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Dustin Hoffman’s Rain Man 1949 Buick Convertible Exceeds Expectations at Auction

A striking piece of film memorabilia crossed the auction block just recently and, while it did not set auction records, it was still able to exceed expectations – and the highest estimations.
1949 Buick Roadmaster Convertible from the 1988 movie Rain Man, previously owned by Dustin Hoffman 14 photos
Dustin Hoffman's 1949 Buick Roadmaster from Rain ManDustin Hoffman's 1949 Buick Roadmaster from Rain ManDustin Hoffman's 1949 Buick Roadmaster from Rain ManDustin Hoffman's 1949 Buick Roadmaster from Rain ManDustin Hoffman's 1949 Buick Roadmaster from Rain ManDustin Hoffman's 1949 Buick Roadmaster from Rain ManDustin Hoffman's 1949 Buick Roadmaster from Rain ManDustin Hoffman's 1949 Buick Roadmaster from Rain ManDustin Hoffman's 1949 Buick Roadmaster from Rain ManDustin Hoffman's 1949 Buick Roadmaster from Rain ManDustin Hoffman's 1949 Buick Roadmaster from Rain ManDustin Hoffman's 1949 Buick Roadmaster from Rain ManDustin Hoffman's 1949 Buick Roadmaster from Rain Man
That piece of automotive slash movie history is the cream-colored 1949 Buick Roadmaster that stars as the third unspoken character in the Oscar-winning 1988 movie Rain Man, with Dustin Hoffman as the titular character. Fully restored and in impeccable condition, the convertible has been with the actor all these years, but kept almost exclusively as a garage queen.

It wasn’t right for the car, the actor said, in a statement for Bonhams, which included it in the announcement for The Scottsdale Auction taking place on January 27. “[It] been in storage too long,” Hoffman explained. “It should be driven, enjoyed, and cherished.”

On that note, Hoffman decided to part ways with the classic after all these years. He bought it right after production on the film wrapped up and had it restored, but very rarely took it out. Power comes from a 5.2-liter inline 8-cylinder engine, paired up to a two-speed DynaFlow automatic transmission and delivering 150 hp.

The initial estimate from the auction house was between $150,000 and $250,000. An impeccable example of such a convertible, without the celebrity association (by which you’re to understand both its appearance in the film and the years spent under celebrity ownership), can sell for as much as $135,000 these days.

Fox Auto reports that the hammer went down at $335,000, including auction fees. While it’s not a record for auction sales, it’s a justified price for a classic in mint condition, which has been featured in a movie and has been sat in by famous butts like Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman’s.

This is actually one of the two Buick Roadmasters used in the film. The other one is in director Barry Levinson’s private collection.



 
 
 
 
 

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