Actually the upper panel lights are the fiber optic ones, the shift indicator is a separate bulb located in the left front of the shift gate.
Slide out the ashtray and pop the insert, under there you'll find 2 phillips head screws, remove them and pull the ashtray drawer out. Next slide the coin tray forward and out, disconnecting seat heater switches if equiped. Next the center panel slide forward a couple mm's before lifting at the rear, giving room to disconnect all the window, mirror and fader switches. Once the panel is out you can find the wires going to the bulb holder at the left front of the gate (under the lip), might have a string attached to facilitate pulling the bulb holder from it's recess.
If you find your center panel is broken, or break it yourself read this
to repair it.
'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
Only 8,173 units built from 5/71 thru 11/72
'02 CLK320 Cabriolet - wifey's mid-life crisis
2012 VW Jetta Sportwagon TDI...at least its a diesel
Non illegitemae carborundum.