The above photo shows the change in check system. On the left is the modern, convertible LHW to RHW check mechanism. While on the right you will see the original MKII check in the 1958-62 Taupos, which are RHW only. You can also see in this photo the difference in bearings between the two reels as well.
A shot of the exterior changes from the original Taupos to the modern version. The picture above shows a modern Taupo sandwiched between two originals. Note the lineguide version on the right. You can see the leading they now use is also a bit different.
I gotta start by saying I am a gear junkie, specifically Hardy Perfects. They are, well, perfect. Nothing beats the sound of a fish pulling line on a loud Perfect. Click and pawl reels also require more interaction by the angler. Some people will say "Yeah but they have no drag". It's true that click and pawl style reels have just enough resistance to prevent spool overrun. HOWEVER, when an angler knows how to use a palming reel, you can go to full lockdown. Meaning when you palm the back of the spool, you can hold it as tight or loose as you wish. You can actually apply more "drag" than the best disc drag system on the market and this system requires very little attention. A little grease on the pawl, gear, and spring once every 6 months of hard use and you're good to go.
Now onto the Taupo Perfect! The Taupo was originally made by Hardy from 1958-1962 only. They were built for the large rainbows and browns in Lake Taupo New Zealand, which required a larger reel than the standard 3 7/8 trout Perfect. The Taupo is wider than the narrow trout Perfects, yet not as wide as the wide drum Salmon Perfects. The originals had an optional lineguide. The Taupo is sweet on two handers from 11' up to 12'6". They will hold 120 yards of 30lb dacron and a mid belly line, 150 yds of 30 lb plus 125 ft of mono shooting line and the skagit or scandi line of your choice. They are Right Hand Wind only.
Hardy recently released a modern version of the reel. It has the same specs, 3 7/8" diameter with a 1" spool width. They did change some things however. Now they are convertible LHW or RHW, the new Taupos also have a ivorine type handle, smaller bearing race, and a screw on the back of the spool like the old salmon reels. They are also about an ounce lighter than the originals.
Once you fish with a click and pawl reel, I can assure you that you will rapidly ditch the modern disc drag reels that offer barely a whisper of inspiration while hooked into a fresh Steelhead cartwheeling and screaming down stream!