LOSE YOURSELF IN 1990
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.