There are three types of shifter mechanisms on classic Minis. The earliest cars used what is commonly referred to as the “magic wand” gear selector. This was, obviously, inferior.
In September of 1961, when the Cooper and Super models were introduced, the shift mechanism was revised and enclosed in an alloy housing. This system provided not only more positive shifting, but also added support to keep he engine from rocking back and forth. This support was provided by a rubber mount at the end of the shift housing that attached to the body structure behind the shift lever.
The final iteration of Mini shifting mechanism was introduced in December of 1972, when the rod-change shift linkage was introduced. This system provided even more positive shifting, but lost in the process was the mount to keep the engine from rocking back and forth.
While many car owners have converted to the rod style mechanism over the years, our car still had its correct alloy housing linkage.