequent appearances on that show)
Super Wheelchair: He once built an absolutely rocking wheelchair for a man who suffered a terrible accident that confined him to a wheelchair.
Swapped Roles: Danny is always flagging down cool cars and bikes that he sees on the road and offering to buy them off the owner. In one episode, however, a guy flagged down Danny and tried to buy his car, insisting that he loved it and had to have it. Danny was caught off-balance and admitted that it felt very weird being in the role of the owner rather than the buyer, but much to his own amazement he ended up selling his car to the guy for $34,000.
Throw the Dog a Bone: Danny and Kevin stop by a parked Cadillac and are looking it over when the owner shows up. The owner agrees to Danny taking a test drive. The owner comes along for the drive... and so does Kevin.
Tranquil Fury: It's fairly rare for Danny to get truly angry, but when he does he maintains his composure well; still, it's easy to see how much it's seething beneath the surface. A stellar example of this was actually on Pawn Stars, when he was called a lousy mechanic for saying a Porsche Boxster engine (stored outside unprotected for a long time) was likely seized, in need of a total rebuild and thus not worth the asking price.
It's cropped up on his own show a few times, such as when Horny Mike took it upon himself to paint a bigass apple on the side of a recently-painted classic truck (Danny walked off without leaving him any way to get down from his perch), or when Kevin decided to buy a bike without consulting him (Danny made him do the sale all by himself).
Troll: Danny is a very nice guy, but he sometimes messes with his employees for his amusement. It's all very light-hearted, though.
Visual Pun: Horny Mike is a walking one, and every vehicle he owns contributes to it.
The Wonka: Danny's obession with cars, flagging down standards, and inability to stay on budget either frighten or enrage his employees, but he does an amazing job and his customers are always happy, so he stays in business.