Rain Man car auctions for $170,500 at Heritage


A 1949 Buick Roadmaster from the 1988 Rain Man film has beaten its estimate by 113.1% at Heritage Auctions.

It sold for $170,500 to top Heritage's December 14 sale of Entertainment & Music Memorabilia in Dallas, having arrived with an $80,000 valuation.

The popularity of the movie, and the fact that the car is often seen as the film's third most important character, helps to explain its strong price.

"This car, a crucial character in the film, brought a price that shows not only a great love of the film, but also a deep commitment to the preservation of such an important automobile," commented Margaret Barrett, Heritage's director of entertainment and music memorabilia.

Rain Man Buick Roadmaster auction
The Buick is "the catalyst for the entire movie"

"The plot of the movie essentially revolves around this beautiful vehicle, making it more than just a piece of screen-used memorabilia. It's the catalyst for the entire movie — a movie for which Hoffman also won an Academy Award."

Featuring in almost every scene, the Buick is one of two identical cars used during production.

This example features modified rear suspension, which allows for the extra weight of the camera equipment and camera man, who had to shoot while sitting in the trunk.

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Jimi Hendrix's gypsy vest doubled its estimate

Starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman, Rain Man won four Oscars: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director and Best Actor in a leading role, which was presented to Hoffman for his portrayal of Raymond Babbitt - the autistic savant brother of Cruise's Charlie Babbitt.

View the Dustin Hoffman autograph we have for sale today.

Iconic cars from famous films have a history of performing well at auction: a BMW Z8 Roadster used in 1999's Bond film The World Is Not Enough sold for £70,000 ($112,221) in October.

The December 14 auction also featured a Jimi Hendrix "gypsy-style vest", which doubled its estimate, selling for $30,000.

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