It's pretty apparent these days that old school hot rods are here to stay, let's face it, tradition is tradition. That said, keeping a traditional-style hot rod build on the right track requires a bit of planning. One way to stay a bit more true to the style is the inclusion of early style lever-action shocks as part of your suspension setup.

They are still plentiful but they're not often found in useable condition. However, there's hope for rebuilding and using those early-style lever (or knee-action as they're also known) shocks you thought would look so great on your hot rod, and in most cases they'll work just as good as those post '55 tube shocks you thought were your only choice. In fact, properly-operating lever shocks are actually tunable to your ride quality taste thanks to adjustable valving. And you thought adjustable shocks were a miracle of modern science.

If you're open to the idea of using early-style shocks on your ride, here in sunny SoCal resides a company called Five Points Classic Auto Shocks, a resource that can be a great help in keeping your hot rod truly traditional in style. Five Points is a family-owned shop that's been refurbishing all types of early lever-action shocks for both rodders and restorers for well over 25 years. Recently I had a chance to swing by and meet the owner Mathew White and his pop, Jerry. I'd heard through the SoCal hot rod grapevine that these guys are the best resource around, and since my latest project is equipped with lever-action shocks I thought it only prudent to try and get a bit of an education in that respect.

Among rodders Houdaille (pronounced WHO-dye) is probably the most recognizable name in lever shocks, having been used on most early Fords, but Delco and Lovejoy's (used on GM and some Chrysler products) are options for us traditionalists as well. It's no matter, because Five Points can fix `em all, so if your going that route rest easy because in nearly any case they can either rebuild what ya bring `em, or if you're lucky, swap your old ones for a matching freshly-rebuilt set right off their shelves. It's nice to know that we have yet another resource we can use to keep our hot rods true to tradition.

That said, let's take a look at Five Star's digs and get an idea of how lever-action shocks work, what Five Points does, and how they do it, all the while keeping in mind that those cool-looking lever shocks you found at the local swap meet can again be pressed into service on that traditional-style rod you're building.