Some of the Minis produced from '61 thru to '73 had a "remote" shift assembly. This big aluminum housing extended under the car from the differential towards the rear to project the gearshift through a hole in the floor right in front of the seats. This hole should be covered by a rubber boot to keep the noise, smell and weather out of the drivers compartment. If yours is torn or missing, you should absolutely replace it! The metal retainer to hold it in place is 14A9942.