The modular dashboard was essentially a row of cubes sitting atop the fascia rail – some essential like the speedometer and fuel gauge, others optional. All were easily moved to other locations, as they were attached via integral plugs to a ‘ring main’ of wiring along the mounting rail.
The design made it easier for left or right-hand-drive versions to be made and would enable an owner to select and install extra instruments with ease.
The seats had tubular frames with moulded plastic back supports that could be adjusted up and down by ski boot-like buckles. They were covered with padded nylon one-piece cushions, like duvets, which could be unbuckled, removed and opened out to be used as sleeping bags or ground sheets.
The rear seat featured similar cushions, but the seatback was a nylon net on a tubular frame which, when swung forward to increase the load space, formed a full-depth luggage barrier or dog guard.
GM’s designers had a lot of fun creating specially formed luggage to fit into the Junior. “There is room in the bottom of the wide doors for big net pockets that can contain either soft bags or ‘modular’ hard-shell cases,” explained Autocar at the time.
“The latter have been made into beauty cases, camera holdalls, tool kits and so on, and the same size box shell can be used in the fascia itself and on runners under the front seats. They seem to have thought of everything.”
The tailgate had a warning triangle on the roller blind in its trailing edge, while the seatbelt pivot points on the door pillars could be moved up and down to provide the optimum belt run for drivers and passengers of all sizes.
While the Junior was purely for show, some elements of the interior packaging were intended for production cars.
“It is not for sale, but more than one visitor to the show was prepared to buy it at any price,” wrote Autocar. “We can be sure that the Junior will never go into production in its present form, but we are equally confident that ideas and themes from it will find their way into cars of the future.”
Previous Throwback Thursdays
4 March 1899 - Steam, electric or combustion engine?
26 June 1906 - The first French Grand Prix
9 July 1907 - The beginning of Brooklands
14 February 1913 - 100 miles in one hour
8 April 1916 - Making post-war predictions
25 March 1922 - Caterpillar tracks are the future
4 July 1925 - Citroën lights up the Eiffel Tower
28 September 1928 - Engine tech takes a great leap forwards
2 February 1934 - The ethics of skidding
6 July 1934 - A tour of Cowley
1 June 1935 - Introduction of the driving test
22 June 1945 - Driving through post-WW2 Europe
21 January 1949 - Tidier tails
25 August 1950 - The evolution of transmissions
27 April 1951 - Frankfurt hosts its first motor show
24 April 1959 - Aston Martin enters Formula 1
16 September 1960 - The beginning of MOT tests
28 October 1960 - Economy driving 1960s style
27 January 1961 - Ford Thunderbird road test
17 November 1961 - TVR Grantura road test
10 September 1965 - The birth of modern Audi
19 August 1966 - Four-wheel drive on test
6 May 1971 - Driving Ford's Supervan
12 June 1976 - Cars for under £100
10 July 1976 - Land's End to John O'Groats on one tank
8 October 1977 - Music on the move
13 May 1978 - Ferrari 512 BB road test
14 November 1979 - Mazda RX-7 road test
19 January 1980 - Talbot Horizon road test
13 February 1982 - 4x4s tested on the farm
17 April 1985 - Secrets of a lost British supercar
4 September 1985 - Ford's electronic test bed
15 August 1990 - Giugiaro's vision of a 1990s Jaguar
11 November 1992 - Green light for Jaguar's new E-Type
28 April 1993 - BL's unseen concepts
16 March 1994 - Bentley's Concept Java
16 April 1997 - When Bugatti bit the dust
11 October 2000 - BMW X5 Le Mans
4 April 2001 - 0-260mph in 6.0 seconds
25 July 2001 - 180mph in a Chevrolet Corvette
9 November 1934 - What is a sports car?