GM's World Car
Although the global release occurred the preceding year, 1975 would see GM release their Isuzu derived “world” car, the Gemini. While most Australians knew that the Holden Gemini
was a re-badged Isuzu, far fewer knew that the little car was being sold in the USA as the Buick Opel and Pontiac T1000, in Brazil as the Chevy Chevette,in the UK as the Vauxhall Chevette and in Germany as the Opel Kadett
Regardless of what is was called, within a year of its release the little Gemini had become the most popular car on the market - no doubt helped by the low price tag and its being named Australian Car of the Year. Holden were quick to point out the car was designed in Germany and assembled in Australia, and in total some 42,792 TX Gemini
models would be built.
It was not long into the new year that disaster best Australia, and this time in the tranquil Apple Isle. On Sunday, 5th January, at around 9:30pm the bulk carrier Lake Illawarra collided with the Tasman Bridge, bringing down two piers and resulting in the collapse of some 127 metres of bridge.
Four cars ran over the gap into the Derwent River, five occupants died while several others managed to escape from two vehicles which teetered on the edge of the gap. Seven crewmen from the Lake Illawarra also lost their lives. The impact of the bridge callapse was quickly felt as Hobart was suddenly cut in two.
The Fall of Saigon
Overseas news was to dominate the headlines for most of the year, with the civil war beginning in Lebanon, the North Vietnamese taking Saigon and thus ending the Vietnam war, Soyuz-Apollo test flight taking place (with US and Soviet spaceships docking togther), the death of Spanish dictator Franco, and the formerly Portugese colonies of Angola and Mozambique gaining their independence.
1975 ushered in the concept of having a computer in the home, with Altair manufacturing their MITS 8800, widely regarded by most as the very first Personal Computer (PC). Thankfully PC's would prove to be extremely popular, despite negative projections from IBM (then the worlds largest typewriter company), and today the Internet can bring you a wealth of information via such great web sites as this one!
To many Australians, the 1st of March became known as "C-Day" - a date that all television stations had to convert to full-time colour transmission
. So it was that on May the 12th a handfull of Australians lucky enough to own a colour TV could tune in to watch Channel Nine's new variety show "The Don Lane Show" - which would go on to have a successful 8 year run.
Don may well have been laughing at his arch rival GrahamKennedy (even though they both worked for the same network),after Kennedy is banned from appearing on live televisionfollowing his infamous "crow call" on Nine's "Graham Kennedy Show".
Meanwhile over at Channel 0/10, they decided to gamble on running a full 1 hour news broadcast, the "Eyewitness Newshour". Concern over the plummeting ratings of their flagship soapie "Number 96" would see the infamous 'Bomb Blast' episode, wiping out 4 regular members of the cast.
Formula One Championship:
(Austria) / Ferrari
1975 Bathurst Winner:
& Brian Sampson / Torana L34
NRL Grand Final:
Eastern Suburbs (38) def. St. George (0)
VFL/AFL Grand Final:
North Melbourne: (19.8.122) def. Hawthorn (9.13.67)
Think Big (H. White)
Billie Jean King d. E. Cawley (6-0 6-1)
Arthur Ashe d. J. Connors (6-1 6-1 5-7 6-4)
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
- Dog Day Afternoon
- Barry Lydon
- Best Picture - One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
- Best Actor Jack Nicholson (One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest)
- Best Actress - Louise Fletcher (One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest)
Ernie Sigley and Denise Drysdale (The Ernie Sigley Show, Nine)
- Mamma Mia - Abba
- Fox On The Run - Sweet
- S.O.S. - Abba
- Jump In My Car - Ted Mulry Gang
- I do, I do, I do, I do, I do - Abba
- Happy Birthday Baby - Tony Christie
- Paloma Blanca - George Baker Selection
- Last Farewell - Roger Whittaker
- January - Pilot
- Sparrow Song - Seekers
- Aristotle Onassis (Mega-millionaire)
- Haile Selassie (Ethiopian Emperor and Rastafarian)
- Casey Stengel (Baseballer)