Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buy­ing & Sell­ing -


After be­ing im­pris­oned for 27 years, Nelson Man­dela is freed on 11 Fe­bru­ary, fol­low­ing a ban be­ing lifted on black rights party the African Na­tional Congress by the then South African pres­i­dent, FW de Klerk. Man­dela was con­victed for trea­son and sab­o­tage in 1964 and sen­tenced to life im­pris­on­ment, yet through­out the Eight­ies re­fused nu­mer­ous of­fers for early re­lease from the govern­ment in Pre­to­ria, un­will­ing to meet the con­di­tions which were at­tached. The fol­low­ing year, aged 72, he be­came pres­i­dent of the ANC, and was later elected pres­i­dent of South Africa in the coun­try’s first multi-racial elec­tion.


Sales of the Lo­tus Esprit tripled in the USA be­tween 1990 and 1991, fol­low­ing the re­lease of Pretty Woman. The film ar­rived in UK cinemas on 1 June, 1990, and has over the years be­come a favourite for lovers of ro­man­tic come­dies. It stars Richard Gere as generic busi­ness­man Ed­ward Lewis and Ju­lia Roberts as Hol­ly­wood pros­ti­tute Vi­vian Ward, while the sup­port­ing cast in­cludes a sil­ver Lo­tus Esprit SE. Gere is forced to drive the Esprit when his own car is blocked in at a party. How­ever, he strug­gles with its ‘stick-shift’ man­ual trans­mis­sion, re­sult­ing in a chance encounter with Roberts, who ends up driv­ing Gere’s char­ac­ter back to his ho­tel in the Hethel hot­tie. On the way, she ad­mires the Lo­tus’ power, the ‘close to­gether ped­als’ and its abil­ity to ‘cor­ner like it’s on rails’. Ur­ban leg­end has it that pro­duc­ers orig­i­nally wanted a Fer­rari for their film, though Maranello was hor­ri­fied at the thought of a lady of the night driv­ing one of its cars…

Sales of Lo­tus Esprits tripled in Amer­ica fol­l­low­ing the film’s re­lease.

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