Dustin Hoffman believes it is time someone else enjoyed the iconic Buick from the Academy Award-winning film, “Rain Man.”
Hoffman, 84, who won an Oscar as best actor for his portrayal of Raymond Babbitt in the 1988 film, bought one of two 1949 Buick Roadmasters featured in the movie 34 years ago, according to Bonhams, the London-based auction house that will be handling the sale. The cream-colored convertible will go on the block at Bonhams’ sale on Jan. 27 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
“The Buick’s been in storage too long,” Hoffman said in a news release. “It should be driven, enjoyed, and cherished.”
Hoffman’s character had autism, but was also was a savant who had a superb memory.
“Definitely know this car, it’s a 1949 Buick Roadmaster straight-eight, fireball eight,” Hoffman says during the film, which also starred Tom Cruise as Babbitt’s selfish, wheeler-dealer younger brother. “Only 8,095 production models.”
The vehicle is fully restored and powered by a 320 cubic-inch inline eight-cylinder engine, just like Hoffman’s character described in “Rain Man,” according to the news release.
“The car had a very strong visual presence in the film and was featured throughout. It became a character,” said “Rain Man” director Barry Levinson, who also won an Academy award for his work on the film and owns the other Roadmaster. “Dustin, Tom Cruise, and the ‘49 Buick. In essence, the car had ‘third billing.’”
Bonhams estimates the car’s value at $150,000 to $250,000, according to its website.
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