This note applies to the screw-on knob type gear levers.

The problem is that after 60 years, corrosion and force of habit will make the knob very reluctant to unscrew and it is difficult to hold the knob securely; it is easy to rotate the lever as it is conveniently cranked at the end.
You will need a vice which opens at least 6 inches, two half inch drive sockets, size about 1/2 Whit or similar and a sheet of medium
carborundum cloth.

Fold the cloth so that the abrasive faces outwards then fold it round the knob. Now grip the knob in the cloth between the business ends of the sockets in the vice. See Diagram.

What you are doing is gripping the knob with a non-slip material over the maximum area without putting too much pressure on a single point.

Next twist the lever to unscrew the knob; if it slips in the cloth, tighten the vice a little more.  This method has never failed to unscrew a gear lever knob nor has it caused any damage. I am sure that two short lengths of 1 inch tube would serve in place of the sockets but the sockets are convenient.

Dave Fulton  SWA7C with many thanks.