|I suppose I should suspect a little wear after 50 years|
Something is definitely not right here. Removing the access panel inside the car, I was able to use a small video inspection camera to view the throwout bearing area via a small hole in the top of the bell housing. I could see that the throwout bearing was moving forward properly and engaging the pressure plate toggle levers as it should. Hmm. Nothing for it--I'm going to have to remove the transmission and see what's happening.
|Off comes the shifter..|
|Down comes the batwing..|
|And, after removing the driveshaft, out comes the transmission|
|One of the toggle levers is resting against the springs!|
And judging from the bits of broken metal I retrieved from the bottom of the bell housing, I'm guessing this must have been the result of a casting flaw. Time to order a new cover/pressure plate assembly.