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HomeEvents‘An excellent driver’ 1949 Buick from ‘Rain Man’ to be auctioned

‘An excellent driver’ 1949 Buick from ‘Rain Man’ to be auctioned

The convertible is owned by actor Dustin Hoffman, who won an Oscar for his role

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A 1949 Buick Roadmaster convertible used in the 1988 film Rain Man is heading to auction at Bonhams in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Jan. 27.

Since Rain Man centers on a cross-country road trip by Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise) and his autistic older brother Raymond (Dustin Hoffman), the car is prominently featured. The car going up for auction is one of two used for filming, and it was purchased by Hoffman after the movie wrapped.

buick

Hoffman has owned the car ever since, but aside from an appearance at a 1989 Buick Car Club event, it’s rarely been seen in public, according to the auction listing.

“The Buick’s been in storage too long,” Hoffman said in a statement attached to the listing. “It should be driven, enjoyed and cherished.”

buick, ‘An excellent driver’ 1949 Buick from ‘Rain Man’ to be auctioned, ClassicCars.com Journal

The Roadmaster is powered by a 320-cubic-inch straight-8 (which was Buick’s engine of choice at the time instead of the more common V8) producing 150 horsepower, sent to the rear wheels through a 2-speed automatic transmission. The Buick has front independent suspension with a live rear axle, and four-wheel drum brakes – not a lot of stopping power for such a big car.

Bonhams expects the Rain Man Buick to sell for between $150,000 and $250,000, likely on the strength of its Hollywood connection.  

The other identical Buick used in the filming is owned by the director, Barry Levinson.  Restored by Wayne Carini of Chasing Classic Cars, that one was shown at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in 2016.

This article was originally published by Motor Authority, an editorial partner of ClassicCars.com.

1 COMMENT

  1. I owned a red Buick with a white top like this when I was stationed in Germany in the early 60s. I really enjoyed that car. Even drove it around in the winter with the top down.

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