A friend in New York remembering the dashboard gear shifting on old French cars - "As I recall, to shift you pulled it out, twisted it and pushed it back in. It seems like it was usual H pattern but that is a little hazy. Does this set up ring any bells?"
Our Man in Paris, Ric Erickson - "Oh yeah. Lunatic 2CV's had those. They came out about a yard on second and you had to be careful pushing them up to third. Careful not to ram the pressed-tin dashboard and its cookie-cutter edges. Like I said, they could tear your knuckles to ribbons. Old Citroens had that too, before the war and well into the '50's."