Every race car has a gearbox of some kind, and quite a few have a Hewland cantilevered off the back. And yet few have the time or skill required to take one apart and make the fiddly bits right. Its ancestor is the innovative Beetle transaxle, its legend was forged in competition by being bolted into virtually anything and everything that mattered from 1960 until the sequential 'box muscled it out of the limelight. Rebuilding one is a gorgeous sort of science.

Sam Smith, owner of a Formula Ford himself, explains the lost art of the Hewland—not only as the sum of its parts, but as a celebration of an era.