1989 Year In Review

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Rangie Wins US Award

In 1989 the 16th Annual Four Wheeler of the Year title was awarded to the Range Rover by the US's largest 4x4 enthusiast's publication Four Wheeler. The upmarket British 4WD, introduced into the US in March 1987 (and equipped with a 3.9-litre V8 engine since the previous September/October) won the award by the biggest points margin in the history of the 16-year competition. The award followed a 14-strong team driving ten 4x4 vehicles (including the Range Rover) over five days in all kinds of conditions, including Los Angeles' smog-bound freeways, cold mountain regions, and torrid deserts. After the tests the British 4WD amassed around 6000 points compared to the 4000 approximately collected by each of the other vehicles.

In addition to Range Rover's worldwide sales broke all records in 1988, the company announcing an 18 per cent increase, taking sales to 24,185 which beat the previous best figure by 20,205 in 1987. UK sales were up 23 per cent to 6175 against 5027 sold in 1987. In the US a total of 3427 vehicles were sold - a rise of 5.4 per cent on the previous year. December sales also set a new monthly record of 444. On mainland Europe Range Rover sales continued to rise. A total of 10,726 were sold (an 11 per cent increase over the 1987 figure), France rating a 12 per cent rise from 2911 to 3260. Italy was up 14 per cent from 2223 to 2524. Spain's market demand grew 81 per cent from 831 to 1508. In Australia Range Rover's sales increased 27 per cent from 867 to 1100.

That was the good news. The bad news was that American sales of Range Rovers were threatened by a US Customs decision to class the British 4WD as a light truck rather than a passenger car. The decision increased duty on the $A40,000 vehicle (in the US) from 2.5 to 25 per cent! US Range Rover sales were up in 1988 from 2586 (1987) to 3427, the car having established itself as the outstanding upmarket 4WD contender in the US luxury sport-utility market. The Range Rover was the most-expensive vehicle in its class.

Formula One Championship:

Alain Prost

1989 Bathurst Winner:

Dick Johnson & John Bowe /Sierra RS500

NRL Grand Final:

Canberra (19) def. Balmain (14)

VFL/AFL Grand Final:

Hawthorn (21.18.144) def. Geelong (21.12.138)

Melbourne Cup:

Tawriffic (R. Dye)

Wimbledon Women:

Steffi Graf d. M. Navratilova (6-2 6-7 6-1)

Wimbledon Men:

Boris Becker d. S. Edberg (6-0 7-6 6-4)

The Movies:

  • Glory
  • Born on the Fourth of July
  • My Left Foot
  • Sex, Lies, and Videotape
  • Field of Dreams

Academy Awards:

  • Best Picture - Driving Miss Daisy
  • Best Actor - Daniel Day Lewis (My Left Foot)
  • Best Actress - Jessica Tandy (Driving Miss Daisy)

Gold Logie:

Daryl Somers (Hey Hey It's Saturday, Nine)

The Charts:

  1. Ride On Time - Blackbox
  2. If I Could Turn Back Time - Cher
  3. You Got It - New Kids On The Block
  4. Don't Know Much - Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville
  5. Like A Prayer - Madonna
  6. Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler
  7. Living Years - Mike & The Mechanics
  8. Eternal Flame - Bangles
  9. I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) - The Proclaimers
  10. Bedroom Eyes - Kate Ceberano


  • Jim Backus (shipwrecked with Gilligan)
  • Lucille Ball (Comedienne)
  • Samuel Beckett (Irish playwright)
  • Salvador Dali (Surrealist Painter)
  • Bette Davis (Actress with piercing eyes)
  • Dolores Ibarruri Gomez (La Pasionaria) (Spanish Communist politician, orator, memoirist, journalist and writer)
  • Ferdinand Marcos (Former Phillipine President)
  • Billy Martin (Major League Baseballer)
  • Laurence Olivier (Actor)
  • Sugar Ray Robinson (Legend of the Ring)
  • Andrei Sakharov (Soviet nuclear scientist)
  • R.D. Laing (Psychopathologist)
  • Robert Penn Warren (American Poet)
  • Nicolae Ceausescu (Romanian Despot)
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