In a couple of weeks, the much-awaited Scottsdale Auction will start, and they have a lot of interesting lots on offer. One of them is the 1949 Buick Roadmaster Convertible, one of the two Buicks that was used in the ‘Rain Man’ movie.
The 1988 multi-award-winning motion picture ‘Rain Man’ starred Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise. In the movie, their characters Charlie Babbitt (Cruise) and his autistic savant brother Raymond (Hoffman) went on a cross-country life-changing road trip aboard the third star in the movie: a 1949 Buick Roadmaster Convertible.
In the movie, Hoffman’s character Raymond described the Buick stating, “It’s a 1949 Buick Roadmaster straight eight, fireball eight. Only 8095 production models.”
Since the 1930s the Roadmaster has been Buick’s flagship model and they restyled it for 1949. The Roadmaster has become synonymous with power, style, and elegance. With the new model, they raised the power to 150bhp which was capable of a top speed of 110mph. They also added new design features like the ‘observation deck’ curved windshield, sweepspear side moldings, and four ‘Ventiports’ on the front fenders.
Two Roadmasters were used during filming and after it wrapped, one of the Roadmasters was acquired by Hoffman and the other was acquired by Barry Levinson, Rain Man’s Director.
Larry Paine from California restored the example, and it was subsequently shown at a 1989 Buick Car Club event. It has remained in the custody of the actor since then. In the 34 years of stewardship, the Rain Man Buick was rarely driven out or seen in public. Hoffman shared, “The Buick’s been in storage too long. It should be driven, enjoyed, and cherished.”
Bonhams Vice President – Head of US Motoring Jakob Greisen stated, “This Roadmaster presents an extraordinary, truly once in a lifetime opportunity to own the third character from the classic Rain Man movie. We are honoured to have been entrusted with this special motorcar and are sure that it will be a hit with Buick enthusiasts and fans of Mr. Hoffman and Rain Man alike.”
The 1949 Buick Rain Man Roadmaster Convertible is estimated to be around $150,000 to $250,000.
Other notable American classics that will also be at the Scottsdale sale are:
1968 Shelby GT500 KR Fastback
This ‘King of the Road’ Shelby GT500 is one of the most collectible Shelby Mustangs. The example is highly optioned, one of only 110 that was given a Special Order Yellow Paint option, and is powered by the big Block 428 cubic-inch Cobra Jet V8 engine.
The well-documented 1968 Shelby GT50 KR Fastback had a nut-and-bolt factory correct restoration with records with Marti Report and the Ford factory records on file. It is estimated at $160,000 to $210,000.
1970 Chevrolet Nova LT/1 Yenko Deuce Coupe
Coming from a renowned Reno, Nevada-based collection the powerful and rare 1970 Chevrolet Nova LT/1 Yenko Deuce Coupe is ready for some high-speed cruising. One of only 175 examples produced, the example was given the desirable COPO 9737 sports conversion and COPO 9010 LT/1 engine packages. This resulted in a highly tuned 360hp 350 cubic-inch solid-lifter Turbo-Fire V8. It is estimated to be $135,000 to $165,000.
The upcoming Scottsdale Auction is the eleventh edition to be hosted by Bonhams and they will be presenting 90 collectors’ automobiles coming from different eras like the 1902 Darracq Single-cylinder Tonneau from the famed Harrah Collection to the 2012 McLaren MP4-12C. Other lots include the rarely offered 1961 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 ‘Outside Bonnet Latch’ Roadster, which is estimated to be$380,000 to $480,000. There is also the barn find 1953 Mercedes Benz 300S, one of only 141 roadster version of the post-war flagship model. It is estimated to be $375,000 to $475,000.
The sale will be held on Thursday, January 27 at 10am MST at the lawns of Scottsdale’s Westin Kierland Resort. It will be a traditional live sale, but it will also be available on the Bonhams App so registered bidders will have the chance to bid in real time online through Bonhams.com while watching the auctioneer. They also highly encourage absentee and telephone bids.
Starting January 25, pre-sale viewing will be held at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa and it will run until January 27.