The WWII Willys MB and Ford GPW gearshift / transfer case lever knobs are often misunderstood and some manufacturers of replacement knobs are prone to misidentifying their products in order to promote sales.
The original Willys A-971 Gearshift Knob drawing calls up the material of manufacture as “reconstituted rubber” and one can assume from this there was a concerted effort during wartime to conserve raw materials as many earlier gearshift knobs were manufactured from natural Rubber. Reconstituted rubber one might assume to be in the main worn out automotive tyres.
Reconstituted rubber does not have the same flexibility as virgin rubber hence the somewhat harder feel to original knobs although after 70 years one can expect original knobs to have become even somewhat harder due to the natural aging process.
It should be noted WWII Jeep Gearshift Knobs were never made from Bakelite and knobs portrayed as being made from this material are offering a very incorrect type of knob for a quality restoration.
M.V. Spares Gearshift knobs are faithfully reproduced using a correct rubber compound to duplicate the style and feel of original knobs, our knobs include what is referred to as the Saturn Rings which was a mold joint.
The original style rubber compound is easier on the hand when changing gears than the false and significantly harder Bakelite knobs.