1975 Year In Review

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Holden Gemini TX
1975 saw the release of the Isuzu derived Holden Gemini; while cheap to buy and run it offered comfort, quality and suprisingly good on road manners.

Hobart's Tasman Bridge
The Tasman Bridge Disaster, which claimed the lives of 5 motorists and 7 crew from the Lake Illawarra.

Sir John Kerr with Gough Whitlam
A low point in Australian politics, with then Govenor General John Kerr (left) sacking Gough Whitlam as Prime Minister.

Altair Computer
The Altair MITS 8800, regarded by most as the worlds first commercially manufactured Personal Computer (PC).

ABBA - Mamma Mia
Abba were to top the charts in 1975 with the hugely successful "Mamma Mia".

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:

Niki Lauda (Austria) / Ferrari

1975 Bathurst Winner:

Peter Brock & 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)

Melbourne Cup:

Think Big (H. White)

Wimbledon Women:

Billie Jean King d. E. Cawley (6-0 6-1)

Wimbledon Men:

Arthur Ashe d. J. Connors (6-1 6-1 5-7 6-4)

The Movies:

  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
  • Jaws
  • Nashville
  • Dog Day Afternoon
  • Barry Lydon

Academy Awards:

  • 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)

Gold Logie:

Ernie Sigley and Denise Drysdale (The Ernie Sigley Show, Nine)

The Charts:

  1. Mamma Mia - Abba
  2. Fox On The Run - Sweet
  3. S.O.S. - Abba
  4. Jump In My Car - Ted Mulry Gang
  5. I do, I do, I do, I do, I do - Abba
  6. Happy Birthday Baby - Tony Christie
  7. Paloma Blanca - George Baker Selection
  8. Last Farewell - Roger Whittaker
  9. January - Pilot
  10. Sparrow Song - Seekers


  • Aristotle Onassis (Mega-millionaire)
  • Haile Selassie (Ethiopian Emperor and Rastafarian)
  • Casey Stengel (Baseballer)
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