1977 Year In Review

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Holden HZ
The last of the line before the arrival of the Commodore, the now very sought after HZ.

1978 Holden SL Radial Tuned Suspension
The Holden Radial-Tuned-Suspension made a huge improvement on the Kingswood's handling.

Volkswagen Beetle
European production of the Beetle would end in 1977 with the introduction of the Golf, but would continue in Mexico until 2003.

Granville Train Disaster
The trajic scene at Granville on January 18, Australia's worst ever rail disaster.

The King - Elvis Presley
Sadly, the King was to die in August 1977 after taking a drug overdose.

The HZ Holden

1977, and the last of the big Holdens was to be released before the arrival of the VB Commodore in 1978. The HZ was very much only a face-lift of the outgoing HX Holden model, but it did feature Radial Tuned Suspension (RTS) that improved road holding markedly.

And 1977 would also mark the passing of another legend (for European production at least). The Volkswagen Beetle had endured since the war, but consumers were fast growing tired of the cars noisy and slow characteristics, and VW were to counter lost market share with an entirely new car, the Golf. But such was the popularity of the "Bug" that it would remain in production in Mexico until July 2003, Volkswagen being forced to make the deicision to close after the Mexican government legislated against 2 door taxi's!

The Granville Train Disaster

Sadly, Australia would suffer its worst rail disaster in history on January 18th when the crowded 6.09am commuter train from Mount Victoria in the Blue Mountains would crash at Granville, a suburb of Sydney. The train left the rails and hit a support of an overhead steel and concrete bridge, bringing the bridge and several cars down on top of several carriages. 83 people were to die in the tradgedy, with many others being seriously injured.

Roots, the multi-million dollar US mini-series, airs on Channel 0 and receives the highest ratings of the decade. Seven televises the VFL Grand Final live for the first time. Hotel, a Crawford production for 0-10, begins production in Melbourne. The series was axed before the first episode had even gone to air.

Purvis Eureka At The Alpine Rally

In November 1977 a Purvis Eureka PL30 competed with considerable success in the Repco Alpine Rally. Amazingly for what was considered a "kit car", it was one of only 30 cars to finish from a field of 80, the majority of cars succumbing to the twin problems of unusually rough roads and heat. The Eureka went on to compete in the Alpine rally and other rally events in 1978, a version being extensively developed for the purpose by John Dixon.


Motor Racing's 1977 season was notable for the incredible success of Ford's Falcon hardtops in the Australian Touring Car Championship and at Bathurst. And the key? Undoubtedly it was American preparation genius Carroll Smith. Carroll was brought to Australia by Moffat - a smart move as things turned out. And the Americans vast experience tamed even the unpredictable Moffat psyche.

Most people wondered what the Canadian's secret was, but it wasn't until Smith's return to the States at the conclusion of 1977 that the source of aII that success became obvious. Carroll Smith had written a very intriguing and informative tome entitled "Prepare to Win". It found a good market here in Australia amongst the more switched-on motor racing folk. Carrol Smith then produced a new volume, this time called "Tune to Win".

Even more comprehensive than "Prepare to Win", "Tune to Win" opened a veritable Pandora's Box of information concerning the "lurks" of racing preparation. True, the book was aimed at racing success, but as a means of introducing the reader to the more complex angles of the subject, Carroll also explained the basics which applied to ANY motor car under ALL circumstances.

Blankety Blanks

Graham Kennedy returned to television as host of 0-10’s evening game show Blankety Blanks, which dominated ratings in the 7pm timeslot for the next two years. On December the 22nd the 1218th and final episode of Number 96 went to air on 0-10.

In the VFL, North Melbourne and Collingwood would clash in the Grand Final - and for only the second time in history the match would result in a draw. The subsequent replay would see North run away with a 27 point victory.

Formula One Championship:

Niki Lauda (Austria) / Ferrari

1977 Bathurst Winner:

Allan Moffat & Jackie Ickx / XC Falcon

NRL Grand Final:

St. George (9) tied with Parramatta (9), St. George winning the decider 22 - 0

VFL/AFL Grand Final:

Collingwood (10.16.76) drew with North Melbourne (9.22.76) North would win the replay by 27 points

Melbourne Cup:

Gold and Black (J. Duggan)

Wimbledon Women:

Virginia Wade d. B. Stove (4-6 6-3 6-1)

Wimbledon Men:

Bjorn Borg d. J. Connors (3-6 6-2 6-1 5-7 6-4)

The Movies:

  • Saturday Night Fever
  • Star Wars
  • Annie Hall
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • Julia

Academy Awards:

  • Best Picture - Annie Hall
  • Best Actor - Richard Dreyfuss (The Goodbye Girl)
  • Best Actress - Diane Keaton (Annie Hall)

Gold Logie:

Don Lane (The Don Lane Show, Nine) and Jeanne Little (The Mike Walsh Show, 0-10)

The Charts:

  1. Mull Of Kintyre - Wings
  2. You Light Up My Life - Debby Boone
  3. I Just Want To Be Your Everything - Andy Gibb
  4. Don't Cry For Me Argentina - Julie Covington
  5. Dance Little Lady Dance - Tina Charles
  6. That's Rock & Roll - Shaun Cassidy
  7. The Way You Do It - Pussyfoot
  8. Living Next Door To Alice - Smokie
  9. I Go To Rio - Peter Allen
  10. Don't Leave Me This Way - Thelma Houston


  • Charles Chaplin (Silent film comedian)
  • Bing Crosby (Crooner and Bob Hope's buddy)
  • Groucho Marx (Famous for his one-liners)
  • Vladimir Nabokov (Russian novelist and author of "Lolita")
  • Elvis Presley (The King)
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