Thanks again Jas & also goofyman something for you below...
First some more feedback...
The car drove fine after what my boyfriend did. For the record this was: He put the console
selector shaft (or interior gearstick) into "reverse" position, since this was the gear we knew the car was stuck in at the gearbox
level. He then went under the car and got access to the driver's side of the gearbox. He gave a "tap" to the end of the gearbox
selector shaft which is like a rod lying horizontal through the gearbox, from end to end, and one end is visible in the middle of the trans on drivers side. This pushed the rod in a bit and somehow re-aligned the selections on the rod with the gears in the gearbox (don't ask how he knew it needed to go east instead of west to realign). Anyway, he got back inside the car and the gearstick (interior selector shaft) no longer felt like it wasn't attached to the gearbox. It was able to engage all gears as normal, and the gearbox was no longer stuck in reverse.
I drove the car to an auto trans specialist. He diagnosed that it needed a new 'C' cup (or circlip). The circlip is inside the gearbox (somewhere around middle) and it attaches the interior gearstick to the selector body housing (or valve body) of the gearbox. The valve body is the selector itself and if the gearstick is not attached via the circlip or improperly attached due to wear and tear, then no gear changes can be made. It seems my circlip can't have broken altogether, or I couldn't have made gear changes I did after my boyfriend freed it from reverse. Perhaps it was a faulty enough attachment to allow the shaft to misalign and the housing to freeze.
Anyway, the 'c' cup was replaced, requiring removal and replacement of the valve body to do so. All up with service to gearbox cost $225. Car drives great!
If the primary problem wasn't the circup but the selector body housing (valve body), then I guess I'll know in due course coz the same freezing in one gear will recur.
I cut and paste the following from the other thread I started to this one because its an interesting adjunct story...
Originally Posted by goofyman
Just how lucky of me as tonight after look at your stuck in reverse as l had same problem as you had and after look other ideas from suddeny l relaise that l have very deep hill road so l decide to take my belove ford eb wagon up the hill and stop and turn the car around and drive down the hill and stop the car again on the hill and start the car while rolling down the hill slowly approx 15kpm and start the engine in neutral and put in reverse suddenly everything came back to normal as just remmber l did rebuilt this auto box my self fews months ago
Goofyman, can you tell me more specifically... did you reverse the car up the hill, do a "uie" in reverse, then roll reverse down the hill (starting the engine with the gearstick positioned in neutral, although gearbox still stuck in reverse), then having started in, move the gearstick to reverse position and find it engaged and free the whole gearbox back to normal? Was it that your gearstick felt like it wasn't attached to the gearbox?