Monday 28 October 2013

1971, Television: The Persuaders!

On 17 September 1971 “Ouverture” premieres on ITV. It is the first episode of the new British ITC adventure series 'The Persuaders!' At the time it was the most ambitious and most expensive of Sir Lew Grade's international action adventure series. The series was filmed in France, Italy and England between May 1970 and June 1971. The series titles theme was composed by John Barry.

Despite its focus on the British and American markets, the series never gained popularity in the US. It was however immensely popular in the UK and Continental Europe, the series was broadcast in Argentina, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, The Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Venezuela and Yugoslavia.
Roger Moore & Tony Curtis
Tony Curtis & Laurence Naismith
Main stars are Tony Curtis as Danny Wilde, and Roger Moore as Brett Sinclair. Sinclair is an English aristocrat who attended Harrow and Oxford before serving as an officer in a Guards regiment and then becoming a Grand Prix driver and race horse owner. Wilde is an American who grew up in poverty in the Bronx before serving as an ordinary seaman in the U.S. Navy and then making several fortunes on Wall Street.

Roger Moore & Kirsten Lindholm in the episode "Angie... Angie"
Tony Curtis & Joan Collins in the episode "Five Miles to Midnight"
The protagonists cars are as famous as the stars. Danny Wilde drives a red Ferrari Dino 246 GT and Brett Sinclair a yellow Aston Martin DBS. As with Simon Templar (Roger Moore's character from 'The Saint'), Brett's car has personalised number plates of his initials; Templar’s were 'ST 1', Sinclair’s are 'BS 1'.
Annette Andre & Roger Moore with Aston Martin DBS in the episode "Powerswitch"
Main Cast
  • Tony Curtis as Danny Wilde
  • Roger Moore as Lord Brett Sinclair
  • Laurence Naismith as Judge Fulton
The Cars: Ferrari Dino 246 GT & Aston Martin DBS
  • Bambi TV Series International for Roger Moore and Tony Curtis (Bambi Awards, Germany 1973) 
  • Logie Best Overseas Drama for the UK (Logie Awards, Australia 1972)
  • TP de Oro for Mejor Serie Extranjera (Best Foreign Series) (TP de Oro, Spain 1973)

The Persuaders! Opening Credits

Monday 21 October 2013

1970, Cars: Vauxhall Viva HC

In 1970 British car manufacturer Vauxhall (GM) introduced the new Viva. It was mechanically the same as the Viva HB (1966-1970) but with modern styling and more interior space. It was available as 2- and 4-door saloons and a fastback estate. The initial power-plant was the 1159 cc engine that powered the HB, but in late 1971 it was up-rated to 1256 cc due to the weight of the new car. Other available engines were the 1599 cc (replaced in 1972 by 1759 cc) and the 2279 cc . A coupe version, the Firenza, was introduced in 1971.
Vauxhall Viva HC 1300
Vauxhall Viva HC 4 doors 
In September 1973, the Viva range was divided, the entry 1256 cc models staying as Vivas, the 1.8 and 2.3 models were rebadged as the Magnum. The most exciting variant of the HC Viva was the High Performance Firenza produced between 1972 and 1975.
Vauxhall Viva HC Estate
Vauxhall Viva HC Firenza
The Vauxall Viva HC was sold in Canada (as Firenza by Pontiac/Buick dealers), New Zealand, and South Africa (as Chevrolet Firenza with the British Vauxhall 1.3 L or the German Opel 1.9 L engine).
Vauxhall HC Firenza High Performance
Viva production was scaled down after the launch of the Vauxhall Chevette in 1975. The Chevette hatch was also sold as the Opel Kadett City, but the Viva remained on sale until 1979 when it was replaced by the Vauxhall Astra, a variant of the front-wheel-drive Opel Kadett.
Vauxhall Viva HC 1976 advert with James Hunt
Brochure Vauxhall Viva Firenza (The Netherlands, 1971)
Brochure Vauxhall Viva (Finland, 1972)

Monday 14 October 2013

1969, Sport: Eddy Merckx - Tour de France 1969

The Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx wins the Tour de France on July 20, 1969. It was Merckx first victory in The Tour. The 1969 race is unique because it is the only time that a single cyclist, Eddy Merckx, has won the general classification, the points classification and the mountains classification at the same time. The Eddy Merckx team, FAEMA, won the combination classification and the combativity award. It was the 56th Tour de France, taking place June 28 to July 20, 1969. It consisted of 22 stages over 4110 km.

Stage victories by country:
  • Belgium: 13 (Julien Stevens (1), Eric Leman (1), Rik van Looy (1), Eddy Merckx (6), Herman van Springel (2), Guido Reybrouck (1), Jozef Spruyt (1))
  • France: 3 (Roger Pingeon (1), Raymond Delisle (1), Pierre Matignon (1))
  • Italy: 3 (Marino Basso (1), Michele Dancelli (1), Felice Gimondi (1))
  • Portugal: 2 (Joaquim Agostinho (2))
  • United Kingdom: 2 (Barry Hoban (2))
  • Germany: 1 (Rudi Altig (1))
  • Spain: 1 (Mariano Diaz (1))
Eddy Merckx  and Rini Wagtmans in the 6the stage

General classification (1-10):
  • Eddy Merckx 116h 16' 02"
  • Roger Pingeon +17' 54"
  • Raymond Poulidor +22' 13"
  • Felice Gimondi +29' 24"
  • Andrés Gandarias +33' 04"
  • Marinus Wagtmans +33' 57"
  • Pierfranco Vianelli +42' 40"
  • Joaquim Agostinho +51' 24"
  • Désiré Letort +51' 41"
  • Jan Janssen +52' 56"
Eddy Merckx in the 16the stage

Points classification (1-3):
  • Eddy Merckx 244 points
  • Jan Janssen 149 points
  • Rini Wagtmans 136 points

Mountains classification (1-3):
  • Eddy Merckx 155 points
  • Roger Pingeon 94 points
  • Joaquim Galera 80 points
Eddy Merckx in the 17the stage

Team classification (1-3):
  • Faema 351h 50' 56"
  • Peugeot +14' 53"
  • Kas +1h 01' 42"

Combination classification (1-3):
  • Eddy Merckx Faema
  • Roger Pingeon Peugeot
  • Felice Gimondi Salvarani

Eddy Merckx at the Col d'Aubisque

Tour de France 1969 (Dutch)