Sunday 17 November 2013

1974, Cars: Fiat 131 (Mirafiori)

In the Autumn of 1974 Italian car manufacturer Fiat introduces the new Fiat 131, additionally called "Mirafiori", at the Turin Motor Show. The 131 is the replacement for the successful Fiat 124. The Mirafiori name originates after the Turin suburb where the cars were produced.

Initially the Fiat 131 came with 1,297 cc or 1,585 cc L4 engines.The first series was available with two body styles: a saloon (2 or 4 doors) and a station wagons built by SEAT in Spain. There were two trim levels: the basic "131" and the upmarket "131 S".
Predecessor Fiat 124
Fiat 131 Series 1
Fiat 131S Series1
Fiat 131S Estate Series1
Fiat 131S Rear
In 1978 the 131 got a minor facelift and new "Twin Cam" engines were available, these models were badged as SuperMirafiori. The biggest change were the larger rectangular shaped front lights, new bumpers, new bigger rear lights and new interior trim. Also in 1978, the 2-door sporting version Racing with 85 kW twin cam engine, was launched. The Racing had top speed of 180 km/h (110 mph).
Fiat 131 Racing Series 2 (1978)
Fiat 131 Supermirafiori Series 2 (1978)
Fiat 131 Supermirafiori Rear Series 2 (1978)
The 131 was revised again in 1981. The car received a slightly updated interior. In June 1981, a new sport version, the Volumetrico Abarth, was introduced to some markets, with a supercharged version of the familiar 2-litre twin-cam. This car, also known as the 2000 TC Compressore, was built in a small series and could reach 190 km/h (118 mph). In 1983, the production of the saloon ended, the station wagon however remained in production until 1985. In total, 1,513,800 units were produced in Italy.
Succesor Fiat Regata

Advert Fiat 131, France, 1970s

Advert Fiat 131, UK 1975

Advert Fiat 131 (Brava), USA 1970s

Advert Fiat 131, UK 1978

Brochure Fiat 131 (Netherlands, 1978)
Brochure Fiat 131 (Norway, 1980)

Sunday 10 November 2013

1973, News: Movement of a house in Wilrijk near Antwerp

In Wilrijk near Antwerp workers move a house from the Pieter Coeckestraat to the Goudvinklaan to make way for the construction of the new E10 (now E19) Antwerp-Brussels. The rolling of the house attracts many visitors.
Movement of a house in Wilrijk
Movement of a house in Wilrijk

Saturday 2 November 2013

1972, Deaths: Dan Blocker

After 13 seasons (1959 – 1972) of playing Hoss Cartwright, the "gentle giant" brother on Bonanza, actor Dan Blocker died unexpectedly, shortly before filming was to begin for the final season (1972-1973). Only 43 at the time of his death, Blocker died on May 13, 1972, of a pulmonary embolism (a post-operational blood clot to the lungs) following a "routine" gall bladder surgery. Blocker was buried in Woodmen Cemetery, DeKalb, Texas.
"After Dan's death," said Lorne Green (who starred as Ben Cartwright, father to Hoss), "I didn't see how the show could continue. I said to my wife, 'That's it. It's finished.'"
Dan Blocker was born on December 10, 1928, in DeKalb, Texas as Bobby Don Blocker. When he was six the family moved to O'Donnell, in West Texas. Dan attended local schools before entering Texas Military Institute in San Antonio at twelve. He studied at Hardin-Simmons University and then entered Sul Ross State Teachers College in Alpine in 1947. He became a star football player at Sul Ross.
Dan Blocker High School Yearbook Photo (1946)
Dan Blocker, age 18, with Bill Echols in 1946
At college Blocker became interested in acting. He acted during summer in Boston and served afterwards as infantry sergeant with the 45the Division in Korea. In 1952 he returned to Sul Ross, where he earned an M.A. Degree and married Dolphia Lee Parker, on August 25, 1952. Blocker was a teacher in Sonora, Texas, and Carlsbad, New Mexico, before moving to California in 1956 to work on a Ph.D. degree at the University of California at Los Angeles. During this time he also worked as a substitute teacher at Glendale and began his career as a professional actor in Los Angeles.
Dan Blocker with his wife Dolphia Lee Parker and children Dirk Blocker,
David Blocker, Debra Lee Blocker and Danna Lynn Blocker
Dan Blocker with his four children Dirk Blocker,
David Blocker, Debra Lee Blocker and Danna Lynn Blocker
In 1959 he was cast in the role of "Hoss" Cartwright on the television series 'Bonanza'. Blocker became a popular actor and successful businessman, he was co-owner of a nationwide chain of steak houses called Bonanza. In 1963 he received the 'Texan of the Year Award' and in 1966 he served as honorary chairman of the Texas Cancer Crusade. He played the role of Hoss Cartwright for thirteen seasons on national television, until his death on May 13, 1972. The television series was terminated soon after his death.
Dan Blocker with Frank Sinatra in the 1968 film "Lady in Cement"
Dan Blocker with Bonanza co-stars Michael Landon and Lorne Greene
Dan Blocker in Bonanza with Michael Landon, Lorne Greene and Mitch Vogel